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Andy

There are so many avenues in making money in music. It is true that so many musicians and songwriters in fact producing music nowadays can be done at the privacy of songwriters home.

There are billions of people in china and india. Dont narrow down promoting your song to your locality. SO many TV seasons, TV commercials and movies are producing from so many cable channels all over the globe that needs backround sountracks. Even new music genre are sprouting out from rock, pop, metal etc. You got to have some kind of combining skills like a chemist creating a new product for human consumption.

In this world, there is no such thing as easy money or easy popularity. Every succesful pop artists or songwriters comes from the scratch.

I agree with you dont quit writing song.

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There's closer to about a million people making music in the US. There's about a half million doing it for money (i.e. they've either earned money or want to). I would be surprised if I was off by more than 20%.

Worldwide, I would estimate the number is 30 million. The number would be even higher if there was less poverty. That's off the top of my head.. I will have to do some number crunching to see how close that number might be. Imagine if all 30 million people banded together? = )

I actually want to bring representation of all musicians in all geopolitical districts worldwide together. I'd love to mull over the worlds problems with the musicians of the world. Sure, it would be harder than herding cats, but I think it would be pregant with ideas.

Brian


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When script writers go on strike,the whole industry takes notice, what if all musicians and songwriters went on strike,how would that affect the music,TV,radio and movie industry? No one producing music of any kind for a year.They'd soon get tired of replaying the same music all the time.


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Musicians would never do it. Thousands would instantly cross the line without blinking and music would be readily available. There's simply no unity amongst musicians to be effective.

Brian


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It's the glamor of the creation, it goes along with performance arts. Screenwriters don't dream about sitting in front of the screen, looking at the spell check results, for them, the glamor is in the fancy cars and being recognized at the "right" resturaunts. Musicians, however, dream about being on stage or in the studio.

If sports weren't quatifiable, if you couldn't prove that one athlete was faster than another, able to catch a ball better or able to "will" the team to win, then it'd be the same thing. There'd be enough athletes willing to play for free, just to play in the big game. But with musicians, I've always said, they'd cut each others' throats for a free gig.


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It's only music.
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You are right Brian. Our industry is the same with what is taught in MBA- the doctrine of dog eats dog. Even you create a society or a union of musicians one will get out of it and violate the brotherhood for the sake of dough.

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The way I see it there is little or no unity in anything. Greed envy and the inbuilt human competetive spirit ensure that there is always somebody ready to cheat con or barge through and trample others to get what they want. There are always folk who will let or even encourage those people. I agree with Brian and Lynman. I have stuck to my ethics and principles over the years and can go to bed with an easy conscience. A lot of musicians who have "made it" cannot say the same. Regardless of fame, money and all the trappings I would rather be me than them.

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Somehow the writers union and the stagehand union has stuck together and shut their respective industries down. However, I am not really a pro-union type either because it seems unions just trade one problem for another. There's just as much corruption and abuse involved there as well. For a union to be REAL and effective, it would need to find it's funding somewhere else other than off the backs of it's own members. If they didn't have all that money, the corruption of it would likely be far less. I don't know if the stereotype of the Mafia running the unions are still true, but at one point it was. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. = )

Brian


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The writers union and the stagehand union have stuck together because nobody's giving away scripts or deciding to go down to the theater and haul up curtains just for fun. The musicians union is far less effective because so many musicians will give away work for free, and they'll defend folks who want all musicians to give away their work for free, and then they'll get mad at anyone who try to tell them that's wrong, going so far as to offer the defense that "It's ok, because everybody's doing it." My mama taught me the fallacy of that when I was just a little foot.

The day there's a post about folks stealing music and all the readers agrees its the wrong thing to do, then we have a chance at organizing musicians.



You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

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Mike how can you call it a foot when it is more like eighteen inches.

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Jim,

Eighteen inches? That's not my foot.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
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Mike Dunbar Music

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The WGA strike is effective because there's a huge industry that depends on great scripts. If you want to be a "pro" screenwriter, that's really the only game in town worth pursuing. Ditto for pro sports.

