Why I'm Not Participating In The Great SOPA Strike

Why I'm Not Participating In The Great SOPA Strike

I'm not participating in the great SOPA internet strike today because I believe that artists should be paid for their work. And while this bill may be flawed (and as far as I can tell is already dead anyway), I'm certainly not going to strike over it because I think that the other side of this issue needs to be heard.

People sure do loves them some free internet. It is the great "democratizer". Anybody with a guitar can just open their laptop, record themselves performing, slap it up on YouTube, and get themselves a couple hundred hits. The Next Bob Dylan is able to DYI it like never before, but he's also very unlikely to ever get paid for his work. Even young Bob would eventually like to move out of his parents basement and get some health insurance.

But don't listen to me. I'll let one of the anti-SOPA protesters make my point for me, as seen in this video:

"This is about one thing: money. The free internet we enjoy today gives independent artists a voice and consumers a choice. Our free internet is costing big movie studios, record labels, and other traditional media companies lots of money. This bill is about using the government to shut down  the competition for bloggers, podcasters, web TV, and other independent content creators."

-Rich Calvert, Blogworld

Well, Rich and I are in agreement as far as his first sentence. It is definitely all about money. See, Rich's site provides you with the ability to create all kinds of free content for him to make money off of. He definitely doesn't want to see that dry up. The free internet may give independent artists a voice...but no paycheck or benefits.

And it's definitely costing those evil media companies lots and lots of money which is totally awesome, right? Due to loss of profits from piracy, there might come a day when they'll be forced to only deal with sure bets...like brainless action movies and sequels upon sequels of known commodities, and cookie-cutter pop music that will appeal to the masses, and books by reality TV stars. I know! Crazy, right?

The great free internet is clearly already having a deleterious effect on the arts. When the Next Bob Dylan realizes that he can't get noticed amongst the eleventy billion others, and that no record company will take a chance on a new cutting edge artist, and that he can never hope to make a living from his music, he'll eventually go back to school for that accounting degree. How many Faulkners and Hemingways are we missing out on because they don't have a built-in audience or "platform" like Snooki and The Real Housewives?

But when Google cries "CENSORSHIP", we are all supposed to follow like lemmings. I'm amazed at how many people, who don't know a proxy server from a DNS server, or a deep-packet inspection from an anal probe, are jumping on this bandwagon. I know, I know...because free internet is so. fucking. great.

No worries, internet addicts. Your dirtbag husband will still be able to download his porn, angry losers will still be able to spew their vitriol anonymously on your blog, and you'll still be able to watch that adorable video of the five year olds singing "Super Bass". Because God knows that shit is fucking imperative.

And tomorrow all of your favorite bloggers will be back in the saddle writing their posts. For free.

UPDATE: I wrote this down in the comments, but had to put it into the body of the post.

I just came across this "open letter from artists against SOPA"   The letter was written by someone I've never heard of and signed by a sad little list of artists including Aziz Ansari (love his books and CD's) and like 10 other nobodies. OK, I'll give you Trent Reznor, but where's everybody else?

In my opinion, this speaks volumes. I assume a lot of you internet junkies are music fans. Why do you suppose that your favorite artist didn't sign this?

Filed under: Uncategorized

Tags: internet, online piracy, PIPA, sopa


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  • Philosophically, I agree with you: artist should absolutely be paid for their work.

    Beyond that however, it is clear you haven't educated yourself about the bill in question, nor the way the movement itself has progressed.

    Do you realize that under the new bill as written, if I wanted to effectively remove your blog, and all the content you've worked so hard to produce all I would have to do is to put some copywritten content in this comment? The mere accusation of infringment would be enough to legally shut down the entire Chicagonow.com domain until you could prove your innocence.

  • In reply to trev:

    The "new bill as written" is dead. I personally believe that the tech companies have used this (yeah, probably poorly written) bill to create mass hysteria over a lot of things that "could" happen that more than likely never would so that they can go on making piles of money off of artists' backs. And this content that I've worked so hard to produce? I don't get a dime for it, so knock yourself out.

  • In reply to autismarmymom:

    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

    As I said, I am in complete philosophical agreement with you, artist should be paid for their work. Piracy is a problem, and it does need to be dealt with. It just needs to be handled in ways that don't hurt people like you and I even further. It's a tough issue to be sure, I just don't think it warrants the 'guilty until proven innocent' philosophy that PIPA and SOPA espouse. I'm against the bills because I DON'T want people such as yourself to suffer from the collateral damage of a poorly thought out piece of legislation.

