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35 Comments

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Shooting Stars In Toronto

2007_07_17Stars.jpg
Indie popsters Stars will be shooting a new video in Toronto tomorrow and Thursday and they want you to be in it. If you missed the Joel Plaskett shoot we told you about earlier this year, you’ve got another shot at your 15 minutes of fame (or at least becoming known among your acquaintances as “the one who was in a music video”). Aspiring extras should send photos and contact info to extras@blinkpictures.com for their chance to hobnob with Stars.
The video will be for a track off their fourth studio album, In Our Bedroom After The War, which comes hot on the heels of their remix release Do You Trust Your Friends?, released in May. The new album has been for sale as of last week—but only online.
Such close release dates weren’t originally planned. In Our Bedroom After The War was set to be unleashed on September 25th (which is when the physical version will be made available), but in an era when album leaks are a case of “when” rather than “if,” they thought, “Why wait?” The band’s Toronto-based label, Arts & Crafts, had the album ready for fans to purchase a scant four days after it was finished.
Usually, only promotional copies (the ones that cause leaks to spring) would be sent out so soon after an album is ready. But, as Arts & Crafts put it on their website, “We believe that the line between the media and the public is now completely grey. What is the difference between a writer for a big glossy music magazine and a student writing about their favourite bands on their blog?” (Torontoist would argue that bloggers are actually more awesome, but that’s just us.) With a quicker and easier distribution method in the internet and a new media landscape, there’s no need to follow the old model.
The band and label are hoping with this bold, innovative move “that given a clear, legal alternative to downloading music for free, you will choose to support the creators.” In other words, you can’t use your eagerness to hear the album as an excuse for downloading a free copy, because the free and for-purchase copies are available at the same time. Your love for a band is no longer a twisted justification for stealing from them.
It may not seem like a big deal, but in such a rapidly changing industry, it really is. The music business is in need of new ways of doing things if it wants to save itself, and the speedy release of In Our Bedroom After The War is the kind of idea that fits the bill. If other labels are smart, these short lead times will become the standard—thanks to Canada’s Soft Revolutionaries.
Photo by A. De Wilde.

Comments

  • David Topping

    While I think it’s fine and dandy that Stars released their album super-early, getting the one-up on file sharers, I don’t think it’ll make any difference. It’s not like the people who share files are going to suddenly be guilt-tripped into purchasing albums if they weren’t before. Bands and labels need to realize that for many people, file sharing is now completely and utterly justified, and that the people downloading their music are doing it because they genuinely love it, and that that can mean more money for the band — just via different means, like concerts and clothing, or, even less directly, because other people are turned onto a band’s music by word of mouth in ways that didn’t use to be possible. I mean, let’s be honest, how successful or well-known would a small indie label like Arts & Crafts be if not for file sharing spreading the word about their (awesome) bands?
    I was reading a book last night, and the Publisher’s Note at its front reads similar to the Stars’ wishes:

    The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

    Nothing more, nothing less. A simple note, kindly (they say “please”!) asking people to “support…the author’s rights.” It seems like that’s the attitude that’s missing. Not blaming anyone, not threatening anyone, just kindly asking consumers to support the creator. The music industry and their ways of dealing with the problem of piracy — not talking about Arts & Crafts here, but a lot of the larger companies that have done things like made their CDs unplayable on computers, or, in the States, sued the crap out of people who never made a penny off of their artists — have become so repulsive to many people that fans are put off of buying albums altogether. Arts & Crafts’ niceness — they realize they’re addressing fans of the band when they talk to file sharers — is good. But it’s not enough.
    What would be far more “bold and innovative” would be actually making the physical album available, right now, with the promo copies. Honestly, if I intended to buy the band’s album, I wouldn’t purchase it online from them now when a hard copy wasn’t even available yet; I’d probably download it illegally, see if I liked it, then purchase the hard copy when it was released. Hell, vinyl is selling better than it has in the last thirty years; why not make a vinyl edition available now, too? I don’t think that the recording labels realize how desperately they need an entirely new business model — and perhaps a new medium altogether — to be able to continue to profit. Releasing it early isn’t good enough.

  • guest

    “What is the difference between a writer for a big glossy music magazine and a student writing about their favourite bands on their blog?”
    Uh, readership? Credibility? Influence? Sobriety? Talent?

