Pirating, us and the future.

Phil Maturano

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hello everyone. I am writing to check in with the population of drummers here to see how you feel about pirating of music and all other forms of art.
I would like to hear specifically from younger cats who grew up with computers an the Internet. As you may or may not know, this problem is bankrupting the industry.
Now... I am totally against record companies and I hope the major
labels due as soon as possible for continuing to polllute the world with tripe. Haha
But ... This problem hurts independents artists more then it does huge corporations.
I can't tell you how many of my friends are deciding against releasing any more material until this problem is worked out. It's really out of control now.

Here us a personal example if I may.
My DVD Afro Cuban drumming has apparently stolen / downloaded from torrents over 45,000 times. This is ... Very disturbing and extremely sad for
me since the thing cost a small fortune to produce. Not to mention the 11 months it took to finish. It was tons and tons of work.
So I have a series of questions which I hope someone can answer and I hope that we can exchange ideas here about this. IMHO we need to solve this together because one day you will be in the position I am in.


Do you think all music and instructional material should be free?
Do you download music from iTunes?
Do you know about and use torrents?
Do you think movies should be free?
Also, does anyone see positive solutions for the future?
Does any one know of technology that prevents torrent sharing?
Do you project yourself into the future and put yourself in the position of artists now?
Or do you consider it a compliment if someone downloads your material.


Lots of questions but... There are many issues we have here and if we are not the pioneers on this ...no one will do anything.

I look forward to all thoughts.
 
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bonhamdrummer123

Senior Member
I have never used and don't really plan on using torrent or any other program to download any free music, movies, or other videos. I think if something is worth having I can pay the generally reasonable fees to have it. Unfortunately I don't know of anything to prevent torrent downloading and I doubt anything of that kind exists out there. Even if there was it's almost inevitable that someone would find a way around it and share it with another 45,000 people. I don't think illegally downloading DVD's or music will ever stop because people are hypocritical. They don't think of independent artists and just think of big corporations being greedy and taking their money, when in fact pirating to get stuff for free sounds pretty greedy to me.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Hi Phill. I met you ever so breiefly in 92 at PIT. I think you filled in for Richie Garcia when he went on tour. Or something like that.

It is an interesting paradox we live in. Computers make it easier for thousands of bands to get their music out there to be heard that we would otherwise never discover. Some of my favorite bands I would have never discovered if it weren't for the net.

But the net has made if very difficult for anyone to make any money. Major bands are hurting, but really, it's the medium and smaller level bands that really get killed.

And what is sad is most people today just don't see it as a big deal. I'm flabbergasted at how many kids think nothing of downloading music for free. And even parents of said kids who see nothing wrong with helping their kids download a program that helps them turn steaming audio from youtube and myspace into MP3's for their ipods.

I posted this a while back on a non-musician forum, about downloading:

Excuse me while I get on my soap box for a second....

I really hate that such a large part of the general public things music is just there for the taking, and musicians don't deserve to get paid for it, or if they do, they must be selling out.

Yes, I hate bland bubble gum pop and band wagon bands that just jump on what ever trend, but why is it a crime for a musician to make a dollar?

People don't realize a professional drum kit, with all the cymbals, stands, and such, costs $4,000 to $5000 easily. If it's a metal band with a large double bass drum kit, make it closer to $10,0000. A good guitar is usually in the $600 to $2,000 range, plus another $2,000 to $5,000 in amps, effects, cables, strings, etc. And this is before road cases.

To make a decent album, even with Protools driving down the cost, it's still $10,000 to $100,000 to create a really good sounding record.

Not to mention another $1,000 to $6,000 per year to rent a decent rehearsal room to practice in, and unknown amounts for lessons, gas to and from lessons and rehearsal,.

Any really good band that has good equipment is easily $50,000K to $100K in expenses between individual band members and collective band costs before they even can say "listen to our demo!"

