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Comment Archives: stories: Music

Re: “The High Cost of Free

Join the STOP WORKING FOR FREE Facebook group... nearly 5000 members in four months!

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Barney Hoskyns on 11/18/2013 at 1:58 AM

Re: “The High Cost of Free

Music is property.

If it's not YOUR creative property, how did you acquire it?

Did the OWNER/CREATOR grant you permission?

Did the OWNER/CREATOR sell it to you?

"Sharing" is a cute term for lifting things that don't belong to you and not paying.

These "discussions" amaze me in how intellectuals spend time and energy debating the issue of: will I pay or won't I pay, for goods and services rendered.

Quite simply: PAY for the music and films you enjoy.

PAY in the same spirit by which you expect to be PAID when you perform your JOBS and/or CRAFT.

What if your boss decided to "share" your paycheck with strangers, without any consideration for you and your family?

Would you mind if a stranger "shared" your wife?

Quite simply: PAY.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Carl Chambers on 11/17/2013 at 7:35 PM

Re: “The High Cost of Free

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 11/16/2013 at 2:15 PM

Re: “The High Cost of Free

@Jonathan Out of the 7 years or so I have been howling about this stuff you are likely the only person who has not only made some valid points worthy of debate but, likely the only person capable of any semblance of nuance as well. I applaud you for that!

I have to get a few work things out of the way today but I shall respond accordingly asap.


"We have had copyright for over 300 years, and it has been supported because it benefits society by encouraging creativity and it is fair to the creators."

What its designed to do and what it actually does are two wildly different things. Keeping things that rightfully belong in the public domain(like freaking mickey mouse) out of it, is not useful, period..... in any way shape or form.

"The internet does not render the basic laws of Economics, ethics, or constitutional rights obsolete"

No exactly. no. It does, however, stand it on its head and give the rest of us creative folks a fighting chance.

I would suggest you start here..

With that said, proponents of trying to lock down or otherwise gatekeep things lose the argument at the starting line by bandying around terms like pirate, illegal, theft and so on. Because, in reality(read...the law) those terms are not even germane to the conversation.

Disclaimer: I can play a pretty mean guitar. I know most of my theory (usually lol...) I played in band for years. I had and have no desire to make a bunch of money doing it really, because it begins to conflate art with work... rendering it not quite as cathartic for me.

That and 5 nights a week in a bar is a bit much for me at my age lol...

The way I typically see it is folks on the other side of this debate can roll up their sleeves, listen to the tech sector(who arguably has provided you with all the free tools you would ever need to do whatever the hell you want with your work) and move forward... Or, folks can continue to get their panties in a bunch and accomplish nothing but pissing off fans and looking like complete heels.

It seems that those who embrace technology and are human about things do just fine. This is not restricted to music either. This fellow, for instance, got it right

I will pop back in asap.

0 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Nigel Lew on 11/16/2013 at 12:40 PM

Re: “The High Cost of Free

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 11/16/2013 at 10:25 AM

Re: “Sage the Gemini's Career Slams the 'Gas Pedal'

About time some one put Fairfield on the map, and you did it with class. I saw you on 106 & park. I enjoyed your interview a lot. Your mom did a great job with you...

9 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Melodie Gonsalves on 11/16/2013 at 10:03 AM

Re: “The High Cost of Free

Hey Nigel,
You know that the majority of artists who are not making money are not associated with the major labels (who also own stock in Spotify, by the way... that's how they got the deals to use the music, it was in exchange for equity.) The majority of independent artists who were able to make a meager living in the past are the ones who have been since moved into the level of making next to nothing. This includes small studios, independent engineers, mastering engineers etc. I think the point of this film is that, not that some corporate level officers make money. The only artists making money for the themselves and the "suits" are the very top 1%, same as the US economy, oddly...

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jonathan Segel on 11/16/2013 at 2:16 AM

Re: “The High Cost of Free

Hi, Will. I am more than happy to debate things on their merits, unfortunately there are literally zero metrics to back up your position. Unless they were funded by the RIAA. That is not an exaggeration.

Artists don't get paid fairly because the rubes in suits keep all the cash, and spend it on trying to ram legislation down uninformed throats... the sole purpose of which is to ultimately line the pockets of a handful of people.

That will hopefully keep you busy for a bit.

As a fan, I find this particularly offensive..

Do you ever stop to think why the labels cant throw up Netflix, Spotify, what have you? Its because they don't give a flip about you(assuming you are a musician) or customers/fans. That much is abundantly clear.

There is no difference with Hollywrong either

Same shit, different rubes in suits.

but I digress,

1 like, 6 dislikes
Posted by Nigel Lew on 11/15/2013 at 12:08 AM

Re: “The High Cost of Free

Well 2 out of 4 intelligent comments is far better than we would have had a few years back. There really is a shift happening where musicians are finally speaking up against a tech world that tolerates piracy and a digital world that treats artists work like road kill.

The Billy Bragg post is particularly stinky, because comparing making a cassette for a person is radically different than uploading a song and having 50,000 people download. And this is the really good part, Bragg was in Sweden when he wrote this and rumored to be at the Spotify offices. Now there's a coincidence?

Oh, yes. It was the first 2 comments I found intelligent. Perhaps the other fellow had to many Crackers before his meal.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Will Buckley on 11/14/2013 at 10:55 PM

Re: “The High Cost of Free

As I was cooking some food.... it occurred to me that not only is this post devoid of fact, it seems wildly hypocritical of this fellow to whine about "disruptive business modalities" when he is using indiegogo to fund a project.

I guess forward thinking technology is only ok when you it suits YOU.

