Tag Archive for 'duh'

No, Indie Musicians, You Do Not “Deserve” To Be Paid For Your Work

Justin Timberlake - Cry Me a River Album Art
Every time I see some down-on-his-luck independent musician ranting about how nobody wants to pay for music anymore, and how it’s hurting their livelihood as well as the labels, and why are people such cheap bastards who won’t pay me, and blah blah blah, it makes me very angry.

Yeah, I feel your pain, guys. People don’t pay for movies anymore either, and if they did I’d have a clear-cut business plan that anyone could understand, and I’d be rolling in investment money by now and going full speed ahead on a bajillion-dollar live-action-CGI-blend-extravaganza about space pirates or something. But that’s just not the way the world works anymore.

Now, I understand the need for a coping mechanism. Blame the cheap bastards who just want to download all of your hard work that you worked so hard on for weeks and months and years. Maybe they’ve got a point when they say the big record companies shouldn’t keep making money, but you, nooooo, you’re indie! You make less money than a part-time fry cook at McDonald’s, and if people steal from you, then they’re bad, bad people! You deserve to be paid for your hard work!

No you don’t. You’re indulging in your own creative vision; nobody asked you to, and you’re not providing a service to anybody. You are creating all the pretty music in your head because you feel like it, and you are not inherently entitled to anybody’s appreciation and certainly not monetary compensation.

If you’re good, though, and people like your music, then you don’t have to tell them that you deserve to be paid for it, because they know. They’re your fans now, and they’d love to throw money at you.

So, I’m sorry to break it to you, impoverished indie musician, but if you’re not making money from your music, then you’re either not good enough or you haven’t put a god damn PayPal button on your website.

Slash rant.

    IEEE’s “Digital Personal Property” Is The Stupidest Idea Anyone Has Ever Had. Ever.

    Magical Unicorn Fantasyland with Rainbow
    So I’m looking through my RSS reader and see this Ars Technica headline: “Goodbye, DRM; hello ‘stealable’ Digital Personal Property.” It was like a fucking trainwreck. I could not just pass by the article. I had to read it.

    Consumers hate DRM—all that “phoning home,” the outside control over one’s behavior, the fact that you can’t resell encrypted digital media, the worries about activation servers dying. But what if digital rights management could be turned into “consumer rights management” and people could actually own and fully control the digital content they purchase? That’s the dream of Paul Sweazey, who’s heading up a new study group on “digital personal property” at the IEEE.
    Digital personal property (DPP) is an attempt to make consumers treat digital media like physical objects.…[DPP files] can be freely copied and distributed to anyone, but here’s the trick: anyone who can view your content can also “steal” it irrevocably.

    And why would anyone want something like that? Well…

    Digital content lends itself easily to the creation of identical copies, so crafting a system in which digital content can be “stolen” is trickier than it might sound. The idea is to make it a “rivalrous good,” one that, after being taken, deprives someone else of something.

    Which is exactly what DRM attempts to do; DPP, at its core, amounts to nothing more than changing two letters. Of course, that’s not just because it tries the same thing. It’s also because it fails spectacularly in the exact same way. Much like every DRM system ever, “the scheme will be cracked, and once it is—even if only a few technically-savvy people can do the necessary work—content will flood P2P [file-sharing] networks,” says Ars.

    The fact that people who have actual jobs and educations still consider these kinds of ideas is absolutely baffling. I mean, they’re presumably sapient enough to know how to wipe their own asses, so why does the fact that DRM doesn’t work continue to elude their common sense?

    Given that digital content just isn’t like physical content, I ask Sweazey why we might want to force it back into that model…His answer is that such freely-copiable [sic] goods breaks the basic business model of human commerce by making goods nonrivalrous; it no longer has aspects of a private good, and this makes it difficult to sell.

    You know, Mr. Sweazy, you’re right; freely-copyable goods do break the basic business model of human commerce. That’s certainly a problem. Now, you go run along and play, because us adults have to go back to accepting reality and coming up with a solution that works outside of Magical Unicorn Fantasyland.

