Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

File Trading

  1. Sep 22, 2003 #1
    I'm just opening up a forum on the topic, what does everybody think about music swappers and other file sharers? Should they be punished or is the computer the beginning of a revolution that should change the way internet copyrights are viewed?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 22, 2003 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    While there is a case to be made that people are exercising civil disobedience to effect a change in the way things are, I somehow suspect that most people are just rationalizing away their desire to get stuff for free. It's kind of like a hoarde of barbarians raiding the local villages, and justifying their actions with "They don't share!"

    The economy simply isn't set up to deal with the vast reproducibility made possible in the computer age; such theft harms businesses, but not in the way people "want"; it makes it very difficult for small businesses to be profitable, thus empowering the giant corporations, and it has driven businesses to support Microsoft's hyperinvasive vision of the future.
  4. Sep 22, 2003 #3
    I agree with Hurkyl. People are breaking laws no matter how you rationalize it. No matter how high the cd price is, not matter how crappy most the music is, no matter how the RIAA handles these situations, file trading is still illegal and people schould be punished if they get caught. However, I will continue to casually file share because I'm a young gun who thinks he's invincible and won't get caught :wink:
  5. Sep 23, 2003 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Ditto for me, Greg. Plus, the RIAA gets on my nerves.
  6. Sep 23, 2003 #5
    I understand music industry lawyers getting angry over it...what artist is self-centered enough to complain, though? This is the 21st century version of the bootlegs and mix tapes that used to make people's careers.
  7. Sep 23, 2003 #6
    for many file swappers the practice is a way to enjoy the efforts of artists carriers without doing anything to support the artists, so i think they have every right to complain as well as anyone else who is a part of the industry. i belive the best solution is to to offer bare licence options as well as the traditional retail packaged products, giving file swappers a way to continue to enjoy their preferred method of accusation in a legal fashion. some companies are doing this on their own but with all the whacked out things the riaa and others are trying to pull i think it might be best to change the laws to require such provisions.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2003
  8. Sep 23, 2003 #7


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Lars Ulrich of Metallica. He campaigned pretty hard against Napster. I make sure I always have some Metallica up for grabs.

    Albums I like I do still tend to buy - but trading has reduced the odds of buying a cd with only one good song, something that has always p-d me off.
  9. Sep 24, 2003 #8
    Yeah, and Lars followed that up by putting out a really crappy album, which just goes to show...
  10. Sep 24, 2003 #9


    User Avatar

    the thing is, it's the riaa that's complaining, not the artists. artists don't make much money off of cd sales, they buy their houses off of merch and ticket sales. cds just boost their popularity to support tours, and trading their music shouldn't be any different.

    sure, i download music. i own a number of tapes, and don't want to buy an album twice, so i download some of the tracks. i also buy a great deal of cds. if i find that a band has more than 5 or so great songs, i'll buy the cd, because hey, sometimes the cd art is kinda cool.

    i saw an add on tv that was anti-sharing. it talked about all the jobs that are affected by people sharing music. it fails to mention that the majority of the cd price goes to the ceo's pockets, not the little guys along the way.

    my last point: trading and buying cds are unrelated. i'll pick on "album x". let's say it's a decent cd. i probably won't buy it, period. if downloading is available, i'll download part/all of it. if i can't download it, sucks for me, nothing changes, i'm still not gonna buy it. the good cds i download, i end up buying anyways. i'm sure this isn't the case with everyone, but this philosophy justifies it in my mind.

    also, for everyone that complains about cd prices, check out half-price books. sure, you can't get brand new stuff there, but i guarantee you'll find at least one steal. besides, most new albums now are crap.
  11. Sep 24, 2003 #10


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Well, I've been dealing with mp3's before anyone knew what they were. I remember telling my mom this was gonna be the next big thing. I had a huge collection before napster had a domain. Of course, I don't anymore

    But anyhow, I've been exposed to so much more music then I would have by radio, mtv, etc. Also the internet is a source for hard to find/rare music that you cannot get at any record store. Another thing, is that any cd I listen to on a regular basis, i either own it now, because of downloading it, or I have owned it at some point in time and due to the crappy life expectancy of a cd, have lost it.

