[pp.int.general] Protest certain musicians?
b.schillo at gmx.net
Tue Oct 20 13:18:30 CEST 2009
Richard Stallman schrieb:
> Some musicians are obnoxiously opposed to sharing.
> I wonder if it might be interesting to protest them;
> for instance, hand out leaflets at their concerts.
In my opinion no good idea. It's not that easy. For musicians the
situation is different than for software-programmers:
- As a programmer you are able to release something under a free licence
and then work for a company who uses closed source. As a musician you
have to decide once (at least in germany, as in most countrys as far as
i know). If you once decide to use free licences you aren't able to
participate at the "usual business", for example collecting societies.
- The music business is much older than the software business. And it's
therefore much more inflexible. There are 4 big major labels who own
over 80% of the market and who own also distribution channels. And there
are the indie-labels which fight about the rest of the market. So it's
nearly impossible to avoid them if you want to earn money from anything
but giving lessons in guitarplaying or playing on the street.
- Software is needed by nearly every modern business to make the
business run. Pepole therefore are willing to pay for it. Companies are
willing to pay for it, even for open source software. They still need
the work of programmers as a service. But nobody needs music as a
service except a wedding party.
- There is the justifiable hope that open souce software can replace
closed source software one day by itself. Linux or gimp can replace
windows or photoshop once they have developed nearly the same features,
because there are not very much emotional aspects. But how can i replace
a musical piece which impressed me when i was young?
- Software can be developed over a span of time by different people. A
musical composition may be developed in a similar way, but i suppose
that this is not the usual way. Usually one composer works on a piece.
- In this discussion and in the public opinion in general it's often
forgotten that the musical interpreter is not always the same person as
- So there are a lot of people with different skills to make a concert a
nice experience for the visitor: composer, musicians, technicians etc. .
For example even the drummer of a band has a fundamental different job
than the singer. The drummer sits in the background and is really
important for the "groove", for the rythm. But most people look at the
singer or the guitarplayer. That's why as a singer/songwriter you have
to be really famous so you can pay your musicians and technicians, if
you want to produce good sounding music. But how become famous without
good musicians and technicians? A concert is a kind of theater. The
audience may adore the "superstar" (usually the singer) and focus on
him, but without a good drummer, composer, sound engineers, a good
organisation etc. it doesn't work. So the "superstar" is less important
than we think and in most cases he is "made" by industry and marketing.
If you convince him, that sharing is good and he has to publish under
free licences, he will not become famous and there will be others who
want to play his part.
- The Pop culture with Bands like the Beatles or the Rolling Stones left
the impression, that a band is a unique thing with members tied together
in a mythical way. That's bullshit.
- There are lots of good musicians who are forced to play on the street
because they have no chance to record their music in a professional way.
Shure, with the computer it has become easier and cheaper to record
music, but still it's nearly impossible to record a drumset at home in a
When i read your comment, Musicians are "obnoxiously opposed to sharing"
and you want to protest them, i miss all this differentiations. What
Musician do you mean? The persons who stand in the spotlight? The
composer, the singer, the drummer, the sound enigineer? With this
statement you disregard the fact, that the "superstar"-status of the
most musicians is artificially made by the industry.
So in my opinion it's not a good idea to protest musicians. We have to
protest the record companies and the laws and we have to tell the people
about the advantages of sharing. But demanding only from the musicians
to abandon their rights is the same as demanding from a software
programmer not only to work for an open source project but to decide for
once, that he never again will work for nearly all companies who make
money in the software business.
Meanwhile a lot of musicians are not "obnoxiously opposed to sharing"
any more. Even famous ones who are associated with the the major
business. The discussion has reched the next level, i suppose. Now it's
no longer about accepting that filesharing is okay and that we have to
change copyright. It's about _how_ to change copyright.
Some people in the pirate party for example suggest a copyright of 15
years for commercial exploitation. I strongly oppose this, because it
would disadvantage the creator instead of the companies who
commercialise the copyrights. For my part copyrights can be completely
abolished - but if that is not going to happen, in my opinion it's _not_
ok to reduce them to a span below the lifetime of the creator. A
company, who owns distribution channels is able to make money of a
composition within 15 years. A musician, who plays on the street, is not.
(I mean copyrights for commercial use - the private use of copyrightet
material should be free of course).
If the pirate party wants the musicians to be the losers of the system
while companies can go on making money by copyrights then i will no
longer support the pirates, what i (as a musician and
music-/copyright-blogger on http://musikdieb.de ) have done for three
years now. I was one of 52 founders of the german pirates, former member
of the national board and am still very active in the pirate party. But
unfortunately there still are not very much musicians and artists in the
party. And the computer nerds in the party don't seem to understand
their concerns, cause they don't realize the complexity of their business.
And because of this reasons the pirate party has not very much success
in convincing other people. How can i convince a musician, when i want
to disadvantage him instead of the industry? First we have to understand
the music business. Then we have to suggest a political solution, which
does not privilege the music-industry while disadvantaging the
musicians. Then we can start to convince musicians.
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