    The core issue here is that the people who crafted these bills did not take the time to understand the unintended consequences, nor did they consult with anyone qualified to do so till after the fact. If you watched the markup sessions, it became clear that the level of technical understanding they have is woefully lacking, they did not even understand the difference between an IP address and a URL.

    A solution does need to be found, but the law has to be written competently, and by people who have the intellectual fortitude to educate themselves on the matter at hand.

  • In reply to trev:

    And it was poorly written with no regard for the consequences because it was written by one interest (the RIAA/MPAA) who cares little about the consequences.

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    In reply to trev:

    Perfectly said.

  • my day job is in a very tech heavy industry, i spend all day with some of the top minds in modern technology (literally, these people write the books) and have been hearing a lot about this debate lately. also, as a pretty nerdy dude, i spend a lot of time on the internet on tech blogs and deep in geek culture. there's nothing good about this bill. the only viable protection provided is already covered by existing legislation and the rest is concerned with circumventing due process and allowing service providers to shut down a users access with little or no justification. artists should be paid,

    it pains me, but Bieber is the best example of what the current system does. his original videos would have been removed under SOPA/PIPA, but because his fame was allowed to spread, we got our new pop-star/joke-target.

  • I would also like to point out that your use of the "Survivor" logo on your blog is a copyright infringement. I guess your desire to see artist get paid doesn't extend to graphic designers? I'm honestly not trying to pick a fight with you, just food for thought is all. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day.

  • In reply to trev:

    You're right Trev, and I appreciate your comments. I definitely do not download pirated music or movies because there is clearly a legal route to follow to acquire it, but as far as graphics I'm not quite sure how to get a check to the guy who designed the Survivor logo. So I guess that means I should stick to sites like iStock where you pay for graphics.

  • In reply to autismarmymom:

    That's exactly the point of opposition to these bills--you could have your site taken down without warning just because of that logo. Then you'd be stuck in a legal fight you may or may not be able to win, and you could lose your site entirely. That's why the bill can't work as it's described. It gives companies the power to censor without much oversight. And worst of all, it would ensure all search engines, social media sites, etc would have to start censoring what they show users. If the entertainment companies decide to get zealous and lean on Facebook, for instance, they might stop people from quoting a song lyric in a status update, or take down a picture of your kid because they're wearing a t-shirt with a licensed character on it. Sure, if the companies all used that power responsibly it might be ok but I personally don't think we want to bank on corporations "doing the right thing", do we? Anti-piracy legislation is important, but it needs to be well thought out and clearly defined so as to avoid potential abuses.

  • In reply to jll2800:

    I should clarify, with SOPA/PIPA copyright holders (who are mostly corporations) couldn't directly remove sites, but they could get court orders to immediately take down sites with copyrighted material. And to be honest, it would probably be much easier to get a little personal blog taken down than a large search engine. Makes you wonder if entertainment companies, for instance, might actually spend a lot of time going after the "little guys". It's not clear but it would be perfectly within their rights with this legislation, and I'd rather not find out if they'd take that course of action. For those who were wondering about alternatives, the biggest active alternative is a bill called OPEN, which is similar but not as far reaching. I don't actually know a ton about it yet but it sounds worth a discussion as SOPA/PIPA are dying.

  • In reply to jll2800:

    I don't make a dime off of my little blog, so the government can have at it. I've got a great idea. Do me a solid and report this blog http://www.autismarmymom.com/ to the authorities because it's rife with unauthorized use, like this one doctored up picture of Jabba the Hut that looks exactly like a friend of mine. Then, if I am to believe what I'm hearing from the anti-SOPA forces, I will be thrown in jail for years (cuz frankly I could use some time to myself) and I'll become a cause celebre because I'm a special needs mom who's been torn away from her autistic child and thrown in the cooler. As a result, I'll be sprung AND get a six figure book deal and a reality show from the ordeal. WIN WIN WIN WIN!

  • In reply to autismarmymom:

    Thank you for being willing to engage in a useful conversation about this topic - that is all to rare on the internet unfortunately.

  • I've made my living and supported my family my entire life by writing. I'll be damned if I did it to see someone else profit from my hard work. If this bill is flawed (as it appears to be), let's move the discussion on to what will protect our copyrights. Frankly, I don't know, but I hope the opponents of the bill have some good ideas.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    I completely agree Dennis. It seems that this bill is indeed flawed, but I'm not hearing much in the way of alternatives that would ensure artists are paid for their work. Probably because people are happy to get it for free.