On the other hand, musicians no longer need to serve the larger music industry in order to sell CDs, play shows and otherwise be successful. Some are simply happy enough to be heard at all, and can do so without having to make a living at it.

I agree that no one should be "forced" to give away their music for free, but likewise no one should be forced to demand payment for it, either.

It's going to be very hard (if not impossible) to impose an artificial price on an ephemeral product that has been decoupled from the plastic disc. The choice to pay or not is going to be based on emotion, listener loyalty, filters, peer pressure, etc.

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Scott,

So when technology improves a little more and anyone can get a stolen version of a new release movie and everyone on the planet can download it without going to theaters or buying/renting a DVD, will you view that in the same way as file sharing in music? And if so.. where does it stop? When does someone's property start and stop being in their control? If the standard is anything that can easily be stolen or used without harm (beyond loss of financial opportunity) then it could be extended to a lot more. Why have product patents anymore? Why have trademarks anymore? Why not let folks use empty houses for vacations.. as long as they clean up afterwards, there's no damage to the owner.

Either theft is bad or it's not. Society should choose and then be consistent. The US Government could shut down illegal file sharing in the US if they wanted to by simply passing laws holding the services liable. Then folks would work together to stop it all. I am not saying they should or shouldn't... but I think we should be consistent. Either ephemeral property is protected or it isn't. Either trademarks and copyrights are protected or they aren't. Choose one and then be consistent across all products, services and scenarios. And put the power of our government behind it. And sure, we can't stop the Russians and Chinese directly from stealing/sharing, but we have plenty of political clout to seriously limit it if we wanted to.

Brian


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Brian,

I think this extends to books, too. Note Amazon's new eBook reader, the Kindle. Though I doubt it's going to set the world on fire, it's a real interesting product that got a lot right. One thing it has right is DRM that looks like it will actually work... but then again, DRM seems like it's always hacked/cracked once it's out there long enough. But the cool thing about books is that it's extremely difficult to make a PDF file of a printed book, whereas any moron can rip a CD.

There HAVE been some cases where DRM has worked. And the majority of people who hate DRM are the folks who steal files. Maybe building better DRM is the answer. Maybe not. If I had the answers, I'd sell them and make millions of dollars.






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Originally Posted by Richard Maclemale
And the majority of people who hate DRM are the folks who steal files.


Uh, I don't steal files, and I hate DRM. smile I hate it because if I decide to switch from an iPod to a Sansa, I can't take the music I bought along with me. But I get your point, most consumers are willing to put up with some DRM so long as it doesn't interfere with their listening experience.

Brian: there are two issues being discussed here. One is about technology making music almost free. I agree that copyright is important, although I don't agree with the means of enforcement. I'm not going to get into that here because my views on the subject are pretty complex.

The secondary issue is this idea that some musicians give away their music for free, and that is somehow "bad" and hurting other musicians who want to be paid. My point is that technology has enabled some musicians to produce and distribute music without compensation, by choice. As a result, those musicians do not feel compelled to band together to fight a common enemy like filesharing.

I predict within 10 years, video and books will follow suit. Not only will they be easier to trade and steal, but also cheaper to produce and distribute. There will be more amateurs out there producing pro-quality material, putting it on the web, doing it for the glory and not caring about what happens to "the industry."

That's why you won't see a League Of Concerned Musicians Union anytime soon. The WGA has a common goal because they're co-dependent with the TV and movie industries. The music business isn't like that anymore.

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Scott,

That's almost exactly what I said above. As long as musicians don't care if people are stealing other musicians' work (as you say, "not caring about what happens to the 'industry'"), we'll never organize. We're not all in this together.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

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I think "filesharing" brings on such neverending conversations because it is still a new phenomenon, and people have not yet come to grips with it. It is a strange thing for a human being to do, filesharing. And once faced with all that access to our favorite music, anything at all... it confuses many of us, even puts a new spin on our sense of right and wrong. Of COURSE people shouldn't steal.