    I don't feel I should have to go buy another 18.99 cd when I just bought it 3 months ago and the crappy label is peeling off cause it cant stand the NC heat.

    I do think it is sad that artist do not get there full rewards. Boohoo. I heard eminem whining about being the #1 club hit, but not saling any albums. Thats a lie, probably forced on him by the higher ups.

    I've got a friend that used to manage a local record store. There is somewhere around a 300%-500% markup on all cd's. I had another friend that worked for a cd printing company. He could get cd's for 5 bucks. He said it cost the company around 25 cents to produce the cd, another 50 cents to produce the case.

    I mean, musicians, good ones, aren't out there to become millionaires. They are out there to entertain not only you and me, but themselves. They don't care how you get there music, just that you get it. Now most mainstream musicians cannot voice this simply due to the puppet strings attached by there record label.

    Basically, its gonna come down to the people that have become billionaires from saling me and you other peoples music are gonna have to put some money in the bank. The RIAA shows that the big wigs are getting truly scared of losing there monopoly.

    I mean, why does an average cd only have 10, maybe 15 songs? A 700mb cd can hold around 25 songs. If they want to impress me, why not start selling cd's filled to capacity. I just do not believe in wasting storage space.
  12. Sep 24, 2003 #11


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus

    I don't believe file-trading is "stealing" per se. You can't equivicate stealing a car with copying data. Even so, I do agree that file-trading is hurting the music industry.

    As Hurkyl stated: "The economy simply isn't set up to deal with the vast reproducibility made possible in the computer age"

    What we are encountering is a major flaw in Capitalism. The system works very well when scarcity exists, but once that breaks down hell is unleashed.

    If someone develops a means to instantly copy food, is the famers' association going to start sueing everyone that uses the technology because the farmers can't make any money?

    Thats just silly.

    All the problems of copyright, etc will go away when everything can easily be copied and people don't need money. But until then, the RIAA needs to embrase the new revolution, even if it kills the industry.
  13. Sep 24, 2003 #12
    Your analogy is silly, food is a commodity, not intellectual property. Laws were established to protect what people create.
  14. Sep 25, 2003 #13
    Actually, that is a good analogy...genetically engineered food is a product, and if their patented seed gets mixed in a farmer's crop by accident, they will sue and take his crops away.
  15. Sep 25, 2003 #14


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus

  16. Sep 26, 2003 #15
    File sharing is theft.

    It's like ripping an album from the stores. Except worse because you can conceivable rip thousands of songs in a relatively short period. If you tried to rip songs from a music store it's easier to get caught and you can't steal as much. However, it has the same affect, you hurt the people at the retailers, you hurt the record companies and you hurt the musicians.

    Sure, file sharing does help small labels. That is why I think musicians should be able to either grant file sharing of their music or deny it. However, a Indy musician on an airplane once said to me 'Hey, we have families to feed to' in protest against file sharing.
  17. Sep 26, 2003 #16
    I think the real fear of teh recording industry is that we will see how bad an album is before buying it, and then not buy much of teh crap they are trying to pawn off on us.
  18. Sep 26, 2003 #17
    I'm an mp3 old-schooler from the IRC days. I used to run an FTP server. In fact I got into trouble with RAIAA before napster even existed. Of course not anymore.

    Anways, I see it like this. It's try it before you buy it. I seem to remember them making a similar(but not quite as big) stink about blank cassette tapes when they first came out. Same deal. But people still bought the tapes. Nowadays you can hear the music off the radio, or even listen to it at the store before you buy it. That hasn't stopped people from still buying CDs. And the CD's do have a high profit margin. This will force the industry to cut CD prices. I think the $5 CD isn't that far off. The industry will survive, they just won't have the extravagance anymore. And personally I look forward to seeing some multi-millionaire recording execs brought down to our level. I won't shed many tears when they have to sell off one of thier 5 ferraris
  19. Sep 26, 2003 #18
    Technology is good and bad. However, what I have seen in my life indicates that technology is good for everyone. I mean, computers, information etc. However, there is that looming bad. File sharing has spawned some good but it is also bad and that needs to be hammered out.

