When I opened iTunes this morning, I was a little surprised to find myself flinching when I started going to the Store to stare hopefully at The Fray. I mean, I get precisely why this is bothering me, and where it's coming from, but it just hit me all at once that SOPA was partially funded by every song I legally buy, every movie I legally buy, every show I legally buy. It's one thing to in general know that this happens with all purchases, but it's also the fact that if I want this show/song/program legally, my only options is to pay people to hold me in contempt for my purchase and then use it to bribe politicians to take away my rights to use the product (and um, the entire internet).

I mean, yes, it's self-evident, don't get me wrong, but--there really isn't an alternative to the entertainment industry monopoly, is there? I can't buy anything that won't be paying for the giant legal stick to beat me with later. And when worse comes, terrifyingly, I will have funded it.

And my answer still stands.

If I had to choose between music and Wikipedia, music and the internet, music and the infinite breadth of human imagination and innovation that is pretty much what the internet is all about; that's not even a choice. That's what I would call breathing.

Okay, obviously, I have not had my recommended dose of watching things blow up. It may be a Die Hard night again.
kickair8p: The TARDIS panic button. (Panic Button)

2012-01-24 04:37 pm (UTC)
Hope you don't mind, but I've been posting pithy-bits (with linkbacks) from DW posts over to a debate happening on the DAZ3D forum, including one of yours. Considering doing it with a bit of this, too.

~
cyprinella: Octopus hiding under a box (box octopus)

2012-01-24 05:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I work for a non-profit that was also a supporter on behalf of our members (who have a physical product and I think have more of an argument with counterfeit goods) and it just makes my skin crawl sometimes. At least I'm not in the lobbying department.
cyprinella: broken neon sign that reads "lies & fish" (serious business)

2012-01-28 01:23 pm (UTC)
Yeah. And I totally get where they're coming from on that, especially when there's only so much you can do about someone scraping your site and putting everything up on www.cheapbrandname.russianmalware.com and all the consumer reads is cheapbrandname. It's just the way they decided to handle it was, um, bad. It doesn't help that the main GR person who was dealing with lobbying for the bill is a guy who can hardly work his own computer let alone understand how the internet functions. So he's sitting there raging that Wikipedia is telling lies about how the law would function and I'm like "Dude, you can't even make Excel function."
scrollgirl: tim as robin; text: god help me and god help you (dcu robin prays themisproject)

2012-01-24 06:03 pm (UTC)
I wish we could burn your reaction, and the stories of every other consumer who feels this way, into the brains of everyone in the entertainment industry who thinks holding the consumer hostage is a GOOD business practice. Because, really, what every business wants is costumers that loathe them bitterly in the depths of their souls.
fyrdrakken: (RDJ - mauve)

2012-01-30 03:29 pm (UTC)
I think it's one of those things where the lesson learned isn't the customer's POV -- it's something along the lines of, "Now musicians can sell directly to the customer, and we're not getting a cut of that." Probably with a side dose of, "But that's not FA-A-I-R, that they can buy digital music and have it on every computer or player they own and burn it to disk and share it with their friends and we can't charge them separately for all of those things!" Again, thinking that if they can roll back the clock and make digital music not exist (or at least not be so widely shared) that their profits will go back up because they want to assume that every download is a lost purchase. ETA: The comparison that keeps getting made is to the producers of TV and movies freaking out over VCRs because they thought people would just tape everything off the TV and not pay to see movies, and they didn't predict the rise of home video sales and DVDs. And that business with the writers' strike where the production companies were trying to keep from having to share the profits on DVDs and downloads. Slow to adapt to the new models of distribution and trying to keep as much of the money for themselves as they can. I made a comment in Friday's post about how I'm actually not surprised that it takes a sci-fi label like Baen Books to really figure out the benefits of e-books and be making such a point of doing things like offering up free titles to hook new readers and selling e-books for cheaper than paperback prices and not selling some of these titles as e-books on Amazon even though they're offered up in Kindle format as well as several others -- which is to say, they're used to thinking about the future and they're on top of the curve here.
edited at 2012-01-30 03:36 pm (UTC)
drunkoffthestars: (Default)

2012-01-24 06:57 pm (UTC)
ugh this.

I've only recently started making enough money that I could reasonably actually afford to legally acquire all the media I am interested in consuming. However, how can I want to when, as you said, it will just be used to beat me in the face tomorrow.

I'm not pretending that I'm a good enough person to stop consuming mpaa/riaa products entirely, legally or otherwise, but it does certainly take the shine off hunting down the latest episode of leverage/burn notice/suits/whatever.
katekat: (Default)

2012-01-25 05:30 am (UTC)
well, for music (and i guess movies) there's indie stuff? maybe that's the only way?

*hugs* though, you're right, it's a terrible place to be in.
fyrdrakken: (Birthday!)