  • In reply to autismarmymom:

    Dennis, autismarmymom - then do tell what you need to protect your copyrights that you do not now have, and what you are doing to get paid for your work. This is a market economy - you get paid for selling something, not just for creating it. The money will only come to you if you are successfully marketing your work, and taking the steps you need to protect it. Existing law gives you plenty of tools for that, and no law will ever sell your work for you.

  • I could be wrong, but if this is the Dennis Byrne I think it is, he is an oped columnist for the Chicago Tribune who, as he says, has supported a family by getting PAID for his writing. If Dennis had the misfortune of being born a few decades late, he more than likely would not have been able to do so.

    And please please please do tell me how I should successfully market my blog to get noticed amongst the other gozillions of suckers who post their content for free on the internet. Cuz yeah, I've been sitting here with my thumb up my ass for two years now.

  • In reply to autismarmymom:

    Then Dennis has been fortunate enough to draw a paycheck from an enterprise that took the risk for marketing, distributing, and enforcing the rights to his work. That's still happening, and young people who have established their voices and marketed themselves on the internet are getting jobs from traditional news companies. Take for instance Ezra Klein at the Washington Post.

    If you're giving away your content, and you dont have a clear idea of what content people will pay for and how to get yourself into the payment stream, then, well, it's just a hobby. And you can use your thumb however you see fit on your own time.

  • But I would like it not to be a hobby. I would like to get paid for it. So please tell me how.

  • In reply to autismarmymom:

    As far as I can tell, people who have made real careers out of blogging are either (a) people who had expertise in subject areas that became highly relevant for a long period of time (c.f., financial crisis, Calculated RIsk or Edward Hugh); (b) very good reporters, and/or (c) gifted writers.

    That's not exactly a one-size fits all plan, sort of like saying "paint real good like those Picasso and Van Gogh guys do." Identifying a niche and working like hell to own it seems to be pretty important here, but that's true of most businesses. Monetizing a dominant position seems to be less of a problem than getting it in the first place.

  • autismarmymom, you're right about my identity. I'm glad that I started in the news business long enough ago (in the 1960s) to have been afforded a paycheck in a dying industry.

    However misplaced, I do try to earn a living now freelancing and a part of that is by selling my stuff on the Internet. Occasionally, I notice that some site has swiped an article wholesale (yes, I have to Google myself to see who is doing it). Without false modesty, I can say that few people are interested in reprinting my work wholesale (even without paying), but when I notice it happening, I send an email reminder about copyright and how to get permission the next time. Us little guys have little other recourse and I dare say I don't have the resources to go after the thieves.

  • In reply to autismarmymom:

    Shutting down websites does not get anybody paid either.

  • Yes, artists should be paid.

    Too bad large conglomerates have been stiffing them for years...and now they plead poverty? Oh come on...as Janis Ian said in a brilliant article she wrote over 10 years ago on this topic, "When the record companies start telling me they're looking out for my financial interests, I check my wallet."

    Let the MPAA, the RIAA and the others go scratch. Direct payment for product is the new model, we don't need most of the crap those fat cats consider "important". Sorry, autistic army mom...

  • In reply to mikejaz2:

    I couldn't let the Janis Ian reference go. Now there's someone who knows all about the music biz in the digital age. I'll see your Janis Ian and raise you one Jon Bon Jovi who said that Steve Jobs destroyed the music business. Hey, at least he's had a record out in this millennium ;)

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    Have you been brainwashed? Artists and musicians are making money; and loss of money comes from corporations squeezing as much work out of artists for as little compensation as possible. The other side is propaganda; the entertainment industry is chugging along. You can't provide one piece of evidence from a reliable source that confirms the RIAA or any other groups ridiculous loss of revenue due to pirating stats. Pirating in fact; helps get little artists and movie creators get their names out; and people to purchase the products. What do failing industries do to save themselves you ask? Innovate; not legislate.

    Independent artists only get found because of pirating and sharing of music; without these open mediums people we've never heard of would never get the light of day; because corporations would control all the "entertainment" content we enjoy.

    Free; free; free. That's how you get your name out their. That's how you get people to pay to go to your concerts and shows.

