Don Henley: ‘The Internet Is Slowly but Surely Killing the Idea of Copyright’

henley

…from Don Henley’s recent interview with Charlie Rose:

Charlie Rose: Most great artists, have at least told me, I’d say a majority have come to this table, many many great artists… they say it’s hard work.

Don Henley: Someone once said that writing is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration, and I think it’s true.  To finish a great work, you might get a great epiphany or a great idea that comes to you in the middle of the night, and you start writing and you’ve only got this much [showing two fingers].

And after that, you sit down and you sweat it out.  And it is hard work.

That’s why I get so exercised about people stealing songs, because they have no idea what goes into those songs and the work that goes into them.  And that it’s a real job, it’s not a hobby, it’s a calling, and a lot of peo —

Rose: —- a calling —

Henley: — a calling.  And there are a lot of people that don’t get to tour, the people in Nashville and Los Angeles who are just songwriters for a living, they don’t get to tour.  So they make their money solely from that song.  And now of course we have the interactive crowd, who think they can go in and take a song and change it up, it’s like going into a museum and painting a musta—

Rose: These are like DJs?  Or —

Henley: DJs, and the people who sample, and, mostly younger people who think they can take someone’s finished work, and actually tamper with it.  And they don’t understand copyright laws. It’s like walking into a museum and painting a mustache on somebody’s painting —

Rose: — that’s blasphemous to you.

“And that law, the Millennium Copyright Act, needs to be done away with, or re-written, because it’s allowing theft in the billions.”

Henley: It is. And it’s just not right. And we are — the internet is slowly but surely killing the idea of copyright. There was a law, bless his heart President Clinton signed it into law, it’s called the 1994 Millennium Copyright Act, and it has a loophole in it called the Safe Harbor clause, that is abused daily.  And that law, the Millennium Copyright Act needs to be done away with, or re-written, because it’s allowing theft in the billions. Again, we don’t get much response from government, because the big boys are there, with their lobbyists.

But songwriting is a difficult task, it is not easy to write a song. And you spend a lot of time and money recording a song properly, and performing it, and people need to have a little more respect for the job.

84 Responses

  1. Fvck Him, Seriously.

    They guy has a personal net worth estimated at about $200 million.

    All for writing and playing songs, which he calls “hard work” and “a difficult job.”

    Let him haul bundles of roofing shingles up a 16ft ladder for 20+ years.

    THAT’S “hard work.” And NOBODY ever got paid anything near $200million to do it.

    Writing songs is just, simply, not “hard work.” It takes a certain talent but, he can do it in his jammies, while casually sipping coffee. He stops when he wants and he continues when he wants.

    No time clock. No boss demanding some insane minimum production.

    Pussy…

    Reply
    • huh?

      Work is THE worst possible way to make money. Thought is how you make money and most people think just about never; they let others do the thinking for them. That is why people slave and suffer for low wages and work which can harm their body, because they don’t want to make the effort to think and grow rich rich from it.

      Roofing is a great example. If you know how to do it then why be a mere worker when you can be the boss.

      Henley used thought to earn income; intelligence is harder to develop than how to swing a hammer. Try to achieve what he did and then see if being a common labourer is really more dignified than that.

      Reply
      • what!

        You can’t be a boss without “mere workers.” Might want to check into cooperative economics for an alternative. The economy is a pyramid scheme as it currently is structured.

        Reply
      • Fvck Him, Seriously.

        “If you know how to do it then why be a mere worker when you can be the boss.”

        Because in many instances, just knowing how to actually install roofing a) doesn’t mean you can manage a company, projects, employees, etc. (which Henley doesn’t do, either) or b) have the financial whereithall to start such a company, anyway.

        “Henley used thought to earn income; intelligence is harder to develop than how to swing a hammer. Try to achieve what he did and then see if being a common labourer is really more dignified than that.”

        Henley didn’t use “intelligence.” His dumb comments – both here and previously – continuously prove that. He was blessed with a good voice and being surrounded by talented musicians who have propped up his meager “songwriting” skills.

        The guy is essentially one of the luckiest people in the world.

        In any event, IMHO, it is absolutely no more dignified to use your mind to make a living than it is to use physical skill or pure labor.

        Reply
    • izzy84

      “They guy has a personal net worth estimated at about $200 million.”

      – and therefore his ideas are invalid? or is that an argument against what is has stated?
      – And yeah, all he did was construct a work of art…that people everywhere still listen to and get joy from over and over and over and over again. He created something which is almost literally endlessly valuable. But I mean…that’s easy, right? Fuck that guy. Haha, I love your comment – “It takes a certain talent but…” LOL

      Reply
      • Fvck Him, Seriously.

        “and therefore his ideas are invalid? or is that an argument against what is has stated?”

        Can you read or comprehend?

        Let me help you: The point about his wealth is to indicate that a) copyright has made – and continues to make – him a multi-millionaire. Safely within the 1% of the top 1% of all Americans (and likely the entire world) so, yes, his point on that (not all of “his ideas” necessarily) is invalid, and b) his talking about what he had to do to earn that incredible mass of wealth is not “hard work.” It’s singing into a microphone and playing drums.