  • Marc Lostracco

    Whether or not it brings more money indirectly to bands or more fans or more exposurse, downloading music is still theft. I’m not making a judgment call on it, nor am I denying that the music labels were asleep at the switch for years or aren’t stuck in some outmoded business model, but theft is exactly what it is, so let’s not over-justify it.

  • guest

    Unfortunately, when it comes to prepping a physical release (be it vinyl or CD) the package pressing process isn’t nearly as speedy. However many copies that are planed to be shipped to retail outlets, you can bank on the fact that there’s a long queue labels have to wait on before they are attended to. Sure if you’re a big company things move faster, but Arts & Crafts are anything but. If it wasn’t for this fact I’m sure the physical release date would be much sooner.
    Also, many people who buy cd’s today usually purchase them and proceed to rip them to whatever portable device they have shortly after. So while legally available downloads are a touch and go solution to the problem of piracy, cd’s don’t hold up the same way they used to.

  • brokenengine

    Million $ idea that is so far out of my realm of expertise it’s sad: Someone needs to design/create mp3′s that corrupt after a week and are uncopyable. Then the record companies can pre-release to give the fans a choice. If the fan likes, it they can buy.
    Not a total solution, but I don’t think there IS a total solution to this, short of the Music Industry completely going back to the drawing board, and that hahaha isn–hahahaha HAA HAAA Sorry, I just can’t say it without laughing!

  • the2scoops

    This copy of Icky Thump will self-destruct in 5 days…

  • guest

    Marc — NO, downloading music is NOT theft. Theft is when you steal someone’s physical property.
    See, when you steal a book from a store, the store actually loses money because they *can’t sell the book to someone else*. When you download a band’s music, you are not preventing someone else from hearing it. How can it be theft if I take nothing from the artist?
    You’ve been brainwashed by the corporations that want you to think of information as if it’s something physical, some kind of property that you can own and buy and sell. Information doesn’t work that way; it’s only because of intrusive legislation that the corporations are able to treat it that way.
    If you care about the subject, please read Lawrence Lessig’s excellent book Free Culture.
    (Also, let me be clear that downloading music can still be morally wrong even if it isn’t theft. Please give money to artists whose work you enjoy.)

  • brokenengine

    “guest”, I am a musician. I paid for the hours of rehearsal time to write the songs, the vacation days used to tour to promote, the posters, etc etc. I paid to record the music, which contrary to popular belief, still requires a goodly sum of money to get something that sounds “good”(I’m not going to be drawn into a lo-fi vs hi-fi argument here, mainly because lo-fi sucks and its not worth my time). I paid for manufacturing the product.
    If I put out a product that I spent time and money on, why should you get it for free if I demand money for it? You don’t have to buy it. But if you buy it, why shouldn’t you pay for it? Does this mean that you should be able to go in and make an exact duplicate of all the art in the AGO, free of charge? The opinion that “it’s out there, and it’s easy, so it should be free” is childishly naive.
    If you acquire a product, you should pay for it. If you don’t acquire it, it’s a moot point. If you acquire it and don’t pay for it, it’s theft, regardless of it’s “virtuality”. All the rationalization in the world about it being “information” is just that: rational lies.
    That having been said, I always allowed our music to be downloaded freely, but that was more of a marketing technique than anything else. I just wanted to share and try to make a buzz. But if someone else DOESN’T want to do that, should everyone just say “F*ck you, I’ll take it anyway”? Thats anarchy.
    However, whats also childishly naive is the record companies thinking they can do anything about it. The Genie is out of the bottle, and no matter how much sense someone makes in saying “this is theft”, that won’t stop people from getting something for free if they can. So, they need to change their whole business model, and quick (but again, thats not likely).

