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RE: [xml-dev] Principles for an Ethical and Sustainable Internet - XML

From: Liam R E Quin [mailto:liam@w3.org] 
On Tue, 2012-08-28 at 10:13 -0500, Len Bullard wrote:
> Bogus.
> People steal because there are no consequences.

>Stealing is the act of taking something away from someone else.

>If I copy music I do not take away the original: it is not the music
>that is stolen but the distributor's opportunity to charge me for it.
>But in fact if it's made possible there's no reason to suppose I won't
>pay for it in some other way.

With all due respect, Liam, that argument is as legally unsound now as it
was when first made.  See the US Constitution with regards to the right of
copy.  I know that is US law but international copyright conventions are
also in effect. 

However, yes, this is about payment for distribution or right of copy.
Stealing is stealing when the copier profits by having made and distributed
illegal copies.  We grind this as long as you like, but I'd prefer you read
the Trichordist articles because David Lowery and his staff at the
University do a very competent job of explaining the legal issues, the
history and the history of the web and faulty assumptions.  It will save
quite a bit of bandwidth here.

>Len, your arguments were made when radio came along, that it would end
>concerts and music and there would be no more musicians, and it was as
>short-sighted then as it is now.

In fact, radio did reduce those opportunities and impacted both the kind and
quality of music available as well as the skills which were more prevalent
before radio when a piano was in every parlor.  The copyright impact was on
sales of printed music.  However, this is not the point.  After some period,
radio was made to pay royalties for performance rights.  Then when cassettes
came along, a fee was levied into the price of a cassette that was
distributed by the same performance collection groups, eg. ASCAP, BMI, etc.
The historical norm is when a new means of distribution comes along, means
both legal and technical are devised to ensure proper protection of legal
rights and collections.

>Where this becomes relevant to XML is that we need to provide ways of
>enabling people to pay, ways to embed suitable metadata and to make it
>easy, ways for people to know "there's a concert in your town next month
>where The Dog Turds will be playing, and you listen to them so much that
>the integrated circuits in your iPod have started to smell bad"

We agree but until such time as a transparent means is available, a layered
coordination among principals and agencies is underway to stop the piracy.
That is intensifying.

>I don't think I believe the vague intimations of conspiracy. There are
>more people making music now than ever before - just fewer sales through
>the large distributors.

See the screenshots at the Trichordist blog.  Again, companies are taking
actions to stop their ad revenues being applied to pirate sites.  Google is
also revoking their revenue streams. My sense of things is we will see more
legislation and it is up to all of us to sort out issues of legitimate
concern for rights protection and other issues such as potential censorship
through use of the same or similar means.  I think the entertainment
industry is every bit as concerned about the members of Pussy Riot as the
rest of us.

>The real enemies as I see it _are_ the distributors, tightening their
>stranglehold on distribution to try and prevent people from being
>exposed to music that they don't control. Taking down independent
>musicians from youtube. 

You will need to present evidence of that.  I have quite a few original
songs at YouTube.  No one has tried to take my original music off the web.
I can't monetize them all because Google algorithms for that are tres
strange but that is a different topic.  I agree that a more standard set of
metadata and clear legal policies are helpful.  At this time the search
engine vendors are winging it.

>Striking deals with mobile ISPs to promote their
>music and make it hard or impossible to get to other outlets. Just as
>the mainstream media in the US no longer shows the Occupy movement.

Again, evidence of the former is needed but I don't doubt some server farms
are as controlled as some labels are.  The mainstream media and Occupy are a
different contentious issue.  Again this is a distraction from the problems
of content piracy on the web.  I do think the music labels did themselves
harm with their initial lawsuits and have said so.  Do understand that this
is no longer about music only.  This is the entertainment industry stepping
up including the movie industry which according to industry sources has
begun to schedule fewer releases as they also see what is coming in the
piracy domain and are working to offset that.  As one producer put it, they
are "bunkered down".

>Another question for the Web and XML crowd - what happens when facebook,
>google plus, blog sites, are the only way to enter content unless you
>work at a large company with a Web Broadcast Licence? Don't laugh - it
>happened to radio, it happened to television, and it'll happen to the

I think that is up to us.  No one can stop you from setting up a server but
if licensing does prevent that, we have a new problem to solve.  Yet the
what-ifs are not the issue and should not stop us from working toward
equitable solutions today because otherwise we will be facing less equitable
and more draconian measures.

Thanks for the reasonableness of your reply, Liam.


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