But oh god no, the music fan can't be bothered to pay more then 99 per song, of just download it for free. And if the band dares make a $1, they must be selling out!!!!! Oh god, those sell outs, they shouldn't be allowed to eat or pay rent, because if they get even a penny, their artistic values are compromised!! Every try going to the grocery store and seeing if they'll let you have free food because you're a musician?

Add in musicians get no health benefits, no pension, no job security.

But yeah, they're all sell outs for wanting to maybe eat and pay rent. Or at least recover their initial investment.


And even people in their 30's and 40's had no sympathy for the musicians plight.

A very large segment of the population really doesn't think music should be paid for, and has no clue, nor a care, that a musician has invested thousands into making said music.

Which is perhaps why so much pop music is just machines these days.

I don't think there is much that can be done though. It is what it is. We can complain, protest, or attempt to educate, but the prevailing attitude for the population at large is why pay for something you can get for free. And many illegal downloads are overseas, where the fan often has few options to buy, and enforcement of copywrite laws are lax.
 

dale w miller

Silver Member
I think you and I are in the same boat. I noticed that the last Palomar record was on a good amount illegal downloading sites before the album was even released. This is stealing going to the point where the only way we can make money is playing live or licensing.

The problem is the people who are doing it feel justified. I've gotten into plenty of arguments in this regards and they even say fellow musicians support it because it brings a larger fan base. My only thought to you is with 45,000 illegal downloads, do you honestly think you would have had that many sales? Perhaps they were simply checking it out the same way they would have if they were at a library, friend's house or music store.

My main problem is, whether this ultimately becomes the standard or not, is that people are deciding what to do with what is my music/property.
 

ANIMALBEATS

Silver Member
Well, to be honest I can understand why, Instuctional DVD's and the like are astronomicaly expensive, I'm on a poor wage and it can cost me almost an entire shift to pay for one. So I can see why people would download your materiel.

In my mind the future of music lies in live events

I do copy music but if I truly like somthing then I will buy it, just to support the cause and obtain the peice in physicality.
 

dale w miller

Silver Member
Well, to be honest I can understand why, Instuctional DVD's and the like are astronomicaly expensive, I'm on a poor wage and it can cost me almost an entire shift to pay for one. So I can see why people would download your materiel.

In my mind the future of music lies in live events

I do copy music but if I truly like somthing then I will buy it, just to support the cause and obtain the peice in physicality.
Cost does not justify theft. People who state that I ask, would you walk in a car dealership and take any car you want though you can't afford one at the moment?
 

aydee

Platinum Member
Phil, I'm in the biz and these are heavy questions, with no easy answers. I'm sure its a terrible thing to see your product get ripped off, while you watch helplessly. Truth is, people will take what they dont HAVE to pay for. Thats human nature, barring that one guy with a conscience who will try and do whats fair.

This is what the industry has been grappling with for 10 years and hasn't come up with any 'write -protects', yet

The only thing I can share with you at this moment is what I think the immediate future holds.

I think the minute you separate the musician from the music, you are dead in the water. I think the music will/can always be stolen, so you might as well give it away. Think of it as a promotional flier for you. Something that extends your brand equity as an artist amongst your audience. What you can control is your performance. Video streaming gigs, online performances, one of a kind events, clinics, etc which are advertised online and get a global audience ( possibilities here could be immense.. think how many people you fit into the Collective versus the number of interested people across the world online). This is what people will pay for. Think of it as modern day Grateful Dead. Everyone was there for the live/real experience. The recorded music was just a reminder, a memento if you will.. U2 is doing all this very successfully already, but they are already a huge successful commercial band ( in no small part, due to thinking like this.. ), but a lot of other musicians are beginning to think this way too.

Just my thoughts..

..
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I posted this a while back on a non-musician forum, about downloading: ..............................
Excellent rant..........pretty much sums up my thoughts on that matter.