    Anyways, the VCR analogy is a bad one. For one thing, you can copy more data online than you ever could on a VCR. Another thing, there are actually Federal laws that apply to the use of video tapes.

    Why do I bring this up? I'm only saying that file sharing needs legislation. Proponents of file sharing always resort to the 'greed' argument. Which is kind of simplistic if not cliche, yet correct. However, greed is what makes this music.

    You have to respect the wishes of musicians. Many of them, even indy rockers or what have you do not want their music illegally shared. However, some do. Even some labels like file sharing. You see why there needs to be legislation? Let's just hope it doesn't get as tangled as U.S. tax code.
  20. Sep 26, 2003 #19


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Small time musicians are one thing. If there job is playing music, well for one, people coast to coast haven't heard of them, and therefore will not be ripping his music at a high rate. 2, if there is a form of spreading there music all over the world for free, well, personally I'd appreciate all the free advertising I could get.

    And tell me this, whats the difference between me downloading a few songs, or waiting till sunday night when the local station plays an entire new release album, dub it to tape or use a stream ripping program?

    Also, what is your response to a person that has owned the majority of the cd's he now has on mp3, but no longer owns the cd? Is it fair that I should have to buy another cd for a rediculous price that I'd already owned?

    How long has music been around? Certainly longer then there has been an industry for it. Did beetoven make his music out of greed? Or was it for the love of music? Personally, a band that is out from the start to make millions usually makes crappy music and is not something that interests me. I'm a fan of people that are making music not only for you and me, but moreso for themselves. No, greed is not what makes music.

    Greed is what forms groups such as the RIAA because the record execs that probably don't even listen to the music they sell are losing a whopping 10% of there profits to the new age.

    Also, the majority of a bands income is not from cd sales, but from live performances.

    I also agree that alot of bands are rediculous, and make one or two good songs for air play, simply to get there cd sold, then the rest of the cd is garbage.

    The solution is simple. Return the power to the bands. There is no longer a need for big record labels. Any band should have a website to promote itself, even allow a user to download there album or a good part of it, and if the listener enjoys the music, can directly pay the band the money for the work.

    See, I don't mind paying for a cd. What bothers me is out of that 15.99 or 18.99 pricetag, the band maybe see's 2 bucks. It costs less then a dollar to produce the cd, art, and album, and we pay near $20. If cd's were 10 bucks, I'd have no problem.

    Well, one problem with making legislation for the internet, is that the internet is not part of america, it is the international community. We cannot impose laws on members of foreign countrys.

    Oh ya, one more thing and I'll shut up.

    No. Stealing an album from a store requires you to be sneaky, and actually physically take a physical object. Not only are you getting the music, or intellectual property, but the case and album covers.

    When you download an album, you merely get the music. If you are impressed, then most people actually purchase the album. I mean, think about this, 10% losses. How are they so certain those losses are not merely from people fed up with paying rediculous prices? Does the RIAA have any direct proof that the 10% loss is from file sharing, and not from fed up customers tired of over priced crap? How are they so certain that the losses don't come from shop lifting? Better yet, how are we so sure?

    Infact, almost everyone I know purchases an album they downloaded and really like, myself included. The spirit of file-sharing, is simple. I have 10 albums, I like 2 of them. I bought the 2 cd's, but use my burnt copies to keep the originals safe. Now, I share all 10 albums, because you might come across my share and like one of the other 8. So you dl it, like it, and buy it.

    Its the honesty policy, and well, like it or not, its here to stay. There are so many ways to get music that the RIAA heads will be spinning if they try to keep up. Kazaa, as best as I can tell, is one of the smaller online communitys for aquiring music.
  21. Sep 26, 2003 #20
    Even if they shut down kazaa 3 more will pop up in it's place. Just like what happened with napster. And IRC ensures privacy. IP spoofing is in the hands of the common man nowadays, so it's a simple matter to avoid being tracked. They aren't going to be able to sue 50 million people anyhow. So the bottom line is that they need to follow in Apple's steps and start cheap downloading alternatives, or they will only suceed in alienating thier customer base and going bankrupt. You can't fight consumer power and demand.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: File Trading
  1. High speed stock trading (Replies: 16)