    Anyone who thinks that we need more laws and regulations to stop pirating; is unaware of the reality that piracy hasn't ruined any industry. Luckily more people are on the right side; and not on your side of corporate control.

    Sharing is how we got to where we are on the internet; you want to step back.. have people get their sites ripped down for showing pictures of survivor or clipping songs.. That's your imperative; but it's not the right path for the internet or freedom.

  • In reply to Bruce Lee:

    I think it's ironic that people think that Google and Apple are any less of corporate overlords than media companies. And I think I made the point about indie artists...who can get more exposure for sure, but very few are able to make a living wage.

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    In reply to autismarmymom:

    Nothing ironic at all; these bills have been opposed by normal people far before Google or any other company got involved. The internet forums have been ablaze with nothing but negative talk about SOPA for months now. They jumped on the bandwagon; their isn't an ironic thing about it.

  • In reply to Bruce Lee:

    I'm not sure how the timing proves or disproves the irony, but for the record Google was on record back in the fall when this was first on anyone's radar...

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    In reply to autismarmymom:

    I think you're ignoring the fact that many who are not able to make a living wage just aren't good enough at what they are trying to do. Sorry, the market has spoken. Time to try a different vocation.

  • In reply to Bruce Lee:

    You are a pathetic, delusional, and yes -- BRAINWASHED -- redneck. How dare you say that piracy doesn't hurt artists. I had my work pirated to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars and earned nothing for it. And you think this is a Good Thing?

    F you. Put your money where your sad, sick mouth is. Post your address here and give me a key to your house so I can steal your cash. Have done to you what's been done to me. Then tell me how good getting a-s raped feels. Dumb s--t.

  • We hope for your sake that the art work you used here is your own, as you didn't give any credit to the artist and that you had "written consent" from the person who's link you've inserted, because under SOPA that would be a felony violation. So that's fine, you believe that hollywood, big media and politicians should decide what you can write about, what information is shared and read - oh that sounds familiar if you're in communist China. The next Bob Dylan won't be discovered on the Internet because all those cover songs he's singing would also be a felony violation under SOPA. You won't be writing for this site either, because they no longer would be willing to take the risk that you may post a link or picture that is unlawful.

  • I find it refreshing that the author of the article IS willing to participate in a meaningful exchange of ideas, rather than trade barbs with those who (including me) who disagree with the gist of the article. Kudos to you for doing so!

    Like Trev, I agree with you that artists deserve compensation for their hard work and, like Trev, I agree that this legislation is seriously flawed. The biggest problem with it is due to the vagueness of the verbiage. A more successful attempt to address the problem would specifically define the illegal actions are and specifically describe the recourse the government was going to be authorized to take. Rather than creating a situation where an entire organization could be censored and shut down the law should provide for small, specific, penalties to the offenders, a portion of which I believe should go directly to the artists injured by any copyright infringement.

    Doing so would result, like speeding or parking tickets, in greatly reducing the number of repeat offenders because small fines would more likely be paid rather than fought in court (already overloaded with "frivolous" cases), and artists would actually be able to move out of their parent's basements from small awards automatically paid from many sources. Most importantly, these small, individual, citations would slowly change the "free for all" mentality that many people have grown up thinking was their birthright in our internet world. Small steps like these will go much further, in my opinion, than a blanket law that gives far too much power to people who have no idea how to properly wield it.


  • In reply to Planecrazy:

    It DOES sound like SOPA is seriously flawed, and I never meant this as a purely pro-SOPA post as much as I wanted people to see this from the artist's perspective. Thanks for your comment Steve.

  • In reply to autismarmymom:

    It is good to look at every issue from as many perspectives as possible, but there really is no way to defend SOPA/PIPA. As do most people, I agree that artists should get paid when their work gets used. However, what does SOPA do to help artists? Your post doesn't really address this. How would SOPA help those poor starving artists get paid?

    So we are in agreement that artists should get paid when someone uses their work. What should be done about it? You can't just blindly support a flawed bill (and you correctly admit that it is flawed) just to do SOMETHING. That would just do more harm than good.

    The main supporters of the bill are the RIAA and MPAA. They are dinosaurs that must know they are on their way out. They are desperately trying to stave off their extinction. I think it would be a good thing for artists if they did go away. There are ways for talented artists to get noticed without record companies. There are ways for them to monetize their work without record companies. Hopefully the paradigm will shift and the truly talented artists will rise to the top, as opposed to the way things are now where Bieber gets shoved in our faces just because some record company exec thinks he can make millions off the kid.