Well, to be honest I can understand why, Instuctional DVD's and the like are astronomicaly expensive, I'm on a poor wage and it can cost me almost an entire shift to pay for one. So I can see why people would download your materiel.
Would you use the same logic to justify lifting someone's car though Animal? It'll take a years worth of wages to buy the car I want, so I'll just nick this persons......after all, he already owns one so he must be rich.

In my mind the future of music lies in live events
Yeah, but they still don't keep to keep the entire entry fee of a live gig either. there are many mouths to feed such as crew, production, promotion, security.....the list goes on. There's no way the payments from live gigs will offset the money lost on piracy.
 

Thaard

Platinum Member
Cost does not justify theft. People who state that I ask, would you walk in a car dealership and take any car you want though you can't afford one at the moment?
I would, if I could get away with it. You can get away with pirating, because it's impossible to track everyone who downloads illegaly. With the invention of the internet and the modern computer, pirating and sharing can be done by virtually everyone. The internet is here to stay, and what ever the big companies throw at the hackers and piraters, they will always, ALWAYS find ways. It doesnt help when WMG censors youtube-covers and pull spotify-tracks, because they don't make enough money. The closest thing to a solution, is the game-producers VALVe, who have a program named Steam, that needs to be startet to be able to play. Even that, the hackers have broken..
 

Phil Maturano

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
I am very glad to see cats posting on this thread. It is a very serious topic that affects every single one of us.

I can see already that some controversial thoughts are popping up.

So 45,000 is the number and counting !!!
If 10,000 of those people would have bought the DVD. I would have no worries. But it seems that people are completly and utterly heartless about plain stealing it. There is no consideration in buying it going on.

As far as the pricing goes. That excuse never holds water.
On amazon you can get the DVD for 20 bucks sometimes
20 bucks versus lessons that cost thousands of dollars to learn myself not mention years of practice and gigging experience to pull it off. Hmmm yes 20 is too much. Haha.

There is no technology that streams video at the moment? One that makes it view only?
 

Moldy

Silver Member
Do you think all music and instructional material should be free?
No, I do not. However, when sharing is so easy, I feel that I should have an extended trial before purchasing, so to speak. Many companies over a 30-day money back guarantee and such... this is just the modern equivalent. If I download something, it's because I'm interested enough to try it out. If I like it a lot, I will go buy it. If I don't like it, or use it one time (like some program needed for half a second but people are trying to charge $40 for it...), I will use it for a short time and then get rid of it. I also don't seed as I'm not thinking of the system as a sharing base so much as a system of trials.

Do you download music from iTunes?
I do not. I have a feeling, sometime down the road, that it'll be hard to prove what's downloaded legitimately and what isn't. Just a bit of paranoia, honestly. Regardless, I like the album art and think CDs sound much better, so I just buy the CD when I want music. Besides, I can loan CDs to friends if they want to listen instead of share with random "peers".

Do you know about and use torrents?
Yes. I've explained my position above.

Do you think movies should be free?
No, I do not, however, I think the costs to produce them and the price asked for them are ridiculous. Something like $25 for a bluray movie? Get real. I have respect for musicians and even some respect for the RIAA and record labels, but little to no respect for movie studios. It's hard to feel sympathetic to those who're getting 7 digit salaries regardless (and usually for trash).

Also, does anyone see positive solutions for the future?
Sharing is impossible to stop. People have been doing it forever, only the technology makes it easier now. The true way to solve the problem of lost cash flow is to curb greed and embrace advances. Charge less, control spending and encourage consumer involvement. Make the consumer feel like they are truly the number one priority. The Zune Marketplace is a good example of this. You can download an unlimited amount of songs per month but can only keep 10 or so and the membership costs $12 or so. Of course, you can buy more songs for normal price, but this method allows you listen to songs, repeatedly, absorb, let them grow on you... give you time to decide. Were I not paranoid (as I explained above), I'd definitely be buying from Zune.

