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Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)


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Slight derail, but the topic has been brought up several times about how artists should own the rights to their songs.

However, that's not how record label agreements work. When artists sign a label agreement, they often times sell at least a portion of their copyright to the songs they write/perform. Most composers who write lyrics/music for singers in the industry don't even see their name appear in the credits for songs released on albums, as I believe they sell their entire copyright for the song over to the record label.

I know that several of my friends who have written music for commercials, presentations, etc. have sold the rights to the song to the company that hired them. Obviously, well-known composers often are able to negotiate and keep the rights to the song, or at least partial rights, but small-time composers don't get that luxury, as they're just trying to make a living by selling their craft.

Obviously, there are several people in this community that actually have first hand experience on producing music for companies, so they could probably explain much better than I, I just figured that I would enlighten the people that brought up the subject in the first place.

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I think Dyne's argument is that artists get screwed. They're forced (or at least pressured) to sign an agreement with the label, and in doing so, give up some of the rights to their music. Legal, yes, but I think his point is that it's not the way it should be.

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  • 3 years later...

Just wondering, is this the same ACTA that Obama just signed off on?

What is that going to mean for us and OCR?

I wanted to make a torrent of all of the music I've released (mostly original stuff since 2005) but now...

ACTA allows:

Allows cencorship of the internet

They can search your iPod or computer without giving a reason

They can confiscate your iPod or computer without giving a reason

They can monitor what you do online

They can block websites deemed "unacceptable" without limit

It will block p2p technology, like uTorrent

It will allow ISPs to PERMANENTLY ban you from the internet without trail

It will allow arrests based on things you search

Credit where due, I heard about this from Bahamut on Facebook earlier, that seems to be where I'm getting most of my news on these things (Facebook, not Wes in particular, hehe)

Do we need to censor ourselves? Can even talking about this negatively get us in trouble?

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I'm really getting tired of these fucking bullshit "intellectual property rights" laws they want to pass. The world has a million worse problems and they do fuck all about that, but download an episode of Seinfeld and the hammer swings down.

Truth. Do the wrong thing on the internet and you end up with hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines or risk prison for 10+ years. There are rapists and murderers doing less time than that. I'm not against trying to make proper laws for the internet (that don't trounce on our basic rights...) but holy crap someone downloading a few songs without paying for them did NOT cause anyone millions of dollars in "damage". ;iknasdfknis;alfik

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Okay, I just want to back up a second and voice an opinion. I'm not advocating invasion of personal privacy, first amendment rights, violation of personal property, and all that stuff.

I'd just like to point out that, personally, I haven't purchased or listened to a new album from a commercial artist in over two years that was in any way shape or form involved with a major record label (I haven't watched more than maybe three or four major motion pictures in the theatre in that time as well, and anything else I've seen was either watched over Netflix or bought on the cheap on bluray or DVD, however I'm making this case solely based on musician's situations). With the advent of things like Soundcloud, Bandcamp, and other services that offer free, pay-what-you-want, and reasonably-priced static costs for albums and songs that go 85-90% directly to the artist, what need is there to bitch and moan about the labels that charge too much money and then file lawsuits against its own listeners? There seems to me to be a wealth of resources for free and cheapasfree music of all types now on the internet, all of which the RIAA would have no grounds to launch suits over even if there were infringments.

Instead of going after the corporations that keep pressuring governments internationally to enact this kind of policy, go and send a message to the musicians themselves that you will no longer listen to or purchase the music of people whom are represented by the RIAA. Here's a quick list, mostly from personal experience, on how to get massive amounts of music legally for life, and a lot of it for free:

1) torrent free music. By this I mean you can torrent albums that artists have released for free and given their blessing to be shared through bittorrent due to its cost-saving bandwidth reduction benefits. There are tons of albums that are in this category, you just have to go and find them (and also make sure that yes, they are free and consented to be shared via bittorrent. A good movie example of this is Big Buck Bunny.)