  • Marc Lostracco

    Of course it’s theft. The theft of music digitally is the theft of someone else’s intellectual property, which is protected under law. By your argument, taking and disseminating a book digitally also isn’t theft…nor would be taking your credit card number.
    Music is almost always copyrighted by the publisher and owned by the publisher, songwriters and/or performing artist (depending on the details of the copyright). Just because you can take it and allegedly not get caught (or be unlikely to get caught) doesn’t make it any less of a theft.
    You can’t just take something because it doesn’t exist in a physical form and use it without permission. The same goes for photographs, writing, and any other proprietary idea.
    There’s a difference between Fair Use copyright and copyright theft. Fair use would be buying a product and being able to use it for your own uses, with limited permissions for things like making copies for personal use. Taking someone else’s product—which, in the case of music is technically a license to own it, but not disseminate or distribute it publicly—is theft, and ripping your own CD and disseminating it publicly (i.e. via filesharing) is theft, just as it would be if some film director wanted to just slap a piece of music in their movie without permission.
    The argument that record companies make too much and therefore they don’t deserve “x” amount of money is also a false argument, as you don’t have the right to set what you will pay for something of someone else’s. You do have the right not to buy it and let the laws of supply and demand resolve things.
    Information IS NOT FREE, and shouldn’t necessarily be. If it were, there would be little incentive for innovation (at least, in our culture), and you would have no problem posting your S.I.N., VISA number and personal address here in the comments.
    If a copyright holder wants to make their music free and distributable by anyone, then FANTASTIC. Otherwise, it’s theft of someone else’s property, and the Courtney Loves of the world shouldn’t be signing multi-million-dollar publishing contracts and record deals.
    Whether the current system sucks or not or whether a customer would have bought the music otherwise is not the issue here. I’m not making a moral judgment—but it’s still theft as long as that music is copyrighted.

  • Carly Beath

    What would be far more “bold and innovative” would be actually making the physical album available, right now, with the promo copies.
    That’d be great, but it’s not possible. There’s a huge difference between getting some promo copies out and having thousands of copies ready four days after the master is back. It IS possible to upload a file for sale immediately, and it’s the next best thing.
    that can mean more money for the band — just via different means, like concerts and clothing
    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! I hate this argument. “I didn’t buy the CD, but I went to the concert so it’s ok.” Some people justify it by saying that artists don’t get much money from CD sales anyway. But they still get something, so every CD they don’t sell is still money they don’t make. You’re getting two products, but you’re only paying for one. Recorded music in itself should not be a marketing tool for other forms. It’d be like if I went into Baskin Robbins tonight and ate a tub of ice cream and didn’t pay, but I went back next week and bought a different flavour. I don’t think they’d be impressed if I said, “I know I didn’t buy the first one, but I was just checking it out! I liked your ice cream, so I bought another flavour later.”
    “guest”, I am a musician. I paid for the hours of rehearsal time to write the songs, the vacation days used to tour to promote, the posters, etc etc. I paid to record the music, which contrary to popular belief, still requires a goodly sum of money to get something that sounds “good”… I paid for manufacturing the product
    Exactly. It’s theft. When you download an album for free, you’re depriving artists of their ability to re-coup the money they put into the music. You’re taking something they paid for and not giving them any money.

  • guest

    Note that I never said anything about whether or not you *should* download music. As I alluded to at the end of my previous comment, downloading music may be wrong, but it’s wrong because you are disrespecting the artist, not because you are “stealing” something.
    I understand what copyright and fair use are. I understand that downloading music is illegal in many jurisdictions (though not necessarily in Canada). You need not trot out the “record companies make too much money therefore they deserve it” strawman. And please spare me the “I’m an artist so I understand what it’s really like” argument, because guess what: I am an artist too.
    My objection is very simple: that you’re referring to something as “theft”, when that thing is not really theft.
    This essay probably explains what I’m trying to get at better than I will be able to.

  • David Topping

    I totally agree that file sharing is theft if the artist doesn’t want their music distributed that way; I’m not saying that I, myself, necessarily believe that it’s justified.
    The problem is that we’re thinking in concrete examples here when the effects of file sharing vs. traditional sales are much harder to map out. I know, for instance, that a ton of people, myself included, listen to more music (and more diverse music) than they would if they were to pay $20 (remember those days?) for each CD they bought. Carly, my argument that bands can make money from t-shirts is dumb, but what I’m trying to say is that people who may not have otherwise heard of the band (and, as a result, would have never ever given them any money) are still able to give them something, financially. But as I said, it’s hard to trace those kind of effects when the medium of distribution is so difficult to follow.
    Of course, I grew up and started to appreciate music at a time when file sharing existed…if I remember correctly, Napster was no more than a few years away from being around when I bought my very first CD — I just didn’t hear about it until it’d been around for a while. By the time I started listening to bands I actually still consider good (thanks, in large part, to their music being featured in television commercials, because what was on the radio and on Much endlessly sucked, as it still does now), Napster was starting to get sued. So maybe I just have never known anything else.
    My point was not to disrespect the artists making music, but to show that the music industry — even when they do “innovative” things like this — still isn’t doing nearly enough. There is so much wrong with the music business right now.

