[pp.int.general] Protest certain musicians?

Brian McNeil brian.mcneil at wikinewsie.org
Mon Oct 26 18:07:20 CET 2009

On Mon, 2009-10-26 at 16:03 +0100, Christian Hufgard wrote:
> Hi Brian,
> Brian McNeil wrote:
> > Related to music, and what music lovers should bear in mind, I have a
> > good friend that had a 'fortunate' incident with his substantial
> > collection of vinyl; his house was burgled and the whole lot stolen - 20
> > + years worth of collecting records. He'd been thoughtful enough to
> > explicitly get it listed on his home contents insurance, and managed to
> > replace most of what he'd lost with CDs; he made the format-shift to
> > digital at his insurance company's expense, but the rightsholder did
> > still get paid twice for the same content.
> But that would have also been the case, if he had bought vinyl again. And
> I cannot see, why this should be wrong. He got a whole set of new media.
> Also each "rightholder" of his other lost stuff will get money a second
> time - if he chooses to buy his products again.

I'm making a distinction between the person, or persons, who provided
the creative talent for a particular piece - a song, album, whatever -
and the entity who - most likely - has the exclusive rights to
distribute it. For vinyl, and CDs, I have absolutely no problem with
whoever mass produces such items making a profit, and, when you break
out the tiny amount that actually goes to the creator, I have no problem
with them getting repeat payment in such circumstances. You're paying
for a physical item, but the content therein is ever-increasingly moving
to an online digital form - the up-front costs of a pressing plant are
becoming less of an issue; the smarter media companies are realising
that their survival depends on a physical medium people want to have,
high-quality CD packaging, full lyrics, notes, comments, and photographs
from the band. In some respects, the move from vinyl to CD was
retrograde, there is such a small physical space to display album art
which I considered one of the valuable things when buying records.

> > The ways media companies want
> > to serve up their 'product' online does not seem to give you much option
> > to get it covered on your insurance - I wouldn't fancy negotiating with
> > them to establish you've thousands of pounds invested in iTunes content,
> > and they pay to replace it when something goes wrong; but, that's
> > because I'd want a clear clause in there saying they'd pay out if Apple
> > revoked the keys needed to access *my* content.
> I think that would be just a case between apple and you.

I don't know. I'm not a lawyer, and I've not gone through the iTunes
terms and conditions with a fine tooth comb. You do have the option to
backup to CD, but if you have to restore a media library from that
format I'm pretty sure you'd manually have to add all the metadata that
was otherwise available to you automatically; unless the CD you burn has
the correct identifier on it to match up with a database containing that
information (CDDB?).

I'd frame the 'iTunes breaks' idea as the equivalent of your record
player breaking. You get a new record player; you don't have to get a
new record player *and* buy all the same records again from the new
record player manufacturer.

I would *like* to be able to go to Apple where for some reason I lost
access to certain content and, provided I could prove I'd paid them for
it, receive a replacement copy with them just making a modest profit on
top of the cost of getting it to me and maintaining their distribution

I believe a competent cryptographer could design a system to enable that
proof to be provided, that it could be run independent of any
distributor like Apple, and the user would have complete control over
the privacy of their music purchasing habits on such a theoretical
independent system. From Apple's perspective that would be useful too, I
believe they allow three devices to store and play what you buy, getting
the content on all the computers you have in the house is inconvenient,
so if you could re-download to a newly authorised device for a small fee
there is another revenue stream for the service they provide.

Anyway, I assume you do know what's the 'cutting edge' of big media's
stupid ideas development department? Forcing companies like Apple to pay
them a royalty whenever you listen to a sample of a song before paying
to download a copy. That's like outlawing a listening booth in a record

> <insure your digital goods>

> Interesting idea. I cannot see any point, why digital goods should not be
> subject to an insurance. I'll check my policies to see, what my insurance
> company thinks about that. :)

Good luck with that! I would imagine it could be quite fun telling an
insurance broker you have several hundred pounds worth of music in
iTunes, and per the requirement to explicitly list items over a certain
value, you want to add that to your insurance policy.

Brian McNeil <brian.mcneil at wikinewsie.org>
Content of this message in no way represents the opinions or official
position of the Wikimedia Foundation or any of its projects.
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