But knowing people, what do you think many people would do if you put plenty of food on a table outside of the public library? I think you would see similar results. Some would not touch it unless they knew they were invited. Others would help themselves--even if there was a sign saying Do Not Take Food Unless Paying.

It comes down, as usual, to enforcement. People as a large group just aren't very good at the honor system.

But how much oversight of the internet would we be comfortable having? Would we track those illegal transactions and go after every one of them? Man, that would be some haul, when you think about the amount of fines. Might actually boost the economy.

Other thefts seem to be easier for our society to manage. This one has several industries scratching their heads...as fast as they can.

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Originally Posted by Mike Dunbar
That's almost exactly what I said above. As long as musicians don't care if people are stealing other musicians' work (as you say, "not caring about what happens to the 'industry'"), we'll never organize.


Right, but that's not quite my meaning. It's not that they don't care about stealing, it's that they don't care about getting money in exchange. They're after the reach.

That's the disconnect between the good vs. bad filesharing debate. Which is now more valuable, the money or the reach? Is it better to be heard or to be paid? As a group, we can't agree. We don't have the common goal of getting signed anymore. If filesharing wasn't so darn effective in spreading music to new listeners, we wouldn't have this schism.




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The solution to enforcement is to hold the service providers accountable. That's a political hot potato of course, but it's the only way right now to control it. They know what material is going over their systems. Computers can detect files easily and ID when registered content is traveling over them. To protect individuals simply tranferring files to themselves for another purpose, you simply say "Anything more than 1 recipient at a time" will flag a problem in email use. For file sharing, the computer simply looks for content traveling across it's system. When enough flags are flown, it ID's the source and recipients and then validates whether they are authorized to "share" that content. If not, first their access is cut off and then their info is turned over to law enforcement. At the same time if they don't identify that activity, they pay the fines themselves with a punitive punishment added to it.

Sound harsh? Sure. Why shouldn't it? If we had someone stealing lawn furniture in a neighborhood, and found out the local UPS guy was hauling the stolen material out of the neighborhood for them, the law would come down hard on UPS. They have customs who check packages coming in and out of the US, so they could easily do the same for digital content. All registered copyrights would file a copy with the watchdog. In addition, to allow folks to give away their material, they could have a database where you uploaded a copy into the "free for all" bin that meant it goes right through all the protection measures by approval of the owner.

I am not saying this is the specific solution. You can't snap your fingers and have tech that can do all of this. But from a conceptual point of view, it's really not hard to come up with solutions if we're motivated to do so. But providers benefit from the illegal activity. Apple is funding their entire company off of devices that everyone knows are being used to mostly distribute and play illegal content. Since folks like Scott don't want the end user to bear the punishment (and I agree it's not that effective.. though I don't really feel sorry for them) then let's just stop it at the highest level source instead. Pass a few laws. Punish a few violators and the private market will shape up and protect other people's property from being stolen by their companies services and devices.

DRM sucks. It's like local cops worrying about stopping kids from having pot. It's pointless. Better to stop the dealers and those who help the dealers at the source. We wouldn't let the airlines open access to come into the US with any cargo they wanted... why allow large net service providers do break the law in the same way?

It's just a matter of priority. Music is at the bottom of the list. Politicians should all be stopped one day and the music on their (and their kids) iPods should be inspected to see how much of it they paid for or have rights to. I bet 75% or more would be in violation themselves. It's almost like racists being in charge of creating laws to protect minorities or heavy drug users being in charge of anti-drug legislation. If we AREN'T going to stop the theft and abuse, then we should open up ALL the copyright records and toss them out. Add patents and trademarks to it. Either we have a system that protect intellectual property with equal vigor, or we don't.

And for those who want to give it away, but uploading it into that database, people could go there and get it without any fear or concern and most likely it would become even more widely spread. Everyone wins except those who want it free against the will of the owners.

