MIssing the boat

The music industry, which continues to complain bitterly about music piracy, and would cripple the internet if that’s what it took to stop music piracy (and it wouldn’t.. among other things, wifi is so cheap that if they crippled the internet, we would *build a new one* that would be awfully hard to cripple, is missing the boat.

Information wants to be free. In fact, information is already free. Shareaza is, as I’ve commented many times and as irritates just about everyone I talk to, just a service for locating really obnoxiously large numbers, which were always part of the number line and which we happen to experience as music. Someday we may find out that when we listen to a song, it gets encoded as DNA and stored somewhere, and then the music companies will want to find a way to delete that. [I can ‘hear’ in my head a song that I’ve heard ten or so times, with all the parts etc.. but I can’t make the bass move me, so I still prefer the old fashoned way]

But, it’s stupid to focus so much on money. Money is a tool that helps us get things done – but no one should ever go hungry, or lack a house, because of something as stupid as money. No one should ever die, or be tortured, over money.

Music inspires us, lifts us up, lowers us down, takes us to new mental realms, and I suspect raises both our empathy and our creativity. And if it weren’t for all the stupid music business hacks, installing music on our personal workstations would be as easy as installing software packages:

apt-get install Ani DiFranco.*

Honestly, I would welcome a system where anyone who was producing music got paid, either by the megabyte or as a flat rate, and we all paid for it as part of our taxes, and all the music was free to everyone. Then those same artists could get paid for public performances by those who went to the performances, and everyone would be happy. And the world would have unfettered access to music. I’m sure if you handed the problem of indexing and metadata and searching to Google, they could make something that would blow all of our collective minds.

Same story for fulltext of books. In fact, I think creators of any sort of digital media that even a few people can be said to enjoy should be getting checks from the government, and all that digital media should be indexed by the best wizards we can find, and free to all. In my version of $UTOPIA, that’s how it’d be. And as far as I can tell, the only way we’re ever going to get to my version of $UTOPIA is if we, and our children, and their children, and so on – build it ourselves.

And I believe, that we’ll conceive, to make in hell for us a heaven — VNV Nation, Kingdom

6 Responses to “MIssing the boat”

  1. don_diego Says:

    What I dislike most about the recording industry is that they refuse to accept that their business model is no longer viable and they need to develop a new one. They are middlemen between the musicians and the listeners, and even classical economic theory says that middlemen represent a transaction cost and are eliminated in the long run as the market evolves. (I’m talking like a capitalist today because it’s the most trenchant way to argue against other capitalists.)

    “I will stipulate that many persons have cancelled life insurance policies as a result thereof, but I challenge them to show that anyone so doing has suffered any loss or damage there from. It is true that the Amalgamated has lost business through my activities, but that is the natural result of my discovery, which has made their policies as obsolete as the bow and arrow. If an injunction is granted on that ground, I shall set up a coal oil lamp factory, then ask for an injunction against the Edison and General Electric companies to forbid them to manufacture incandescent bulbs.”

    Hugo Pinero, in Robert A. Heinlein’s “Life-Line” (1939)


  2. anonymous Says:

    No more selling one CD with one good song and 9 not-so-good songs for $15.

  3. kayti23 Says:

    Okay, so people agree that what’s here is outmoded. Who’s going to build what comes next? And why should we (yes, me, too) feel good about stealing in the meantime from people who don’t yet HAVE a new and shiny way to eke out a living from their intellectual property?

    And if they’re just really big numbers, why don’t you make do with the ones that don’t have copyrights associated with ’em? Please don’t tell me that all the cool music has already been written, or even a noticeable percentage of it. That would be too depressing, and I know you’d never believe it.

  4. jcurious Says:

    Track down and watch:
    Season 2 Episode 11 of Penn and Teller’s Bullshit

    They give the full rundown on the history and stuff of the 12-Step program…

    If you have trouble finding it, let me know and I’ll get it for ya…

  5. sheer_panic Says:

    I have no clue as to where to even start to find said file..

  6. jcurious Says:

    d/lded it for ya… find it here for now..


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