2012-01-27 10:25 pm (UTC)
First off, happy birthday!

Second, the music industry has already gone through the initial stage of the process that publishing is entering now with the rise of the e-book: Thanks to social networking getting the word out and the ease and inexpense of sharing digital media and the way recording an album's worth of MP3s is now within the reach of a musician working outside the studio system, you get people who are making a working career out of being indie musicians. They're not filling entire stadiums on tour or making the megabucks -- but they're making enough money to make a living doing what they want to be doing, and we can buy their stuff and know the bulk of what we buy is going to them directly instead of them getting a few cents on every CD while the bulk goes to some soulless corporation. Self-published e-books are making the same thing available to authors now, and indie movie producers have been around for a while (though it's just so damned hard to come up with the funding to produce a film, which is why Kickstarter has been so fabulous along the lines of helping people fund weird exciting projects).

I agree with the other commenters regarding going to sites that help promote non-label musicians and seeing what you can turn up -- and for that matter, browsing around on Kickstarter looking for something you'd like to help fund. (I haven't actually done anything on Kickstarter, but I gather the structure is the project has a set amount of time to raise the total amount and the donors only actually get tapped for the money if enough people pledge to cover the full amount. And yes, you get something for being a donor.) Or, yeah, I've been doing a lot of browsing around on Amazon looking at crappy self-published genre fic because I've been having some guilty-pleasure urges that I couldn't find in fanfic and I'm comfortable with dropping a couple of bucks on something that's at about the same literary quality but is going to be hitting the buttons I feel like hitting this week. (I should do some more buying from the people self-publishing who I know from fanfic are actually good writers.)
fyrdrakken: (Cap is really hot)

2012-01-30 04:02 pm (UTC)
Heroine Addiction I think I've probably recced in my journal before -- that being [livejournal.com profile] apocalypsos (formerly Trollprincess in case you ran across anything of hers under that name).

And I've read one of Moira Rogers' books, and have several more wishlisted for the next time I'm in the mood for werewolf porn. (Which, you know, speaking of genres I sometimes get in the mood for and have a hard time finding in fanfic, since I'm not in the right fandoms. Though I'm delighted at how many Sherlock/John werewolf stories are actually out there.)

2012-01-24 04:47 pm (UTC)
Seriously. I mean, there are folks willing to hold me in contempt absolutely free of charge.

2012-01-24 08:44 pm (UTC)
This is why I keep daydreaming about just find media for free - used, libraries, download, whatever - and then send the price it would retail at directly to the artist. Because, um, yes, there are plenty of CDs and books and such I love and adore and WANT to support the maker of... but I don't really want to support the publisher when I feel so ill-treated. And I know that the publishing process is most of what eats the cost.

There's an album I wound up with a while ago which was fully recorded and all but not released due to an ownership change in the record company, and I enjoy it utterly and really want to find a way to send the artist some cash because she earned it, which is what started me thinking about this.

And how many musicians would we never have heard of without filesharing? I can think of SEVERAL. I don't think that's a good thing to be punishing, RIAA idiots. Seriously.

SIIIIGH.
ext_2707: a tree, the blue-purple sky, and two birds reflected in water (Default)

2012-01-24 09:30 pm (UTC)
Have you heard of Noisetrade.com? Because that's pretty much what it does. Artists choose to make an album/EP/etc available, you download it for the price of an email address (to be placed on the artist's mailing list, from which you can unsubscribe if you want), and there's a tip jar to give as much or as little money as you choose. (They also encourage you to tweet/post to facebook/whatever, but that's optional.) This helps indie artists a lot, whose big challenge is building their fanbase and getting word of mouth.

If you like getting a constant influx of (legally-acquired) new music, it's a great site. Obviously downloading people you haven't heard of before is going to be hit-or-miss, but free samples are easy to delete, and you might find something you love.

Doesn't solve the problem of wanting to buy music from artists who are shackled to big record companies, unfortunately, but it is one way of feeding the new-music habit that isn't also feeding Big Media.

I agree with you that filesharing (legal or otherwise) is a really useful way of connecting artists and audiences; some of my favorite musicians came to my attention that way. (And they later got album sales and concert ticket sales from me and the people I enthused at about them, so it's a net gain for everyone.)

2012-01-26 03:50 am (UTC)
cdbaby.com is another site like noisetrade where indie musicians can sell their music via cds or download. I don't know how much money my cousin's band made off the site (not much I think but don't know for sure) but they seemed happy enough their dealing w/them so I guess it's an okay site.

2012-01-24 10:23 pm (UTC)
I bought a song that I heard on a Sherlock fanvid two days ago, and I bought it from itunes and I felt uneasy about it. I got that stupid little picture with it wot I hate but after reading your post, I suddenly realised why exactly I felt uneasy about it. Thank you for pointing out the horrible bind we're all finding ourselves in...

*thoughtful*

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