Does any one know of technology that prevents torrent sharing?
There are methods, but usually, when employed, the consuming public backlashes by downloading even more than before. It feels like an attack by "big business" even when sometimes it's independent folks trying to put food on the table. There's encryption, making your own codec + player, etc... but these are intensive, require more money and in the end get cracked within a few weeks anyway.

Do you project yourself into the future and put yourself in the position of artists now?
I do, which is why I am sympathetic to musicians and buy their albums when I truly love their work. Most groups and musicians started out just like any of us... folks fiddling out in a garage, basement or elsewhere. They worked hard, got lucky and made it big. They're examples of why our country is great in most visible terms.

Or do you consider it a compliment if someone downloads your material.
I would. And I wouldn't be bothered so much about it if they payed to come see me. In a way, your work, your music is like your resume or advertisement to the world. It's a "hey, this is what I can do. You should come see me live. We can rock out and maybe kick back a few beers afterwards". At least the energy of a concert can't be torrented :)

Hope you find this useful. I know quite a few people who have no remorse about downloading and never plan to pay. But I find these people tend to be teens and young adults who haven't really worked, or worked hard, to get money or at a dream. They don't know how hard it is and thus don't respect it. I know because I was one of those kids just a few years ago.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Does any one know of technology that prevents torrent sharing?
.
The problem with this is as soon as one technology comes along that prevents sharing, another technology comes along to over ride it.

VHS found a way to insert a code so that copywrited tapes couldn't be copied, but then VHS was replaced by DVD.

The beauty of youtube when it started is the audio and video are only streamed, so an artist could put up whatever music they wanted without fear of it being downloaded. But now there are 101 programs that will recorded the stream as if it were downloaded.

If you designed the perfect program to imbed into a DVD so it couldn't be put on torrent, there would 100 software geeks working on a work around with in the hour, and 1000 more the next day. Only some would hack it with bad intentions, some would do it just for the challenge.
 

dale w miller

Silver Member
I would, if I could get away with it. You can get away with pirating, because it's impossible to track everyone who downloads illegaly. With the invention of the internet and the modern computer, pirating and sharing can be done by virtually everyone. The internet is here to stay, and what ever the big companies throw at the hackers and piraters, they will always, ALWAYS find ways. It doesnt help when WMG censors youtube-covers and pull spotify-tracks, because they don't make enough money. The closest thing to a solution, is the game-producers VALVe, who have a program named Steam, that needs to be startet to be able to play. Even that, the hackers have broken..
So basically it's for people like you why there are jails. I am not here to start a fight but laws, fines & jails exist because some people on this earth have no respect of other people. Would you kill or rape someone while you are at? It's mentality like this that though I do not gun, I truly can understand why some people feel it is necessary to own one. Some people simply feel they are above the law.
 

hauk

Silver Member
Do you think all music and instructional material should be free?
No. I think people just got the idea that with CDs and Vinyl (and DVDs) they were paying for the plastic, not the music.

Do you download music from iTunes?
No. I tried it for a while but missed the packaging.

Do you know about and use torrents?
That's a question that's bound to be misinterpreted. Torrents are used for large file transfers of any kind. There is nothing about them that limits them to illegal content. To answer your question, yes I have used them.

Do you think movies should be free?
No. I do think the cinema should be cheaper though.

Also, does anyone see positive solutions for the future?
Create content that makes it worthwhile for your fans to buy your product, give them legal download alternatives, or create enough loyalty in your audience that they don't want to steal from you. (Not all of them of course; someone always will steal)

Does any one know of technology that prevents torrent sharing?
You will never outrun the pirates. Any copy or torrent protection is just waiting to be broken quicker than it can be replaced.

Do you project yourself into the future and put yourself in the position of artists now?
I don't understand this question.

Or do you consider it a compliment if someone downloads your material.
I'll assume you mean illegally: yes. It's a bigger compliment for them to spend money on it, but a compliment nonetheless.
 

dale w miller

Silver Member
Moldy, I think most of your answers are good to great. Here are the only 2 I question seriously.

