Posts Tagged ‘piracy’

The legions of staff employed by NBC to stop piracy speak out

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

In 2009, Mr. Skinner’s unit sent out 427,000 takedown notices. But last year, as illicit videos became more prevalent, that number grew to 3.9 million. For “Suits,” the unit has sent out more than 40,000 notices.

Strike that, they’ve only got twenty employees and lots of automation to try and stem their share of “$58 billion of losses” (a number made up by the MPAA). But the WSJ article shows a huge amount of ‘reaction’ to the issues, and no proactive reasons to try and provide a better solution for people who want to watch NBC’s content.

More musical thoughts like this one from Neil Young, please

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

 “Piracy is new radio. That’s how music gets around.”

Smart thinking from Belladonna on the piracy of their third album

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Belladaonna‘s Dani Macchi, via Facebook, on scoring 20,000 downloads of their new album,” And There Was Light…”

Wow, almost 20.000 downloads in a week! Yes it’s an illegal download website, so we won’t see a penny out of all these downloads… but it’s hard for us to give a damn about that, we are too busy celebrating the fact that so many people chose to add our beloved latest album in their collection!

Pop quiz, is Macchi right?

I think the honest answer is yes. If someone had approached the band and said they could get their music into the ears of 20,000 people who think they like the music (and not just a random mailshot), would they have been sensible to say yes? And if it was free?

Thinking about this as a promotional exercise for the band in my mind is the right thing to do in the 21st Centure. Paraphrasing Cory Doctorow once more, “the biggest problem in the 21st century is not piracy but obscurity.” If even 5% of those downloaders love the band and the music that they turn round and buy a CD from the band, that’s a thousand sales, at a gross of 13 Euros. You do the maths, that’s a nice return. No multiply that over all the “illegal download sites” on the net, and perhaps you can begin to see how totally independent bands like Belladonna can not only survive, but thrive online.

PS: Belladonna are of course regulars on The Rock Show, and if you’re new to them, start with their second album, “The Noir Album”. That’s probably a touch more accssible than the concept-like “And There Was Light…”

Gerry Rafferty sang “take the money and run”, but where’s the money in music today?

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

I’ve spent this week talking to music labels (three, to be exact, none of which would allow attribution for anything that they said), previously-huge artists and those who one day will be. My  goal was to find out how artists were finding ways to make money in an era where digital piracy is rampant. As many people as you’ll talk to, that’s how many different stories that you’ll find. But some of the people who would allow themselves to be quoted had some great insight and we’ll talk about that here.

The Next Web talks to a Steve Lawson about music in the 21st century. Fun reading.

Dear movie industry, have you learned from Napster?

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Bill Wyman (no, of NPR, not the Stones) lays it al out in depth over on Slate.

The trouble facing the movie industry right now is the same one the music industry had to confront 10 years ago. This is the summing-up sentence I referred to above.The easiest and most convenient way to see the movies or TV shows you want is to get them illegally… Again, to belabor the obvious: The illegal version isn’t just free. It’s better.

Update: This is really a "blog post to which the answer is no", but Tom Sizemore points out on Twitter the new coalition called Creative America. I think I can bold that "no" with that link.

The three months that will hurt The Muppets

Monday, June 20th, 2011

See if you can spot the problem in this report about "The Muppets" movie:

…The first big screen outing for the Muppets since 1999′s Muppets from Space, will open in the US on November 23 and February 17, 2012 in the UK.

Exactly. What do you think the internet is going to be doing on the evening of November 23rd (apart from celebrating 48 years of Doctor Who)? Do Disney really think we’re going to wait almost three months to see this film?

Music is the drug but will prohibition ever be over?

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Spotted this as I bounced around the web this morning. It’s a section of an opinion piece for BBC News by John Taylor (kids, he was in Duran Duran) makes this observation.

I’m still buying copies of that first Roxy Music album, I’m almost embarrassed to say – import copies on premium vinyl, anniversary CD copies, Japanese imports with paper sleeves, iTunes downloads when I’m on the road and need a fix. Such was the power of that initial strike.

The choice of words, namely fix and initial strike bring visions of very addictive drugs to mind. Think of the dire warnings that go along with cocaine, cake, speed, clarky-clark, cannabis or heroin.

Now think about the power of songs like Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Ebeneezer Goode or, err, Heroin.

And ‘the industry’ makes sure we keep paying over and over again to keep getting our hit of the hits.

Hmmm… anyone care to cue up The Verve singing “The Drugs Don’t Work”?


Why Do MP3’s Encourage Piracy while AAC Is The Salvation on the Nintendo DSi?

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

What is in the water at Nintendo UK? There’s a nice interview with David Yarnton in the Times today, talking about the soon to be launched in the UK Nintendo DSi. It’s an evolution of the existing DS Lite, with basic cameras, SD Card support and an on-device store.

Are they talking on the iPhone? Of course they are. But sometimes I wonder just what they think pirates are up to. First of all they’re proud that the DSi will not recognise the R4 Card (which is used to run homebrew code and .nds downloaded games). That protection should last about… ooh… 27 minutes.With updateable firmware Yarnton reckons they can keep one step ahead at all times.

Like that worked on the PSP.

But even more wacky is the music support. With SD card support, a small form factor, and a regular headphone socket, this could be a great little music player. But Nintendo don’t want you to even think about playing pirate music on the DSi. Let me quote directly:

As for music, if we allowed MP3 playback, a lot of those files may be pirated. We support AAC, which is the format used by Apple and iTunes.

David Yarnton, interviewed on The Times.

Give me strength. Because nobody has ever wondered how to change MP3 files into AAC files.

Oh, hold on. Import an MP3 into iTunes and it will convert it to an AAC file. But pirates would never think of that….

“How Do We Make Money Now?” asks the Music Industry. Simple…You Don’t

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

One of the fun things you can do when browsing the internet is start to see an article asking a question, and then finding the answer yourself on another page. Take this example…

Over on BBC News is a report from the Midem Music Conference in Cannes, and the struggles that the music industry is going through a crisis of confidence. While they seem to have accepted that downloading over the internet is here to stay, they want to know “how do we make money now?”

And this is the crux of the problems with digital music – massive companies that are making huge profits on music instead of the artist.

Next link is an interview with Lily Allen from Q Radio (and covered on Digital Spy). Allen is a well established musical artist – not in the massive zone such as U2 or Madonna, but comfortably in the top 5%. Her debut album, Alright, has sold over two million copies. her earnings? £50,000. That’s a massive 2 and a half pence per album going to the artist.

Her money is made through other area, such as licensing the music to TV and films, concert sales and merchandise. She says “I don’t make any money out of record sales at all” which leads me to think she should just give it away… but of course the record company might not like that. Can’t think why.

I wonder how long till we see a protection racket like operation where they get an automatic cut from people paying for internet access, irrespective to what (or who) they listen to on their personal computers?