Brian


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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

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"Sometimes all you have to do to inspire humans to greatness is to give them a reason and opportunity to do something great." -Brian Austin Whitney
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People are becoming too lazy these days. Some artists and their publishers, labels etc are just too lazy to track down illegal distribution and file sharing. A simple google search will uncover a host of these operations and then law suits and prosecutions could lead to a shutdown. Do not bleat about it.... do something. If someone stole my stuff I would track them down and sue their ass.
It is up to us to put pressure on our governments who are all too afraid, too lazy or mealy mouthed to promote and adopt international piracy laws and then enforce them. It has to be worldwide. Countries not willing to participate should have international sanctions imposed.

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Don't hold back, Jim, tell us how you really feel about it.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

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I don't want to take the subject in a different direction so I hope someone here can answer my question. If not than I will check with CDbaby. I am selling digital downloads on Rhaspsody through CDbaby and found out that they are offering free listens. Is Raspsody paying me when someone listens free? My accounting page shows that Raspsody pays $0.009 for a paid listen and I have a few to my credit. Do they charge their members to listen to some songs and offer others free? I have never sold a download on Raspsody but have sold quite a few on Napster. So my question is, does Rhaspsody pick up the tab for their free listen offer or are they giving it away without my consent? Ben

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Good question Ben,let us know what you find out.


The more you taste the bitterness of defeat, the sweeter final victory will be

May the flowers of love forever bloom in your garden of life

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Everett, I just got an e-mail back from CDbaby. They say that they would never put content on a site that offered free streams. Like I said I am getting $0.009 per listen from Rhaspsody, so all I can figure is that the free streams are for members only and Rhaspsody is picking up the tab. Ben

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Rhapsody has a starter program that lets people listen to 25 songs for free in order to encourage them to sign up for the service. Itt's likely that Rhapsody is paying you for the free streams and eating the cost. They're required to pay you, unless otherwise negotiated.

Since 2005 I've racked a whopping $1.50 from Rhapsody streams.


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Maybe someone can answer this question. Why hasn't Limewire been shut down?

And just a prediction. The CD is a lousy media storage device. My kids spend $40 or $50 for a playstation 2 game (lately Guitar Hero) and if they scratch it- good bye $$$. That really ruffles my tail. The Ipod has made the Cd obsolete anyway. My prediction is that it will fade about as fast as the VHS tape machine is fading- and that the DVD will soon fade even more quickly. Now Bose is marketing a docking station that turns the Ipod into a hi fi system. CD sales are dying for a few reasons, but one of them is because the technology is bad. Had they created a CD system that came in a cartridge that couldn't be scratched, it would have stuck around a little longer but what is next? With memory storage expanding so fast, we will probably have kids downloading music into their nose rings- if not their brains, in a couple of years.

One more thing about guitar hero (on a lousy scratchable CD by the way). My 10 year old has been playing it for about 2 months and he is an expert. I have been playing guitar for 30 years and I cannot even get through a G H song at the beginners level and not make dozens of mistakes. It is a wonder to watch Chirtian's (my son)fingers flying over the buttons as he "plays" songs he has never heard before. He is also learning to play a real guitar and he is 300% faster at learning than I was.

I think music in all of it's aspects, is morphing into something that nobody can even begin to understand. The record industry is over. I don't know what the new industry is going to be but I do know this, if we could have the same revolution in ENERGY- if technology allowed each home to generate all their power needs and the whole energy GRID became obsolete, the enegry companies would whine like a little girl and we would have a crisis! But the crisis would be really the beginning of something wonderful. Maybe the crisis in the music industry is the beginning of something wonderful and not awful- time will tell.


"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
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It is like the old joke about self assembly furniture. A flatpack that is simple even for a 10 year old kid to understand and build in under an hour. Well never mind the 10 year old kid give me something that I can build in under an hour. When I got a new mobile phone I had to go next door and get their kid to show me how it worked. His fingers were a blur and he had it sussed in seconds. I could not even see the numbers and my fingers were too big to press the tiny buttons without hitting two or more at the same time. Still cannot work it properly after ayear.
Problem with technology? no problem just ask a kid he will suss it out.

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There's no question that things are morphing into something that will be better. It almost always does. But finding a way to survive during the transition which could take 20 years is what we need to focus on.