      RIAA Declares Death of Digital Rights Manufacturing, Causes Everyone’s Head To Explode

      TorrentFreak reports that the chief spokesperson for the RIAA has gone on record saying that DRM is dead:

      Jonathan Lamy, chief spokesperson for the RIAA declared DRM dead, when he was asked about the RIAA’s view on DRM for an upcoming SCMagazine article. “DRM is dead, isn’t it?” Lamy said, referring to the DRM-less iTunes store and other online outfits that now offer music without restrictions.

      DRM, which advocates claim is an acronym for “Digital Rights Management,” stands for Digital Rights Manufacturing, and refers to a number of technological methods by which media companies can manufacture legal rights for themselves out of thin air. These synthetic rights allow the gigantic corporation to prevent a legitimate buyer of a song, movie, video game, or other piece of media from doing anything particularly useful with it. It has been used by music distributors throughout the 00s as a sales reducer.

      The RIAA, or Retrospectively Irrelevant Association of America, has long championed the use of DRM on music, asserting that la la la la la, I can’t hear you, la la la la la. The sudden change in attitude has so far caused 40 deaths and 900 injuries worldwide related to high-decibel emissions of “wait, what?”

      Update: Actually, no, they didn’t. They just said it’s not on iTunes and stuff anymore, so that means something. Oh well.

        Finally, YouTube Will Let You Download Videos Without A Stupid Grabber Tool

        I love how Google decides to publicly test new features without issuing a press release. I guess they figured that the blogosphere notices anyway so why bother with the fanfare? But here’s something rather nice: they’re using Already President as far as I’m concerned Barack Obama’s channel to test out their new ability to download YouTube videos from the site.

        But Zacqary! There have been lots of tools that let you download YouTube videos for years!

        That’s a valid point, Helvetica Bold 10.5 Dark Orchid, but all of those have required you not only to download an extra program or Firefox extension, but they grab the crappy, compressed Flash Video version that you’d see anyway on YouTube. Now, not only do you click a little link below the video, but you also get to download it in H.264 format! That’s the same encoding that they use on Blu-Ray. BLU-RAY! (Though, granted, the YouTube download has a lower resolution and bitrate than a Blu-Ray, but seriously, it’s an improvement)

        I grabbed one of the Obama videos to compare, and yes, it’s quite nice:

        H.264 is better than standard YouTube FLV

        H.264 is better than standard YouTube FLV

        If you view that full size, you can see that the downloaded video has better contrast and is a lot less fuzzy. Keep in mind, though, that it downloads at 480×270; I resized it to 640×360 so it would be the same size as the video on YouTube. But the YouTube video is probably scaled up too.

        Sadly, it isn’t the same quality as YouTube HD:

        The download is still lower res than it could be.

        The download is still lower res than HD, unfortunately.

        Again, I scaled the download up. At this level of scaling you start to see where the downloaded copy loses detail. Though the contrast still looks better…maybe that’s Firefox’s fault?

        Now, this is still only available for Obama’s channel, but in the coming weeks, Google claims that everyone will have the option to enable their videos to be downloaded. Personally, for the sake of the common Internet user, I’m hoping that it’s an opt-out system. That way the only reason someone would have to stop being lazy and edit their videos is if they want to be an asshole or a corporation.

        Speaking of which, when do I get to replace my old videos with HD versions? They’re all ready to upload as soon as you let me, Google.

        [Source: Ars Technica]

          Google URLs Are Too Ugly, Says Dave Winer, Who Is Always Right

          Dave Winer maintains one of the first blogs ever, and though he didn’t exactly invent RSS, he’s pretty much the reason the entire Internet uses it. He also effectively made podcasting possible. And he can cure cancer with his mind. Needless to say, this is a man who knows what he’s talking about. Now, despite all that, the fact that Google really, REALLY needs to clean up their URLs could have been said by Sarah Palin and it would have been just as correct.

          Continue reading ‘Google URLs Are Too Ugly, Says Dave Winer, Who Is Always Right’

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