2) purchase or freely download music from websites like Bandcamp and Soundcloud. While you may need to research and make sure that it isn't one of the major labels that posted it and is collecting there on behalf of said artist, this is one of the best ways to support a musician while getting drm-free music that you can redownload in a multitude of formats forever. Easier than trying to keep a disc from breaking, and more versatile since you can download seemingly with no limit once you purchase. Even better, nearly every artist on these sites has either the full album or at least a few full-song demos that you can play right there in your browser. Great way to listen to an album completely and then decide if you want to support the people who made it.

3) purchase music directly from the artist. A little bit more homegrown but there are still people who do this, no harm in asking if a musician who's material you want can sell/give it to you with no middleman.

4) download from free music sites like OC ReMix. As long as fair use is in good standing, and in my personal opinion there's no amount of money in the world that would convince the supreme court that a vast personal reinterpretation available for free of a copyrighted song violates fair use, sites like OC ReMix will be around and thriving.

5) go to concerts for artists you want to support but are on major labels. The cost of touring is usually fronted by the band itself, and even if ticket sales are partially garnished by a label or representation agency, the merchandise being sold at shows besides discs generally have the majority of their profit going towards the band itself.

I absolutely disagree with forcing ISPs to invade their user's privacy and police their internets, but in all seriousness, what can the objectors do as a group? It is unlikely that there would be enough money pooled from a fundraiser or drive to invest in lobbyists that can effectively counter the kind of influence big media has in DC right now. Petitions and protests can only do so much. Want to hit the people who are responsible for this kind of crap where it hurts and eventually remove their power and ability to do this? Two ways:

1) Do not listen to, support, purchase, or even pirate material from artists that have any bit of money going to the RIAA. The RIAA pays for their lawyers and lobbyists with the profits of their media sales, along with some of the money made by suing the pants off of people (but this counts as a very minor amount compared to the money they make in sales).

2) Tell all the musicians who you listen to that you will not be giving them a dime until they allow you to purchase material from them in a manner that does not contribute to the RIAA.

optional: if you really really can't not purchase or listen to artists that are under the umbrella of the RIAA-represented labels, buy your music second-hand in a physical format from friends or used music stores, heck even on ebay as long as the RIAA doesn't get a cut. However this has limited viability because if the RIAA sees there are still sales and listeners but they're getting things all second-hand now, you can bet your ass they're going after those places that do it with more fervor as their money dwindles.

I really don't expect this to be heeded in any way that will make a difference, I'm just pointing out that this can likely be effectively stopped at the source by a) being upstanding citizens and not listening to the artists that help, advertantly or inadvetantly, contribute to the people that cause these continuous problems, and B) getting all your music somewhere that doesn't put a thing in the pockets of the RIAA.

The landscape of the industry is changing now more than it has in the last 50 years. Just like there is a current divide between small game publishers and creators (the "indie" scene, as some call it) and the big game publishers, so to is there a divide between DIY, indie, self-publishing musicians and the gargantuan labels that represent relics of an age where they refuse to evolve as the rest of the world does. They can't punish you for not downloading or listening to an album, they also can't punish you for selling an album and not giving them a cut. So clean up your methods of buying and selling, and things rapidly improve for your and everyone else.

If you're a musician yourself and are trying to sell your music without contributing to the problem, see again alternate methods that are up-and-coming like bandcamp (god, this is starting to sound like one big-ass bandcamp suckoff, but really, they're doing it the way it should be done in the digital age). Trust in your fans to support you, and with social media working the way it does its so much easier to circumvent the need to have things being pushed by people with big mouths.

tl;dr - stop suppporting artists who contribute any funds to RIAA (MPAA as well if we're talking movies), and get all your musicians to hop on board methods of selling that are tailored to the digital age. There's so much music available for free or cheap already that really there should be no complaint about not having enough to listen to to the point where you have to pirate*.

I now await everyone's arguments and verbal assaults.

* two notes. 1) see here for an interesting read on piracy, and how I totally misused the word in this post http://newmusicstrategies.com/2008/04/03/should-i-be-worried-about-piracy/

2) I'm primarily addressing people who live in the US, either as content creators or content consumers.

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