[pp.int.general] Protest certain musicians?

Reinier Bakels r.bakels at planet.nl
Tue Oct 20 10:07:32 CEST 2009

The website looks nice. But perhaps there is a need for a comprehensive 
summary for newbies. The essence of the argument imho is not to be negative 
on copyright, but to explain exsisting and future business models, and the 
role of copyright in that business model.

In the old fashioned model, the record company plays a central role: it 
organises the recording, it manufactures CDs, it distrubutes them to shops, 
and it makes PR. And perhaps a few more things. The musician is just one 
"production factor", often poorly paid. Artists need(ed) record companies, 
which is not good for their negotiation position.

Current technology does not require major investments to make recordings. 
Studio's have become much cheaper. Artists can manage the recording process 

Promotion has become much easier with the Internet. And if really specialist 
are needed, artists can hire them themselves.

The most obvious advancement makde by technology is - of course - the 
distribution. This is where it all started. File sharers don't need old 
fashioned distrubion channels, like shops. Oh yes, it destroys a lot of 
business. That is why record companies are so fanatic about copyright. But 
imho with record shops it is the same as with money changers - that lost 
their business after the introduction of the euro. It is the "creative 
destruction" that is inherent to innovation. Yes, in the UK the trade unions 
managed to keep fireman on electric locomotives - but we don't want to 
subsidise the outdated business of record companies, do we?

Yes, due to technological changes, currently artists depend much more on 
concerts ands less on record sales than they used to. But there are 
specialised agencies that organise concert. This is not something for record 
companies. It is much better for competition, and sound markets, to have 
many specialised agents than just the old-fashioned conglomerate of a record 

I recall a paper by an economics professor explaining new business models in 
the music industry. It is all very feasible, if only one is prepared to let 
innovation happen, instead of blocking innovation for some short-sighted 
interests of record companies.

I have a similar experience with publishers. Reccently, I have been asked to 
write a chapter of a (scientific) book, and I found it a big honbour, when I 
saw the list of authors asked to contribute other chapters. But then I asked 
the editor - somewhat ashamed - whether I would receive any money for my 
contribution. She smiled and said, oh no, of course not! Still, some people 
believe that the name of a big publlisher helps to get attention of fellow 
scientists. But the LULU business model shows that there are alternatives. 
For scientific magazines, publishers often are seen as they ennemy, 
askingoutrageous subscription fees, while paying nothing to the authors (or 
even asking money from the authors too!), but they are believed to be 
indispensable to organise peer reviews (incidentally, the reviewers are not 
paid either). I think this is just plain bullshit. IMHO, again there is 
perhaps a need for a *specialised* agency, which rates articles, as an 
additional, optional service. Traditional publishers practice "tie in", 
bundling products and services that should not be bundled. The result is 
like economics textbooks predict: poor service, high prices.

> Hi Reinier,
>> The good news is that artists don't really need record companies anymore.
>> Making recordings has become much cheaper due to the development of
>> technology. And distribution has become much easier due to the Internet.
> Well, record companies do some more work than just pressing the records...
> Of course, if an artist has no need for pr and wants to organize his tours
> all himself and has the needed connections to be played in heavy
> rotations, than he does not need a record company anymore. The heavy
> rotation is by the way optional. You can sell records without beeing
> played in the radio. But it becomes some easier.
>> PP might do the following:
>> - look what musicians are representing what companies, and seek publicty
>> (no
>> flyers)
>> - promote distributor-less distribution by explaining the viability of
>> alternate business models
> I a running since some more than a year
> http://musik.klarmachen-zum-aendern.de/
> The site was launched by pirate party and is now run by a separate
> institution called Musikpiraten. I am collecting a broad range of artists,
> projects and news there and I'd be glad if it could get some international
> support. Of course, the fame would come in the first place to the
> Musikpiraten (musikpirates) and not to the pirate party, but I think the
> party does not end in itself and Musikpiraten is know as beeing pretty
> closely linked to the party.
> Christian
> ____________________________________________________
> Pirate Parties International - General Talk
> pp.international.general at lists.pirateweb.net
> http://lists.pirateweb.net/mailman/listinfo/pp.international.general 

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