  • Marc Lostracco

    “Guest”: If someone else owns a copyrighted work, and you appropriate that work without permission, it’s theft.
    The essay that you link to has one fatal flaw, which is that copyright infringement IS theft of intellectual property. Just saying it isn’t doesn’t make it so. The author of the article, who owns his own copyrights, chooses to put his work into the public domain with a royalty-free license on his own terms. Most people who have their music downloaded for “free” don’t have that luxury.
    He uses the argument of a brothel moving in next door which reduces his property value (a non-tangible evaluation), but it’s the wrong argument—it would be a more accurate point if he owned a home and the brothel moved into his garage without his permission. And gave everyone copies of the house keys.

  • rek

    First: No, it’s not theft. It’s copyright infringement, which is qualitatively NOT theft.
    Second: In Canada it’s NOT copyright infrigement, because it’s LEGAL to download music. (Uploading is not legal, however, leaving files in an open directory has been defended at the supreme court level). This was cleared in 2003.
    See the following:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/internet/downloading_music.html
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/12/13/canada_oks_p2p_music_downloads/
    http://news.com.com/2100-1027_3-5182641.html

  • guest

    Marc — the point is that you can’t steal “intellectual property”, because it isn’t real property. It’s this ethereal thing that doesn’t behave anything like real, physical property.
    To think of ideas as if they’re physical objects (which are scarce — only one person can hold an object at once) is misleading, and thinking they can be stolen is sloppy thinking.
    Legally, copyright infringement is not theft.
    Logically, copyright infringement is not theft.
    Morally, copyright infringement is not theft.
    That’s all I’m trying to say.

  • rek

    The recording industry has been going full-bore with its propaganda for years now, and for the most part it has succeeded in framing the issue of downloading as one of a crime perpetuated against artists.
    I’m just a little surprised to find there are people under the age of 40 (at least, I assume) who have fallen for it.
    Let’s look at the accusations.
    Downloading music is theft: No, it’s really not. It may technically be a crime in most jurisdictions, but how often do you hear of RIAA lawsuits resulting in the defendant being arrested for downloading Britney Spears? Unless there’s tens of thousands of dollars involved in a bootlegging operation, the government doesn’t even get involved, and issues of violation are resolved by lawsuit.
    In Canada, downloading music is neither theft, a crime, or a violation of copyright. In Canada we are blessed with two things: the blank media levy, and the personal copying provision of the Copyright Act.
    Canada has a blank media levy, which means for every blank tape or CD or DVD you buy, you’re paying a buck or so that eventually gets back to the recording industry as compensation. Even if you’re using it to record your own music, save your own photos, backup your hard drive; as long as it can record audio signals you’re paying them. The levy was introduced in 1997.
    In 1998 the Copyright Act was amended to allow “personal copying” in conjunction with the introduction of the media levy. Personal copying is simply defined as making a copy of audio material for ones personal use; ie, not redistributing it, not selling it. In 2003 it was clarified that the copier need not own the original material being copied for this provision to apply.
    See here for a brief summary of the levy and personal copying amendment:
    http://www.cb-cda.gc.ca/news/c19992000fs-e.html
    Downloading music stifles innovation: Whose innovation?
    See the above Stars article for a way one band is addressing the reality of pre-release leaks. Then hit Google for the recent NIN thumbdrive “leak” campaign. Small labels and big name artists are quite willing to adapt to the age of the internet by finding new ways to distribute and promote their work.
    It’s an ironic accusation for the industry to make, considering they retain all sorts of rights to the recordings, even peripheral things like guitar tablatures, decades after the artists dies. The same industry that rakes in hundreds of millions by cranking out soundalike pop groups and singers to create and capitalize on trends. The same industry that sues the crap out of anyone who produces a remix without paying tens of thousands (or much much more) in royalties. The same industry that profits off Public Domain but won’t let anything end up there. And yes, the same industry that lobbies for copyright reforms to force things like DRM on all media, requiring consumers to pay multiple times for the convenience of listing where they want — Google for “Customary Historic Use”, the RIAA/MPAA’s answer to Fair Use.
    Was there not art before copyright? Think about it before claiming downloading music can only result in a world without music.

  • Karen Whaley

    Any idea which track is going to be their first single?