  • In reply to hesips:

    I've already said that the SOPA bill is flawed and that this is not per se a pro-SOPA post. But how does stopping online piracy help artists? Really? Uh, by not allowing people to get intellectual property for free. By making them pay for it so that the artist (and yes the media companies that have made an investment) make money. Many countries in Europe are already doing this...this is not a slippery slope to communist China people!

  • In reply to autismarmymom:

    Would SOPA stop online piracy? I know that's the supposed intent, but would it actually work?

  • In reply to hesips:

    I don't claim to know the ins and the outs (unlike everyone else posting today) but it sounds like SOPA uses an anvil where a surgical knife would do. Or words to that effect. BUT I'm also hearing a lot of straw man arguments about how everyone's going to get thrown in jail if they so much as make a move on the internet, and I feel pretty comfortable saying that that's probably not going to happen under any scenario.

  • I get what you're saying, but SOPA is like outlawing cars because they are used in 80% of bank robberies

  • What I do get is how is irritating your customers by holding back websites from them going to affect Congress? These websites wont be getting me on their side. Just like the morons in the Occupy movement, why dont you protest against the actual people you are against instead of disrupting people who might otherwise be on your side? Besides, this seems like a complicated issue and I wont be pushed into supporting something that might not be all bad.

  • In reply to mikechi59:

    There has been much more discussion of SOPA today than ever before. That's the point of the blackout. It's to draw attention. Seems like it may have worked.

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    The issue I have with this bill is the fact that websites can be taken down without notice for reasons outlined above. Even worse, offenders can be sent to jail for upto five years, talk about grossly disproportionate punishment for the crime. I don't advocate piracy but this bill goes too far, I have no issues with websites being taken down if they make money from linking to/hosting illegal content but taking someone's site down because they write an informational article about downloading the latest Lady Gaga album is over the top, dare I say that infringes on our constitutional right, censoring our right to free speech?

    The United States government have been happy upto now to benefit from the billions of dollars in taxes they collected from Internet companies, now they want to shut down what made the Internet so popular. What would happen if companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Twitter and many more decided to up-sticks and move their whole operation out of the US because of this restrictive bill. Billions lost in revenues from these companies potentially, and because they are all web based companies, they can move with little to no disruption of services.

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    I'm not sure that the arguments being made here about getting paid as a writer (or a blogger) actually have much to do with SOPA. We as writers want to be paid for our work (or at least credited) but before the internet, we would have to find an agent, go to a big publishing company, get signed, etc. At least now, I can write and have people read it. It is my choice to give it away for free. And frankly, as another stay at home mom to a special needs kid (hi!), I wouldn't have time to write any other way.

    Same for indie music. Were all these guys getting discovered any better before? I doubt it. Stifling innovation is not the answer.

  • In reply to JennieB:

    The point is that if you wanted to earn money for it, you couldn't. I personally feel that I would have had a better shot under the old school system, but that's just me.

  • The record companies and the music industry in general are the ones who are screwing artists out of their money. This is why you see so many successful artists creating their own labels or going independent. The SOPA law will do little to stop 'piracy' because most of the piracy and black marketeering takes place outside of the US.
    I am grateful that Google has joined the fight. Google has already been censored by the Chinese government, so they are quite familiar with this issue. Do we want to be like China and have our government do the same? There are already sufficient anti-piracy laws on the books to deal with 'piracy'. It saddens me to see so many people willing to give up their liberties on behalf of corporate america. Do you think the corporations care about Democracy? Corporations are not run democratically. So how can they be trusted? Their bottom line is money, mine is Liberty, the Liberty that so many have fought and died for.

  • Nobody's buying ugly music with obscene lyrics from "artists" who could pass for strippers easier than musicians.
    Because of this, every site should provide full time nanny moderation or risk death?
    Tell these "artists" to put their clothes back on, bring back melody, and sing about something besides 4 letter words.
    Their stuff is not selling because it is bad.
    Enslaving the internet won't improve it.

  • In reply to Webfairy:

    What planet are you living on? The artists you describe are hugely popular and making piles of money! And you'll get more and more of the same too because no one in the music industry will take a chance on anything more creative or that deviates from a formula that has proven successful.

