Bill Spornitz on Sat, 22 Dec 2001 00:58:48 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> The Napsterisation of Everything

>On Wed, Dec 19, 2001 at 10:06:41AM -0600, Bill Spornitz wrote:
>>  In the ten years or so I played in the live *scene* I must have played
>>  thousands of songs by other artists (what we call *covers*)  without any
>>  effort to compensate copyright holders. It might be foolish of me to admit
>>  to this, except that I am joined in this activity by millions of fellow
>>  musicians. Indeed, a large percentage of these cases, band leaders insist
>>  that arrangement specifics like sax solos be copied exactly from the
>  > recordings.

>At 8:12 AM +1100 12/20/01, scotartt wrote:
>I am not sure about the specifics of America, or whereever you are Bill,
>but the usual deal with this in Australia and probably similarly
>everywhere else is that the copyright agency levies the _venues_ or the
>_promoters_ for a fee that covers this. Even jukeboxes have to be lievied
>this way, or for that matter, shops that play music to their customers
>(e.g. clothes shops). Then the band leader (I guess) submits a 'live
>performance return' which details what songs the band played, and the
>songwriters get their cut of the royalty.

In the market around here, it's a small percentage of gigs where the 
band leader does anything in the way of appropriate reporting to the 
copyright agency. The *scene* here is just too basic, too home-made. 
As far as the bars paying their royalties, I imagine the compliance 
rate is higher, but I don't think the royalty organization (which is 
centered elsewhere) has a prayer in terms of enforcement.

In a way, this outlines my point - the brainiacs can come up with a 
system where copyright holders are supposedly compensated, but *on 
the ground*, the real economy is too grass-roots to take part, or 
even know that an obligation exists (Around here, it continues 
undisturbed despite the efforts by the local industry association to 
get people to play along.) This may be because the musicians are 
thinking the same (legitimate) thought that the tune-swapping upper 
middle class United Statesian college kid is - that the music is 
*ours*, not theirs and we have a basic right to it, whether we 
created it or not, simply because we give it life by falling in love 
with it, singing along with it and replicating it in millions of ways.

I'm sure this is not an explicit, conscious thought, (and, not to put 
too fine a point on it ;-> ) but certainly the way that usually 
law-abiding people snarfed up millions of mp3's points to something 
other than *lawlessness* (a convenient governmental control; are the 
rioters in Argentina *lawless* or simply acting due to market 
forces?) or *anarchy* (have you noticed how many anarchists seem to 
be around these days? They must be taking advantage of global 
marketing campaigns that effectively promote anarchy while aiming to 
deride it.)

A basic quality  of popular music that it is is celebrated over and 
over and over again in various versions, re-samplings, renditions and 
medleys, and any model that tries to claim sole ownership of the 
songs that make up this basic massive musical spirit will fall short. 
The idea that the record companies (what record companies? they are 
huge vertically integrated transnationals with a greater interest in 
controlling than in serving a customer) own the music is true only on 
paper, and only where they have the *beach head*.

>I know for a fact that I usually as much if not more money playing my own
>compositions live than I will make from radio airplay of the same
>compositions, if I remember to submit the live performance returns. Some
>promoter friends of mine have to submit the playlists of all their DJs!!!
>In the end due to the difficulty of compiling such a list they submit a
>list that consists of all the music that is made by their friends.

This is where artists here are more active in employing the royalty 
system also. Artists doing original music are paid live performance 
royalties in amounts comparable to the amounts they pay their 

If the system yields benefits to it's users, it will be employed. If 
the system is no more than an artificial control structure, or a 
money grab to keep the crust of our society rich and flaky, real need 
will overtake the powerpoint presentations and lunch meetings, 
arbitrary management flailings and executive whim. It's just 

For me, this uncovers the brute sleeping under the blanket of 
globalization - it doesn't matter what they want us to do, they can't 
bomb us _all_ back to the stone age, and besides, there are far more 
of us than them. Forget democracy, our power is in the mob, and, in 
many ways, we are already ruling on many fronts. *We shall overcome, 
someday* ;->

seasoned greetings to all

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