        “I love your comment – “It takes a certain talent but…” LOL”

        Thanks.

        Reply
        • Anonymous

          “what he had to do to earn that incredible mass of wealth is not “hard work.” It’s singing into a microphone and playing drums”

          Yes, it’s easy. So easy that you can do it.

          Oh wait, no you can’t.

          You can’t dunk a basketball either. So you won’t make the money basketball players do.

          Sit down, shut up, and realize people more talented than you are going to make more money than you, moron.

          Reply
        • Fvck Him, Seriously.

          “You can’t dunk a basketball either. So you won’t make the money basketball players do.”

          Quite possibly the DUMBEST analogy I’ve read around here. And that’s saying something.

          If I can’t dunk a basketball – in the first instance because I’m not 6’11” – that DOESN’T mean that a) doing it isn’t way easier for the guy who IS 6’11” OR that b) a 6’11” basketball player’s job dunking is “hard” on any sort of realistic spectrum measuring the expending of energy.

          There is absolutely no correlation between how “hard” what Don Henley does (i.e. the total energy input, number of hours worked, etc.) and how much money he has made doing it. Flat out, he’s one of the luckiest people in the world.

          Every year, thousands of extremely talented and dedicated folks go to Julliard, Berkeley, U of M and similar places to master their instruments learn enough about music, composition and theory that they play circles around him in their sleep and can forget more about music than Don Henley will ever know. And most of them get paid nothing for it.

          He has a modicum of talent and has been unbelievably lucky in exploiting it.

          So please, sit down, shut up, and realize that the many, many people that make more money than you and me, don’t necessarily do it on some actual valuation of true talent or hard work, you moron. If it were that absolute, Kim Kardashian would be homeless, instead of apparently “incredibly talented.”

          Reply
          • Da TRYTH

            You’re disregarding the principle or even failing to acknowledge that there is one. You’re obviously not a fan of Don but that’s irrelevant, whether you like it or not there are certain people, through a combination of hard work and perhaps an innate spark, who are simply better than others. You’re right that many thousands of people head into colleges hoping to carve out something for themselves but you can’t teach greatness, you can only hone it. Greatness comes from within and as a people we can either chose to “set the stage” for such people or like yourself, lambast them and tear them down. I want to live in a world where people with awesome ideas are allowed to develop them, not just for themselves but because I want cool shit, music, films, tech. Don’t you?

            You’re also mixing up technical prowess with the ability to create musical ideas that relate to thousands of people. I.e – writing a great song rather than an “okay” one, whether technical or simple. Many people are capable of creating “okay” things. But as a species that’s not really taking the “best foot forward” attitude is it.
            Running through the motions of structuring a song using the methods you’ve been taught in school is a first step but is a far cry from creating a hyper personalised musical experience.

            The principle is that those who put the effort into developing those ideas into something more tangible deserve recompense for there works, if the demand is there. The first guy to argue against that is the first guy that must be blocked from all things creative, music, film, technology. If you don’t respect the individuals and teams who create these things why should be allowed to enjoy them. More to the point why would you not want to reward them and allow them to continue creating the things you enjoy?! Out of all the arseholes in the world, to punish those who are doing you a favour by their existence seems puzzling.

            How a society treats its artists, musicians and academics says a lot about “said” society.

          • Fvck Him, Seriously.

            “You’re obviously not a fan of Don but that’s irrelevant,”

            Totally irrelevant – and also completely incorrect. While Don Henley is not a “go to” artists for me, I certainly appreciate his talent. I like his voice and he’s sung some classic songs. The fact that he’s an asshat who doesn’t know anything about law or copyright and shouldn’t be talking about it doesn’t impact – and doesn’t belie – my assessment of him as an artist.

            “I want to live in a world where people with awesome ideas are allowed to develop them, not just for themselves but because I want cool shit, music, films, tech. Don’t you?”

            Certainly. But Don Henley doesn’t want either you or I to live in such a world. He wants to lock down creativity and development at and arbitrary point that HE decides. Not surprisingly, he wants to do that so that he gets the maximum money – regardless of what anybody else might want to develop or create, or have access to.

            You need to think about this, a bit more.

            “You’re also mixing up technical prowess with the ability to create musical ideas that relate to thousands of people. I.e – writing a great song rather than an “okay” one, whether technical or simple.”

            Not at all.

            In the first place, Don Henley was the one who suggested that writing songs is “hard work” and “a difficult task,” claiming that massive amounts of labor are what is required to write songs.

            Moving on, music, like any other art form, is at once both a purely emotional and also technical endeavor. In order to convey music to others, you must manipulate something: your voice, an instrument, whatever. The desire to do that is an emotional, creative one, but the act of doing that and the ability to do that is a technical one.

            Performing music is, by it’s very nature, “mixing up technical prowess with the ability to create musical ideas.”