  • Carly Beath

    The first single is “The Night Starts Here”. It’s pretty great.

  • WannaBinToranna

    I can see both sides of this. I have no problem paying for music from an artist I like in the same way I will support a business that I want to stick around. I feel no sympathy, however, for the “music industry” when it whines about losing money or people stealing from them…ask Muddy Waters or other early blues artists who were ripped off and got squat, or many, many bands who are led into recording contracts
    with false promises (Goo Goo Dolls come to mind).
    Also, it’s kind of hard to hear some (SOME) artists complain about people downloading their music for free in one sentence, then showing off their 20 room mansion and personal helicopter parked in the back yard. “Check out my ride, yo…it’s a Lear Jet y’all”
    As far as Marc’s comment…
    Information IS NOT FREE, and shouldn’t necessarily be. If it were, there would be little incentive for innovation (at least, in our culture), and you would have no problem posting your S.I.N., VISA number and personal address here in the comments.
    - well, we all know that businesses have no problem passing out OUR personal information.

  • Carly Beath

    …what I’m trying to say is that people who may not have otherwise heard of the band (and, as a result, would have never ever given them any money) are still able to give them something, financially.
    That I understand and agree with. That’s why I love MySpace. People can get a taste of the music, but not download it. If they like it enough to want to own it, they can then go out and buy it. It’s a pretty good model. It’s when people download entire albums and say, “I wanted to see if I liked it first!” that it gets a little ridiculous. You only get to see a trailer before you pay to go to a movie. The other thing is that there are lots of people who deserve to get paid for an album who don’t benefit from your supporting bands in other ways (ie producers, mixers, etc.).
    Everyone is quibbling over whether downloading music is technically theft or not. Beyond the semantics and ridiculous Canadian laws (the “downloading is a-ok, but uploading is not” thing is pretty non-sensical), you have to know it’s not a good thing. Someone is putting time and effort and dollars into it, and then you get it for free. You’ve got to know, at a basic level, that there’s something unfair about that.
    Theft or no, the main point I was trying to make was that this is an example of people trying something new, which is much-needed. Will it help? Maybe, maybe not. But just the fact that they’re making people realize you can cut out the long lead time is a step in the right direction.

  • rek

    Carly – I take it you’ve never recorded anything with a VCR, or with the built-in cassette recorder off the radio. The studios and labels fought against VCRs and radio taping back in their heyday too.
    What’s the real difference if it’s a over-air TV company/radio broadcaster making the material available, or some guy with a Dell? You weren’t paying the radio station some sort of fee to give you that right, and until cable became the default you weren’t paying anyone to let you watch TV.
    In 1980 the US Supreme Court decided the case of Sony America v. Universal Studios, concluding that VCRs were legal and so was recording for personal viewing. The studios changed their business model: selling VHS recordings of movies.
    27 years later and it’s the same players crying foul again, same issue, but different technology. It really starts to look like a business model issue, doesn’t it?

  • Marc Lostracco

    It’s not as much a business or legal problem as a behavioural problem. Because the music companies were asleep at the switch and couldn’t have handled the P2P problem worse, an entire generation has grown up believing that music is free.
    Fair use is not mass dissemination, and it’s that point on which I vehemently disagree with the Canadian court ruling. Though the case was on whether or not an ISP was responsible for what happens on their network, the ruling alludes that ripping a CD and intentionally putting it in a public folder so millions of people globally can download it for free is not mass dissemination, which is ridiculous.
    Artists should have a choice whether or not they want to give away their music for free or at a discount—not have that choice made for them by someone who doesn’t hold the copyright or own the intellectual property. That’s theft, whether it’s allegedly victimless or not.

  • brokenengine

    Every argument here to say it’s NOT theft has been a matter of semantics. You’re not 6. You know the difference between right and wrong. Every time you downlaod a song on the internet for free, you’re effectively taking money from an artists mouth. And that sucks, and by extension, so do you.

