athelind: (Default)
I just read a BoingBoing article entitled "Heavy illegal downloaders buy more music", and felt compelled to respond. I'm copypasting my response here.

The particular passage that prompted my participation was in the final paragraph, where someone defending file sharing is quoted as saying:

"The people who file-share are the ones who are interested in music," said Mark Mulligan of Forrester Research. "They use file-sharing as a discovery mechanism. We have a generation of young people who don't have any concept of music as a paid-for commodity," he continued. "You need to have it at a price point you won't notice."


Even Mr. Mulligan doesn't quite get it, when he says things like "We have a generation of young people who don't have any concept of music as a paid-for commodity". It still presents the Net Generation as somehow lacking, somehow qualitatively different in their ethos than those who came before.

My generation and my father's generation didn't think of music as a "paid-for commodity", either. All you needed was a radio. If you had a good-quality stereo with a tape deck, and a station with a reliable request line, poof! It was yours. The Net improved the quality, reliability, selection and simplicity of the process, but that's it.

And who went to that kind of trouble in the Eight-Track era?

People who really loved music, and also bought a lot of it.

Free music and free downloads, like free radio, are primarily "discovery tools", and always have been. They're the best advertising any musician could ask for.

When Napster first arrived on the scene in the '90s, I said, "this is the 21st century version of radio." When the record companies freaked out about it, and about MP3.com, it wasn't because of their products getting distributed for free, no matter what they said. It was because independent bands without big label contracts were getting just as much exposure as the indentured servants that the labels had put so much marketing machinery behind. People were getting music that wasn't being vetted by the Priests of the Temple of Syrinx.

That's the big threat to the music industry, and all this talk about "piracy" is just smoke and mirrors.

athelind: (Default)


Mallett just crammed so much about pop culture, high culture, and transformative art into four panels that I'm nigh-speechless.

Just as a single example: Hollywood gets lambasted for "running out of ideas" whenever they remake an old movie or adapt a TV show, but I don't think I've ever heard the same accusation when we see Yet Another Movie about King Arthur, Robin Hood, or Sherlock Holmes.


athelind: (Default)
Your Obedient Serpent just got a spam call on his cell phone.

It wasn't one of the scam calls about my "automobile service contract" expiring, the ones that everyone was getting for a while there. This was a local carpet cleaning outfit.

I assume that it was a spam call, and not a wrong number. I hung up as soon as she identified herself.

You know, I've heard that there are some providers that let you customize the incoming ring on your cell -- the one that people hear when they dial your number.

I want to do that, and have a EULA as the ring for any unknown number:

"Unsolicited callers are advised that, by dialing this number, they have agreed to be invoiced for Mr. Stormdancer's time and attention. Billing amount is entirely at Mr. Stormdancer's discretion, and will commence as soon as the call has connected; this includes leaving messages on Mr. Stormdancer's voice mail. The use of an automated calling system is considered to be automatic consent to this license agreement. Thank you."


athelind: (Default)
In an obscure comment on TV Tropes, I read a rumor that part of Fox's motivation in the Watchmen suit may be to leverage Warner into finally clearing up the DVD rights tangle on the Adam West Batman series.

If this gets resolved with "We'll let you release Watchmen if you let us release Batman on DVD", that's a win/win in my book, and Fox might actually be forgiven their trespasses on the comics community.

Bear in mind the source -- this is an unattributed wiki comment about a rumor. I'm not even sure if there are rights issues with Digital Distribution of Dozier's Dynamic Duo: the Movie based on the series has been out in several editions over the years.


athelind: (Default)

Judge rules in favor of Fox's frivolous Watchmen lawsuit.



The movie won't hit the March release date, if we even see it this year.

[livejournal.com profile] jdarkwulf notes that Fux waited until the movie was far enough along to start showing "flashy, FX-laden trailers" before they filed suit -- which isn't quite true, since they filed in February, but I do agree that the waited long enough to demonstrate "bad faith" to the court.

I say we march on the Fox studios, and leave them a smoking ruin.

Or find an inside man who can hack their computer systems and leave them in a smoking ruin.

So long as a smoking ruin is involved, I'm happy.

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