19 May 2008

The question of the illegality of downloading music

Obviously we all know about how it's illegal to download music through file sharers, etc. but does it really make sense that people can buy other people's music from them? What I mean is it's no problem to buy second hand discs from shops, your friends or via the internet but in the end, what is the difference between that and simply downloading the same album?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that everyone should be free to download every song that they want, especially recent songs that the artists are trying to make a living from, but it is legal for someone to acquire a ton of recently released albums and resell them on Ebay, for example.
The only difference I can see is the scale of it. It's true that you can only resell a limited number of records or CDs but in the end, the artists and record companies get absolutely no money from these resales.
For me, it doesn't equate here. What do you reckon? Is the law correct?

Now, on to the Festive Fifty of Never that I have recorded the first three parts of. You may have noticed that I haven't posted part four for a long time since part three. Why? Quite simply, hardly anyone shows their appreciation for my efforts so I'm not going to bother with the top 20 as recordings. All I will give you is the list of the songs that make my part four, that being numbers 20 to 11.

11. High Risk Group – Flag

12. Flaming Lips - The Gash

13. The Jesus Lizard - Then Comes Dudley

14. Josh Wink - Higher State of Consciousness

15. Tiger - On The Rose

16. Pavement – I Love Perth

17. The Stone Roses - Breaking Into Heaven

18. The Sugarcubes – Regina

19. Morrissey - I Don't Mind If You Forget Me

20. The Breeders – Saints

Just to finish off, I will let you know that I will post actual recordings in relation to the number of comments that are left on this blog. Cheers.


Winston Theramin said...

Just recently discovered your blog. Interesting choices for 20-11. Will be intrigued by top 10.

Geek Love by Bang Bang Machine was a classic. Shame they never matched it.

Anonymous said...

Like winston, i also recently come across this blog. Awesome stuff fella. Well over half of the stuff you put up ticks my box! Saved me digging around in the loft for long lost cassettes whenever i feel a nostalgia rush.

Keep it coming.


AC@45 said...

Your right we do this to present ourselves and our opinons to the world and people float through without leaveing a comment.

anyway, interesting selection, We never got Peels shows over here, I had listened to him on shortwave when I was younger, then had no time in the 80's and 90's ..

hen said...

it's all about..
pavement - I love Perth!

'Our hearts were blanketed with it all...
Then we took off the blanket'

Anonymous said...

I've just discovered your blog too.

It's great to see Flag by the High Risk Group mentioned. I never did manage to find that record (and if my memory serves me right it was on Harriet Records, non?).

Keep up the good work, Keith

Anonymous said...

To answer your legal question: what you're talking about is called the "first sale doctrine" in copyright law. Basically, the law treats the physical CD, LP, DVD, etc. that you buy as an object that can be traded like any other item in commerce. The copyright owner has rights only until the first sale; after that, it's just too complicated and not worthwhile to worry about copyright in a particular physical recording.

The other thing is that individual CDs, etc., can't be resold repeatedly by the same seller. Once you sell a CD, you don't have it anymore. Downloads can be repeated many times, though. If I send you an mp3, I still keep a copy. And if you want to keep spreading it around, you don't have to think twice about giving it up like you would selling a physical CD, so you have far less incentive not to just spread copyrighted works around without rewarding the copyright holder.

Now, that explanation doesn't totally work, because it's true that you can rip the CD before you sell it, but most of the time it's a store that makes the first purchase, then sells it, and stores don't generally rip CDs for personal use, right? Like the rest of copyright law, it doesn't totally make sense, as it's the product of compromise between the interests of copyright holders in profiting from works and the interest of the public in freely transmitting and enjoying the works with minimal hassle.

Sorry, that was sort of a longish, lawyerly answer, but it seemed like you were genuinely interested to know.

Onion Terror said...

Thanks for your response there. You're right, it doesn't make sense and it doesn't add up to being justified but when it comes down to power, control and greed - which industries such as this one are based on - the rules and laws can never be adequately justified or explained.
I had another thought recently about what would make more sense and that is to make it illegal to copy/ share music within the first ten years of its release then after that it should be publicly free. This would give the artists and record companies more than enough time to make their sales and no reason for concern after that period if people copy and share the songs.
This would lead to the argument of re-releases, compilations, etc., which by the same reasoning would make them pointless as the artists make little if any money from such releases and it is like a 'fuck off' to the greedy executives who wish to make money off someone else's work.