  • guest

    Every time you downlaod a song on the internet for free, you’re effectively taking money from an artists mouth.
    You’re assuming that I would have given the artist money if I had not downloaded it. The thing is, I probably never would have even heard of the artist, much less given him money, had I not downloaded the song.
    This kind of thinking is why I react so strongly to people calling it theft. Theft implies some loss of income for the artist, but downloading does not.
    At worst, I’ll get something for free that I would not have paid for otherwise. At best, I will discover that I like the artist, support him by sending him money (or buying a CD, or going to a concert), and I’ll probably tell all my friends too.
    The only cogent argument against downloading is that you are disrespecting the wishes of the artist (assuming, of course, that they don’t want you to download their work for free). Even then, it’s not some clear-cut right and wrong situation.
    But I guess I’m a sick, morally corrupt person and I suck, so my opinion doesn’t count. ;)

  • brokenengine

    If the artist is not providing the service for free, and someone else uploads it, you are still guilty. Rationalize it all you will, this IS clear cut.

  • WannaBinToranna

    I have some Spiderman comics and a color copier, whose with me, oh wait, phone….hello? Marvel?

  • Marc Lostracco

    Guest: Even if you hadn’t heard of the artist or wouldn’t have otherwise paid for it, that doesn’t make it justifiable.
    “Free” downloading absolutely does mean a loss of income for the artist, even if it’s not a loss because of you. If it was just you and your buddies passing it around (like it used to be), there would be little issue—but today it’s millions and millions of buddies.
    Also remember that artists don’t see a penny until their costs to record, market and promote their music is recouped, and by buying a concert ticket, you’re supporting the often oligopolistic promoter rather than the artist (buying swag is different).
    You do not have the right to misappropriate a copyrighted work of music, even if it’s just sitting there for the taking and nobody is watching. Fair use laws are based on the fact that you are “licensed” to use the copyright in the first place, either by you paying for it or someone else paying for the right to present it to the public (i.e. a mall paying for the right to play music, which they do).
    I’m amazed that people seemingly have no problem with a book publisher cracking down on people leaking Harry Potter on the internet or a movie theatre disallowing camcorder recording, but don’t seem to think this is the same thing! People get upset when a billboard company erects an ad without permission or when Perez Hilton steals paparazzi images from a photo licensing company, but think that taking music they didn’t pay for is OK. The same people who complain about $0.99 being too much for a song are also often the ones who have no problem paying for a $5 coffee every day at Starbucks.
    Like I said, I’m not making a moral judgment—everybody pretty much downloads music illegally—but let’s not pretend it’s not stealing.
    It is not up to you to set a price for someone else’s product or decide where the line is where it’s expensive enough to justify stealing.
    98% of artists can barely make enough money to feed themselves and pursue a music career exclusively, record deal or not. You may think the music you download for “free” is the cat’s ass, and perhaps it’s feeding your enthusiasm and encouraging awareness for that artist, but you certainly aren’t helping them make a living and pay their rent. Imagine if you did your job mostly for free—but that would be OK because people really, really thought you were great at it.

  • rek

    brokenengine – You definitely won’t convince anyone by saying they suck and have the reasoning skills of 6 year olds. Resorting to ad hominems tells everyone you aren’t arguing from a rational position.
    Law, codified or precedent-based, is all about semantics. The fact of the matter is that it’s NOT a crime in Canada, and would NOT be theft — as defined by law, which is the ONLY source on the matter — even if it was a copyright violation. Crime, theft, copyright violations, these things all have actual legal definitions not based on your emotional investment as a producer of music.
    You personally may hate it. You may feel that every time someone downloads something, you are being punched in the face and having your wallet taken. Unfortunately for you, it doesn’t matter how you feel.
    The laws, the rulings, are clear cut on this issue.
    Marc – The only behavioural problem is on the behalf of the industry. They’re handling P2P much as the studios handled VHS, and the courts are starting to turn against them the way the Supreme Court sided against them in 1980. Check out http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/ for dozens of examples of RIAA breaking the law, violating people’s privacy, abusing their position, and wasting the time of the court system. Notice how they’re being forced to back down, where judges are dismissing cases, even awarding the defendants. If the DCMA wasn’t already in place, 1980 would have come for them again years ago.
    Filesharers aren’t doing anything VCR/radio tapers weren’t doing 20+ years ago. The difference here, the only real one, is that the label cabal failed to arrive at iTunes’ internet distribution model before Apple did. Instead they’ve tried all kinds of DRM schemes and lawsuits (c’mon, they’ve sent lawyers after a 10 year old at school) and lobbying and technology restrictions. P2P networks and music torrents are everywhere, and yet iTunes is ticking along just fine.
    I appreciate that you two feel it should be a crime and that it seems like theft, but you have absolutely nothing to stand on if we’re going to talk about the reality of the Copyright Act or the 2003 ruling.