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    Count me largely in agreement with you - well written and one of the more reasoned pieces. The primary evil is foreign infringement, and infringement more generally. If poorly written, let's seek to revise with it, and not allow for the "automatic shutdown"--- raise the presumption some. As a freelance writer who tracks developments in the music industry, I see the merits of both sides of the issue. I sympathize with artists who aren't getting paid, despite the liberty of a DIY culture, and penalizing the large media conglomerates and artists rights organizations that collect revenue, and then distribute a share to artists, is not the way to go. Sure the creative chaos of Wikipedia has its merits, but the cut and paste self-policing democracy of its community, substitutes a certain mob rules ethic for substantive review and vetting of content. There has to be a balance of two competing principles, protecting artists from infringement and "free expression". The tech industry that has allied against the bill doesn't come into this with clean hands. Many of those following the simplistic sloganeering of opponents that it's about free expression on the internet, do not understand that the battle has been joined between two different sets of robber barons- old world Media vs tech industry.

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    "Why do you suppose that your favorite artist didn't sign this?" Well, in addition to Trent Reznor, there's MGMT, Nada Surf's Daniel Lorca, OK Go, Amanda Palmer, Erin McKeown, Lonely Island and more according to Spinner...

  • In reply to Tim Kolecke:

    Nada Surf's Daniel Lorca? Oh man, I didn't know that HE was on the list. You sure set me straight Tim.

    Seriously, thanks for helping me make my point.

  • These bills are a sweeping destruction of our free speech in order to solve one demographic's problem: Hollywood.

    I'm constantly appalled at the nature of this country to defend millionaires before everybody else. I'm a struggling musician myself and i LOVE when people share my music -- it gets me heard.

  • In reply to Dan Bradley:

    And siding with Google, Facebook, Apple et al isn't defending millionaires?

  • Here's a great explanation of this problem... Clay Shirky is a great explicator of society's encounter with this technology:


    The thing he doesn't address here is your points about independent artists. There are numerous independent artists succeeding on the Internet: Jonathan Coulton, Jill Sobule, Pomplamoose, and a lot of others. You might not have heard of them, but they don't have to sell quite as many albums as the ones you have heard of to succeed because they don't have to share their profits with an enormous industry.

    Jonathan Coulton claims he made $200K in 2010 (I think). That's a solid upper-middle class income in 2010. He worked for it. He toured, he communicated with thousands of fans, he built relationships. He gave a lot away for free. But he found an audience who values his work, and is willing to support his success.

    You lament competing with eleventy billion voices. I rejoice in the fact that so many have something to say. Were you really happier in the world where the only voices with any reach are those of Walter Cronkite and his cohort? Which is the greater triumph of human expression?

    Jon Bon Jovi is an historical anomaly. Over the great sweep of history, artists have always been poor. And even in the twentieth century, the fraction of musicians who were not hobbyists was small. The fact is, right now there is, for the first time, an opportunity to be a middle class musician. If you're greedy for stardom, I suppose that's tragic. If not, you have an opportunity to make your way in a much more interesting world.

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    i wish i could find the link, but my computer is failing me at the moment.

    but rolling stone made a great point on the subject recently: the music industry exists because of pop music. record companies make money off of largely popular albums, and by only producing a few each year. as bad as online piracy is, if you take it away then you take away instant access to every band that dont have enough money to produce a record, and you end up leaving every smaller-caliber artist out of play completely if they cant make it big.

    piracy is cruel. but in this case, taking it away means the drowning of every artist who cannot be picked up by a record company very early in their career, which record companies are not likely to do if they want to continue to make money like they do.

    think about it. if i can find the rolling stone cover, ill post it.i

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  • Obviously you never heard of Lady Gaga....

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    hey, I am a writer, we hardly ever get paid and our stuff gets ripped off all the time even when copywrited. Hard to enforce when you are not that tech saavy. In any case, we also have a business that collects, researches and collates data for sale. We have employees and others who work for us, who we pay for health insurance for etc etc. They do work to provide a product. To make it in today's market we have to have tons of security. We sell by CD , Intranet, and internet. If we are pirated who will pay for all this work? It isn't as romantic as music or poetry, but it pays the bills. If we get put out of business lots of people will be hurt . Not just our employees but all the people who use our data including a large number of not-for-profits that help people in need, but everyone has to stomp these bills so that the internet millionaires/billionaires won't lose a cent and so that everyone can steal movies and music with a clear conscience?

  • Well, isn't this so ironic. Didn't you write a post a while back with a bunch of UNPAID for iStock photo comps in it?

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