Additionally, you lose any semblance of credibility when you mention the vitriolic turd that is David Lowery within the context of trying to be reasonable.

3 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Nigel Lew on 11/14/2013 at 6:17 PM

Re: “The High Cost of Free

Artists would get paid if their corporate overlords bothered to pay them....

Nice luddite propoganda piece though. Unfortunately, as soon as you look at the facts, it falls flat on its face.

"Spotify pays out 70% of its revenues to music rightsholders, and has said that it expects those payments to exceed $500m (£310m) in 2013. How much of that money gets passed on to musicians depends on the terms of their contracts with labels."

As any reasonably minded person would agree, said contracts are utter sheeeeet.

1 like, 9 dislikes
Posted by Nigel Lew on 11/14/2013 at 5:46 PM

Re: “The High Cost of Free

I'm surprised how much illegal downloading is mentioned, and how little ad-supported streaming "services" are in this article. Services such as Pandora and Spotify do the same damage as illegal downloading but in a more severe way: they train people to think they are not paying for music and that to do so is unnecessary. At least the illegal downloaders have to opportunity to feel a sense of shame!

In the ad-supported model, not only do musicians essentially not get paid (fractions of a cent per stream), but music is no longer what generates value, instead it's the listers that are being sold to advertisers.

In the end, we all pay for the music we listen, the TV we watch, the social networks we log in to, and even the East Bay Express. Less of the money, however, goes to the content we love, and instead goes to the companies that are spending so much to create all that we try to tune out.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Scott Alexander on 11/13/2013 at 5:51 PM

Re: “The High Cost of Free

Good and necessary conversations.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Evan O'Neal on 11/13/2013 at 11:02 AM

Re: “Cults

Definitely a darker album. They're also incredible live, I was just watching this session and it's awesome:

Posted by Mel Davis on 11/02/2013 at 8:30 PM

Re: “Oakland's Lagos Roots Keeps Afrobeat Alive

excellent write-up of such a wonderful band and it's leader. As a fellow musician and band leader of Bal du Kor ( I am looking forward to the Oct 18th performance.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michael Smolens on 10/16/2013 at 1:16 PM

Re: “Various Artists

Various Artists is another great review for a great song. Review:

Posted by Corey Zeimen on 10/06/2013 at 3:43 AM

Re: “Too Damn Loud

I live on the Estuary in Alameda...if you could only hear the music noise when there is a festival or concert at Jack London Square...the loud noise and the deep percussion beats through entire weekends....wish that there could be something done about that....

Posted by Sherry Simmons on 10/03/2013 at 9:10 AM

Re: “Too Damn Loud

I worked in Rock & Roll in the 1960s & '70s, managing clubs, producing concerts, and had to fight "level creep" constantly. You do a sound check at the start of a gig, but after 15-20 minutes of the show, the people mixing the sound have diminished hearing capacity, so they turn the master level up. Every 10-15 minutes, it just doesn't seem as loud to them, so the level goes up again.

The thing is, if you started the show with the sound levels even at 50 or 60% of your sound systems top capacity, when you get to 80%, you're starting to get distortions in the sound. So, the first problem with too loud is, it just won't sound as good. (The only two acts I ever knew who had the tech & expertise to play loud without being distorted: Frank Zappa, and the Dead.) Anyway, after 40 minutes of a concert, the sound is over-amplified and distorted, but everybody's hearing has such diminished capacity that they can't detect it. So the problem just keeps escalating.

Back in the day, I stood next to the speakers a lot; it finally got to be too physically painful. That sensitivity, I suppose, was just lucky; it made me notice that my hearing was getting injured. Most people don't feel it as acutely. I finally had to stop going to amplified concerts in the mid-'80s, because over-loud music would leave me in pain for a day or two; and so, I still have most of my hearing range.

It's really a drag - even music that traditionally was never played with amplification - folk music, chamber music, Indian raga - now is performed with piles of amps and speakers, because so many people in the average audience - and most musicians nowadays - are all partly deaf. Plus, nobody knows how to listen anymore.

I've been warning people for 40 years that if you're wearing in-ear headphones, and somebody else can hear the music you're listening to - you are badly damaging your hearing. Guaranteed. The younger you are when you start wearing ear-phones, the worse the effect on hearing - I really think letting kids use them at all is abuse. (But then, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported decades ago that children under 12 should only be exposed to TV for a maximum 3-4 hours per week, and children under 2 should not be in the same room with a TV - because of measured, non-reversible changes in brain structure that result...)

Anyway.... what? Did you say something? Speak up a bit!

Rashid Patch

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rashid Patch on 10/03/2013 at 8:02 AM

Re: “A New Kind of Venue

Reggae Gold started out in 2003, as a bi-monthly party (2nd & 4th Saturdays) at The Endup in San Francisco.

Currently RG takes place every 2nd Saturday at The New Parish in Oakland.
We have no intentions on changing that.
We did mention to Oscar Edwards about possibly having Reggae Gold on a "4th Saturday" at Venue.

This is just to let our fans know we're NOT moving 2nd Saturdays from NP.
-Reggae Gold Staff

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rolando Ochoa on 10/03/2013 at 12:13 AM

Re: “Station to Station Stops in Oakland

it was interesting watching all the well dressed white kids waiting for their charter bus from west oakland BART to the 16th st. station... considering it is only a ten minute walk, but i guess these kids can't be bothered to walk through the "ghetto". i wonder how much money from this show will go into the local neighborhood economy.. my guess is nil.

Posted by Kelly H williams on 09/28/2013 at 9:45 PM

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