  • Carly Beath

    Carly – I take it you’ve never recorded anything with a VCR
    You got me. When I was three I used to make my mom tape Pee-Wee Herman for me.
    Seriously, though, it seems like everyone is just arguing around in circles. So I’ll just say…
    Unfortunately for you, it doesn’t matter how you feel.
    I think it should. Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you should. It’s sad that it’s too much to ask for people to consider whether something is right or wrong, regardless of the government’s odd rules.

  • brokenengine

    Ok sorry Rek, maybe I should be more clear:
    If you’re older 6, you know the difference between right or wrong. You know what stealing is, even if the court doesn’t, due to semantics and politics.
    Does that fix it for you? Because the whole semantic argument is really tired.

  • rek

    Carly – Do you feel guilty about stealing from Pee Wee? Have you apologized to your mother for making her an accessory to your crime?
    Kidding aside: You can likely get CTV over the air, which means you can tape LOST with a VCR. Would that be “theft” too?
    brokenengine – I do know the difference between right and wrong, but you’ve failed to make your case for downloading being wrong. I don’t feel it is, and thankfully the courts agree with me.
    I consider the 1997/1998 amendments and 2003 ruling to be some of the best stuff to happen in Canada in a decade, and at a time when every other industrialized country was working in the opposite direction
    I would rather not live in a country where I am required, by law, to buy 3 different copies of a song if I want to play it on my stereo, on my computer, and on my mp3 player. I would rather not live in a country where my fair use rights have been removed because the recording industry doesn’t feel it’s making enough money.
    Could you imagine having your mobility rights restricted because U-Haul doesn’t like the competition? Can you imagine being legally required to travel between cities by VIA because VIA’s previous annual profits were down? That’s precisely what the recording industry wants to do in Canada, and you support their efforts.
    Consumers, consumers in potentia at that, are not responsible for a company’s or industry’s failure to innovate, anticipate changes, or adopt new strategies.
    Consumers are not obligated to help you make good on your recording contract. We didn’t sign the dotted line, we aren’t going to be held accountable for your decision to give SONY BMG 90% of album sales and rights in perpetuity to your catalogue.
    We should not have our rights revoked because it *may* be costing multinational cabals money.
    If downloading is ruining everything, how is it iTunes survives? Why are artists, indie, established, obscure and popular alike, releasing things with Creative Commons licensing? Put your emotions aside for a moment and try to consider that the ‘old’ way is neither all that old or the only way. Musicians survived — even benefitted from — mix taps and recording off radios. Movie studios capitalized on VHS sales — a technology they had previously touted as death to their industry.

  • Marc Lostracco

    It’s not a matter of the record companies not making enough money; it’s about distribution and dissemination. Before Napster, nobody had any problem with the ability to rip a CD or even share a copy with friends (Carly’s mom recording Pee-Wee is and remains entirely legal), but what happened that nobody anticipated was the internet. This changed the “ripping CD copies for myself” to “ripping copies for hundreds of millions of people who haven’t paid for the music,” and that’s where the problem lies.

  • rek

    If it’s not about money, why do they offer up declining sales figures as their primary evidence that filesharing is bad? If it’s not about money, how come when it changes from 3 friends to 300,000 strangers not buying the album, it’s a problem?
    The recording industry is based on the notion that a particular pattern is property, and that property has a financial value attached. It’s all about their bottom line; the concerns of musicians in their stables has nothing to do with it. They aren’t at war with copyright infringement and downloading for any reason other than the alleged impact on their profit margin.
    ‘The internet makes it too easy’ is a really weak argument. Pressing record on the VCR a clicking download on Limewire are the same thing.
    Either making a copy for someone is ok or it’s not. Either receiving a copy of material you haven’t paid for is ok or it’s not. Whether it’s for 3 friends or 300,000 strangers, either the action they do in common is ok or it’s not.
    Annnnyway, I don’t think anyone here is about to budge on this topic. How about them Stars?

  • David Topping

    I have heard only one song from the new album — the first song — and it was very good. This bodes well.

  • Carly Beath

    I’ve listened to the whole thing, and it’s great from start to finish. Stars have yet to make a weak album.
    One track is a full-on Stevie Wonder-style funk/soul track. Sounds nothing like Stars, and it’s still really good.