Portland, Oregon, USA
Electronic Music discussion: Podcasts: legalities vs. fuck it
Written April 04 2010 , Tags: podcast, podcasts, podcasting, legal
My friend and I are having an argument about certain podcasts and the legal issues of copyrights, etc. I say there's no way that some of these podcasts are being cleared legally due to the large and varied amount of labels represented. My friend says they have some legal way of doing it somehow.
I just don't think it matters. Is Mouse on Mars really going to sue you for using one of their tracks in a podcast? I'm planning on releasing a few experimental DJ mixes as podcasts so I'm a little curious. I'll release them regardless, but I want to hear your thoughts on the subject.
well... most musicians prefer their music to be diffused than fighting with you, especially since everybody knows nobody makes any money with a podcast.
my opinion is: screw it !
Depends largely on the musician and their label, I think. Most electronic musicians need all the exposure they can get so they're probably cool with it.
I say do it. I gladly await the day I get a cease and desist. To me it's a happy problem that I might encounter when my song has reached enough people to get noticed.
if you arent going to be making money off of it i dont think theyre really going to care.
Yeah, my inclination is that it's not worth the hassle for you, and certainly not worth the hassle for them. Hassle is the buffer between life and the brutish nature of man. Thank God that being a jerk is usually so much trouble, few bother with it.
"jim" said: " Thank God that being a jerk is usually so much trouble, few bother with it."
I've been reading about opinions on intellectual property this weekend. Aside from the pragmatic question of 'will i get sued' there's a case to be made that intellectual property is an illegitimate, and unnecessary, concept to begin with (including copyright, patents, trademarks etc).
Property rights on _tangible_ objects (land, house, food) is an institution that does a very good job of avoiding conflict over scarce resources (a resource is scarce, in this context when its use by one person is mutually exclusive with its use by another person). Intellectual resources like ideas are not scarce though, an idea can be 'taken' and passed on indefinitely, without diminishing it in its originators mind. If we support IP rights, we are saying that the tangible property of others becomes partly our own at the moment we write an original passage, or record a song etc. Copyright says that we are not allowed to peacefully use our tangible property in any way we see fit; instead inventors and artists we've never met, and with whom we've made no agreement, have partial ownership of it. Put this way, it doesn't sound sane, imo.
One response is likely to be: "But if you copy a book, you rob the author of the profit he can make from his ideas!"
It's true that the author will be able to earn less with his idea once there's no longer has a violently enforced monopoly on its use. But no one has a right to the _value_ of the things they own.
Another response is along the lines of "Home taping is killing music [photography, literature etc]!"
Humans are very resourceful, but it's possible that if IP were to be removed, some professionals (who currently produce works that many people value) really wouldn't be able to find a way to make a living from what they do. That would be a shame, but imo it doesn't come close to the injustice of infringing on the property rights of peaceful strangers.
Interested to hear opinions on this.
Good stuff so far. For the record my interest has nothing to do with money. Podcasts are just really fun to make and I have all these old mixes just sitting in a box. I love the intellectual property controversy in all mediums of art and music! It's a fun debate but it would go faster though if people really knew the difference between sampling, biting, appropriation and jacking.
Anyway I subscribe to podcasts ranging from XLR8R to Stones Throw and I just can't see how they could take the time(or money)to get rights. Not that I think they should be. I don't even see how it would be possible. If you've ever tried to legally clear a sample you know what I mean. It took about two weeks and a lot of phone and email time just to clear one sample for a release I was involved in so I can't imagine how long it would take to clear 12 songs or so -every month.
I get the feeling that podcasts are the cassette tape of the 00s. You're not legally allowed to record a record onto tape, yet they sell blank tape in record stores. I'm not worried about getting sued or anything like that. I'm just curious to know the real deal.
About the bigger picture:
the western world has made the assumption that the only economy that was feasible and realizable with a exponential increase in revenue was an economy based intellectual propriety(books and music) and patents (medical and technoligy). While the US was printing books illegally by British writers just after the deceleration while paying royalties to american writers now the US and EU, japan etc are forcing developing counties (even poorer than the US back in the days) to pay hefty prices.
Digital data is a dodgy domain all together, just like the printing industry was in its early days, same goes for radio. Why cant we use the code of software for our own purposes, just like i can open up my TV and grab any component i want. As long as i dont mimic their design and start selling it like i designed it. this should be the case with software too. Just one example of a weird glitch in the digital age.