Brian

PS: Unless it has changed, you can sign up for Rhapsody membership and listen to any songs you want (and download them to your player) as long as you pay the monthly fee. They have to pay the rate for the listens to the songwriters and supposedly to the musicians as well via Sound Exchange. That reminds me, I need to sign up for that. I used to be on a similar service offerd by Virgin Digital before they closed.


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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..." -Brian Austin Whitney

"Sometimes all you have to do to inspire humans to greatness is to give them a reason and opportunity to do something great." -Brian Austin Whitney
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This is a thread that will never end. But there are great words of advice here. For one Just get your stuff out where ever you can. Focus on developing yourself firstly not just making money (this is hard though), face the fact that technology is helping at the same time we can reach more people in a shorter space of time, hey I can share my music with you guys here. I have never met you all some of you live on the other side of the globe... find other uses for your music ringtones, yearly calendars, musical cards etc

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I just attended 2 months ago in one of our local agency who handles or controls the piracy in the Philippines. The Agency is under the wing of the president of our country, and they created a very eloquent law about it signed by our congress and the senate, its called OMB, it stand for Optical Media Board. This agency will control all the mumbo jumbo of CD/DVD production. From the plastic, a raw material of CD down to the finished product of where the media are being stored. All the companies involved along the way should file a license to this agency. That translates to more operating cost and less protection from the pirates.

SO I asked the lecturer that day what will happen to the board if the CD will be replaced by "Ipod" technolgy that will not require optical media to store data. All she said was, "we shall look into that".

EVen the cellphone can store media. HOw this OMB will run to them? Are they going to confiscate or scan all the content of the person private property for any illegal files?

YOu are right Sam, CD will be obsolete even the Blue ray technolgy will never reach the market.

Im still positive with the song tracker, A gadget that detect what songs each person listening or have been listened for the past days. I suggest the colecting organization all over the world should invest into this kind of technolgy and let the music flow freely and collect royalties later from where the music came from.

With a faster bandwidth, and minituarization of everything the worst episode of our industry will be over, Soon?


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In some ways the music, game, movie and software industry are trying to have it both ways. They are selling content on CD or DVD or Game CD, which is a fragile media and then they are complaining that the content is being copied. But what about an honest consumer such as (myself for instance)?

I take my daughter to see Beauty and the Beast and I'm out $20. She wants to see it at home so I buy the VHS ($40 when if first came out) which she plays until the tape breaks; so I buy her a DVD ($18.99) which she scratches but wait there is more- we finally plop down the $1500 for a Flat screen LCD HD monitor and now we buy the blue ray “Beauty”- Hey it almost looks as good as the movie!. Now according to what the industry is complaining about, I should have been able (according to the model they are promoting) to pay for the movie one time and then watch it as I like- but if I had done that they would have lost out on collecting for all the formats I had to buy to keep my daughter entertained.

There is something disingenuous in the industries whining. Consumers know they have been handed the short end of the stick for decades and it is hard not to sympathize with a cynical consumer who is saying to himself, “Now it’s my turn to rip the bastards off”

The fact is, the industry does not really want to endorse the idea that we are buying “content” because they want to resell the same damn thing to us over and over again. I remember a celebrity film star saying on the Jay Leno show, “… with the release of the DVD, the movie can’t loose money”. The industry has been playing us for years and now perhaps they have reached the endgame but the king has left the building- and maybe this time he isn't coming back.


"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
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Brian said:

Worldwide, I would estimate the number is 30 million [music professionals]. The number would be even higher if there was less poverty. That's off the top of my head.. I will have to do some number crunching to see how close that number might be. Imagine if all 30 million people banded together? = )

Yes, there is a powerful potential there if it can be tapped. Just Imagine!

Just Imagine sjh with appologies to John Lennon

Imagine there's no corporations
It's easy if you try
No one to exploit us
In friends we all rely
Imagine all the people
Sharing songs today

Imagine there's no pirates
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to steal or burn for
And no regulations too
Imagine all the artist
Getting their fair share

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And I hope your song will soon be sung


"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
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