Do you think all music and instructional material should be free?
No, I do not. However, when sharing is so easy, I feel that I should have an extended trial before purchasing, so to speak. Many companies over a 30-day money back guarantee and such... this is just the modern equivalent. If I download something, it's because I'm interested enough to try it out. If I like it a lot, I will go buy it. If I don't like it, or use it one time (like some program needed for half a second but people are trying to charge $40 for it...), I will use it for a short time and then get rid of it. I also don't seed as I'm not thinking of the system as a sharing base so much as a system of trials.
In the case of instructional material I find that not very fair. It's like expecting the first drum lesson for free. Perhaps you got all the info you needed off that video for the first 24hrs it was free to you. Granted, it would be nice to refer back to it. Take notes like you would lesson.
Do you think movies should be free?
No, I do not, however, I think the costs to produce them and the price asked for them are ridiculous. Something like $25 for a bluray movie? Get real. I have respect for musicians and even some respect for the RIAA and record labels, but little to no respect for movie studios. It's hard to feel sympathetic to those who're getting 7 digit salaries regardless (and usually for trash).
None of us are really in any position to determine what a fair price is. All we know is that these movies cost millions of dollars to make and millions more to promote. If they do not make money in the first 3 weeks they are pulled out of the theater. The studios in turn have to make money off X movies to balance off the losses from Y movies. It's simple business really.
 

TheGroceryman

Silver Member
I think artists have to realize and assume that they just wont make any money off of selling their cds. I think at this point in time thats a given. I don't see anything in the near future that will slow down the popularity of illegally downloading music.

So thats why artists have to think of other ways to make money.....ie. concerts.

But not just awesome concerts that look amazing. I say they should "partner up" with other well known bands and have a 2-band or 3-band concert. Hard to pull off i know...but i say it would be worth it in the long run.

CD sales are real low, and i think they'll stay that way. But that doesn't mean the music industry is going to tumble and get destroyed. Concerts will always be there, bands just have to tour more often.

I'm actually writing my term paper on the reasons why the music industry is as bad as it is now, and i find this issue very interesting.
 

MisterMixelpix

Silver Member
Do you think all music and instructional material should be free?
Do you download music from iTunes?
Do you know about and use torrents?
Do you think movies should be free?
1) Not if what you're teaching is particularly unique. Generic instructional vids and material aren't worth buying, but many definitely are worth the cost.
2) Nope. I buy CDs if I really want 'em, "share" otherwise. I make up for that by buying lots of merch and concert tickets.
3) You bet.
4) Not at all.
 

MisterMixelpix

Silver Member
CD sales are real low, and i think they'll stay that way. But that doesn't mean the music industry is going to tumble and get destroyed. Concerts will always be there, bands just have to tour more often.
Now hold on, don't get it confused. Album sales are a bit down, but music sales as a whole are WAY up. People are just buying more singles. And there are two reasons for that, neither of which have to do with piracy: quality of the whole album, and the poor economy. With people strapped for cash, they'd rather drop two bucks for the two songs they really like than ten bucks for the whole crappy album, ya dig?
 

toddy

Platinum Member
before i post, do you want the honest truth, or shall i be less brutal? i'm not sailing the seas looting, but i'm very much with the people who do.

basically, do you want a musicians viewpoint, or a consumers?
 

dale w miller

Silver Member
Does anyone else feel that it is worse in the US than the Europe and Japan. I just find a lack of respect for the arts here.

Ex: When on tour in Europe, it is automatic that with every date given a place to stay, dinner and breakfast the next morning is automatic. That is laughable if you requested that as indie band in the US. The fact that the arts are always the first things cut in school budgets is also a big sign.

I think all of these things are reflective why people have no respect for a professional artist work. Bottom line, they do not considered it work. The fact we use the term "play an instrument" doesn't help our argument either.
 
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