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GRAMMY.com

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23
Roger Martin
02-08-2004
09:32 PM ET (US)
The most boring grammy I ever did see.
You call that music a lot of junk to put it mildly. You want good music go back to the 60's 70's 80's and even early than this. This here is not music at all.
22
Matthew Morse
08-15-2003
06:06 PM ET (US)
So for music fans who run AOL on their Sony computers when they download files, at least two of the big five record companies are already getting paid because of digital music distribution. The payments may not be proportional to the use, but they don't owe any of the money back to the actual artists, so what are they complaining about?
21
Matthew Morse
08-15-2003
06:00 PM ET (US)
There's a misleading statement here that hasn't been explicitly corrected, so here goes. Xeni says that music fans would pay the "download tax." In practice, most likely everyone would pay. Kevin is concerned about payment to everyone other than the musicians, and I agree that payment should to extend to everything anyone puts online. Whether that is feasible or desirable is a different question.
20
Matthew Morse
08-15-2003
05:52 PM ET (US)
As John Schuch indicated, compulsory licenses aren't tied to radio. The original compulsory licenses were introduced in the Copyright Act of 1909. They were mechanical licenses, i.e. licenses for mechanical reproductions of music. Today that applies to CD recordings. Back then it applied to piano rolls. Since then compulsory licenses have been applied in other areas of copyright law, but mechanical licenses are still the canonical example.
19
Kevin MarksPerson was signed in when posted
08-07-2003
03:15 PM ET (US)
That is wrong on two counts, Adina. Firstly, assessing what is actually played is enormously problematic, and with a Power-law distribution most methods of sampling will significantly overweight the 'top 10' musicians, compared to the larger number with a few plays at the bottom end of the curve.
Secondly those few who are achieving sales of 500,000 will be happier with a per-download payment of a very small amount, which helps squeeze out the smaller creators where the payment does not amount to much. They are more likely to do well from a voluntary system, where the happy customers will willingly pay.
18
Adina Levin
08-07-2003
08:45 AM ET (US)
"for the benefit of a few who are already doing well from music sales..." wouldn't this be for the benefit of a few whose music gets played a lot? If so, the money's going where it should.
17
Kevin MarksPerson was signed in when posted
08-07-2003
05:07 AM ET (US)
I agree John - incentives are the key to this. I believe that building an payment and incentive structure that will get artists promoters and customers involved voluntarily will win out over any compulsion-based regime.
16
John Schuch
08-07-2003
04:12 AM ET (US)
Perhaps the biggest detail to be sorted out is how you provide incentives to artists, entrepreneurs, and customers to participate in the business of digital music with an inflexible price structure determined by how high the ISP tax is set.

If the tax is too low, artists and entrepreneurs don't have sufficient motivation to provide the music that would be the backbone of this business. If the tax is too high, customers will be lost.
15
John Schuch
08-07-2003
04:07 AM ET (US)
A look back at the history of regulation only demonstrates that it tends to reinforce the status quo, stifle competition, keep prices artificially high, and, in general, is bad news for consumers. That is a cure worse than the disease

The proposal also would provide a boondoggle for commercial p2p enterprises on the backs of ISP customers without obliging them to take on any of the risks or responsibilities of those involved in creating and marketing music.
14
John Schuch
08-07-2003
03:53 AM ET (US)
Performance licenses aren't compulsory. No songwriter/publisher is compelled to join a performing rights organization, so not every copyright is available to be performed through a blanket license. Also, blanket performance licenses aren't "one size fits all," as the ISP tax seems to be in its current incarnation. They are tiered and variable, depending on the revenue of the licensee and the nature of their business. Also, one can contract around the PROs for performance licenses, through an organization such as Music Reports/Royalty Logic. The ISP tax proposal offers no such flexibility, as far as I can tell. I admire Professors Lessig and Felten very much, but, with all respect, I don't know if they've ever run businesses or done research in microeconomics. I think we need other voices in this debate.
13
xeniPerson was signed in when posted
08-07-2003
03:51 AM ET (US)
I agree 100%. I didn't write the title. I don't like using the term "piracy" in that context -- it's too emotionally laden, and not accurate. As a reporter, it's not my job to assess a value call on the story. Just tell the story.
12
John Schuch
08-07-2003
03:46 AM ET (US)
I'd like to think that by persistently referring to the ISP proposal on the Pho List as a tax, I've helped in my own small way to change the terms of the debate, so that ISP customers will know how this implicates them.
11
John Parres
08-07-2003
03:17 AM ET (US)
Xeni rawks. She has an eye for art and a nose for news, and in her own subtle way speaks truth to power. All hail Xeni.
10
Kevin MarksPerson was signed in when posted
08-07-2003
02:30 AM ET (US)
I think Fred has also been spending too much time close to the RIAA lobbyists. He needs to talk to Shannon Campbell and Scott Andrew, independent musicians who are grasping the power of the net to create music together, and sharing it with the rest of us.

http://www.scottandrew.com/blogathon/
9
Kevin MarksPerson was signed in when posted
08-07-2003
02:26 AM ET (US)
Which people are these? The independent musicians? The instrumental composers who get unfavourably paid by a ratio of 9:1 compared to songwriters by ASCAP?

Or could these people be the RIAA's paid ear-benders who loiter round Washington proposing new cartels, with implied sinecures for the current band of legislative aides?
8
Kevin MarksPerson was signed in when posted
08-07-2003
02:23 AM ET (US)
Indeed. So lets follow that logic, and repeal the DMCA.
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