Unfortunately for the western world, developing countries are starting to actually develop (not due to western aid i'd like to add as a personal note), more and more 2nd generation of ex-farmer families are being schooled in China. Ready to do the work you do, only 2 times cheaper.
All in all... FUCK IT
cbit said: "One response is likely to be: "But if you copy a book, you rob the author of the profit he can make from his ideas!"
It's true that the author will be able to earn less with his idea once there's no longer has a violently enforced monopoly on its use. But no one has a right to the _value_ of the things they own."
one of the things that makes it possible to write is that you can get paid for your manuscript. How would they get paid if not by selling books?
I see it differently for musicians, most of whom make most of their money gigging (unless i'm mistaken), revenue from record sales primarily goes to the label.
Likewise, it is impossible to invest in devising new technology if the rights to the new design are not protected. Would you make all technological development the responsibility of government and philanthropy?
flies said: "Likewise, it is impossible to invest in devising new technology if the rights to the new design are not protected."
I think i understand what you mean, but to be sure can you explain why you believe this?
what i'm saying is that you're not investing in new technology if you can't own it if the R&D bears fruit. you can "invest" in the sense of put money in to the project, but you can't "invest" in the sense of expecting a return. eg you develop a new technology to sequence DNA but you can't profit from your labor
pharmacutical company A invests 100 million $ per year in research, comes up with a groundbreaking new drug that cures aids.
pharma company B has no research budget, hires/bribes some researchers from company A, steals their method, and, with no research budget to cover, starts producing the new drug and selling at a price just above their cost.
in the short term it's good, people with aids get cured for cheap; but in the long run it's fucked--there's no incentive to spend money on research, and company A (and every other pharma company with profit as its motive) eliminates its research budget.
but yeah, all that aside, copyright law in the US is pretty fucked
@flies & korgborglar
"korborglar" said: "pharma company B has no research budget, hires/bribes some researchers from company A, steals their method, and, with no research budget to cover, starts producing the new drug and selling at a price just above their cost."
In order to be able to reverse engineer and 'steal' A's method (or to be competent to know that the bribed employees of A weren't double crossing them) B would need a staff of specialists with similar training to the ones at A who invented the drug. If B already had this staff, the chance is good that it would be already using them to do research of its own. This is because even without IP laws, the company who gets a product to market first will enjoy a temporary monopoly while competitors try to catch up.
On one hand, without a coercively enforced monopoly on the use of an idea there would be less of a financial reward for any given invention, i agree. On the other hand though, the lack of artificially extended monopoly period may well mean that R&D efforts actually increase, since a single innovation would no longer guarantee you 20 years of monopoly rate sales.
Another thing worth considering: because it's expensive to file a patent, patent law artificially privileges companies who are already wealthy: new innovators in certain industries operate in patent 'minefields' ('patent squatting' etc) that severely hamper their own ability to innovate. It's anyone's guess how much this situation is hurting advancement in general--but as usual, the damage is invisible so its easy to forget.
One more: because IP law draws arbitrary distinctions about what kind of ideas can be protected, this distorts the structure of production; companies are drawn towards IP-protectable innovation, while neglecting other areas which may ultimately be more valuable.
Altogether, i don't think there's good reason to think that removing IP laws would ultimately have a negative affect on R&D efforts.
cbit said: "In order to be able to reverse engineer and 'steal' A's method (or to be competent to know that the bribed employees of A weren't double crossing them) B would need a staff of specialists with similar training to the ones at A who invented the drug. If B already had this staff, the chance is good that it would be already using them to do research of its own. This is because even without IP laws, the company who gets a product to market first will enjoy a temporary monopoly while competitors try to catch up."
Overall, I think you made several strong arguments, but this particular point is sticky for me. While there's good reason to leave it to the inventor to protect his own work from espionage (since in general each man is his own best advocate), this again seems to favor the large corporation over the small one, since the the bigger corporation would be better able to protect its own information as well as steal information and quickly apply it. If there are no penalties for this kind of espionage, i.e. intellectual property laws, then it just seems like an unstable situation.
I think a reduction in the amount of time a given patent can last would be a good compromise.
I'd also be interested to hear your thoughts on copyright. If a movie studio doesn't have exclusive rights to distribute (and merchandise) a movie that it pays to produce, then how will it recoup its investment?
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