            “The principle is that those who put the effort into developing those ideas into something more tangible deserve recompense for there works, if the demand is there.

            Perhaps I’ll just leave that emphasis added there.

            “How a society treats its artists, musicians and academics says a lot about “said” society.”

            This is true, but who society lets speak for them and listens to says even more about that society.

            You want to give a platform to discuss issues of copyright to Henley NOT because he is an IP lawyer, political scientist, or even an economist that studied these issues, and even though he has a CLEAR and UNVARNISHED BIAS on the topic, but ONLY because he has a pleasant voice and sang with a bunch of talented musicians? That’s it?

            You reap what you sow.

          • Superlegend

            I LOVE your responses- you are dead on here. Songwriting is a skill, certainly, but a learned one. I just finished writing my 274th song this year- I am doing one a day for the year of 2015, and have easily written some of my best work this year. Most musician’s popularity is done through brainwash exploitation- meaning, if Don Henley & The Eagles were lucky enough to get the support they needed to put their music on the radio (meaning, paying program directors in cocaine and cash) to exploit their music to the masses, that is how they earned success. Talent in a subjective beast that guys like Henley want you to believe is not- that he was chosen- and is far more special than the average working musician because he succeeded commercially where others did not- guys like him use that as their calling card to say they are more worthy of this than you or I. And all it is about is who gets the money to make it, who gets the exploitation to make it, who gets the industry’s approval to be marketed- typically by people who have a very narrow threshold of what that is. Thousands of the greatest songs ever have been written in 10 minutes, wit little effort, because real songwriters are addicted to the art of it, true songwriters live and breath it, a passionate songwriter may write 3 songs in one day and toss out two of them and never look back. Henley’s success indicates he is no more qualified on this subject matter than thousands of others who have not had his success. Why? Because music is art, and art is subjective. Once the industry turns it into product, is when people start making these assumptions of who is better and who is best. Henley has written some stuff I really love, but he has also written a lot of total, absolute middle of the road garbage- and he stills gets paid for that, and lauded as if him just doing it is good enough. And Henley has written anything on par with A.) His much loved past, and B.) as good as anything from either Kanye or Frank Ocean’s records in years. And, naturally, that is my subjective opinion. I think Hip Hop and R&B continues to enrage this culture of cranky white men who feel the world as they know it slipping away, toss in thier mortality, and you have a recipe for tons of white rage. And let us not forget a song like “The Long Run” which The Eagles lifted near completely from a black artist (Otis Clay- Trying to Live My Life Without You)- yet didn’t care, nor acknowledge it, or pay those songwriters anything for their liberal “borrowing” of the groove and arrangemen.) I am so sick of this turd.

          • celebutante

            I think there’s some serious misinterpretation going on… I don’t know Don, but I seriously doubt his personal wealth is the issue he’s concerned about. The issue he seems most upset about here is the appropriation of other people’s work without compensation to the original artist. He’s right, it happens all the time. Mr. Fvck Him Seriously… if one of your co-workers took the credit and compensation for a roofing job where you did the majority of the work, I imagine you’d be upset. It’s not up to you to dismiss this because you think being a music artist is a walk in the park (no more than it’s ok for a musician to dismiss what you do as “unskilled grunt labor, so who cares about them?”) They both have their place.

            The other point I take away from this is that Henley is wealthy so it’s not a big deal for him, but you’re dismissing the vast number of working musicians and songwriters who aren’t millionaires and are getting more and more screwed by the music industry every day. You’re entitled to your narrow-minded opinion that musicians/songwriters need to “get a real job” (as I sit with most of my body in pain after two nights of four-hour cover gigs in Vegas…), but the reality is that the direction of the economics of music these days are absolutely going to turn it into a pastime for the vast majority of musicians, and leave a very tiny number of artists on big labels. The reality of this is that you won’t have Pink Floyd, or The Eagles, or U2… you’ll only have what the labels consider most marketable… “Party Rock Is In The House”, or Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, etc. Obviously that’s already happening… and although are many reasons why, deteriorating copyright laws are absolutely one of them. Maybe the angry roofers of the world don’t care, but I do, and so do many others.

            Mr. Fvck Him… two more things… I admit Don Henley has a history of coming off as a bit of pompous ass, but he’s right here. And also, your pal Mark Knopfler’s song “Money For Nothing” was inspired by and is written exactly about guys like you: “That ain’t workin’… that’s the way you do it… play the guitar on the MTV”.

          • Fvck Him, Seriously.

            “I think there’s some serious misinterpretation going on…”

            And it’s pretty much ALL you… For instance:

            “Mr. Fvck Him Seriously… if one of your co-workers took the credit and compensation for a roofing job where you did the majority of the work, I imagine you’d be upset.”

            Appropriating compensation for a SINGLE, unduplicatable piece of work is quite different than sampling into ANOTHER work, one of millions and millions of COPIES of a previous work.

            two ENTIRELY different things there, for several a reasons.

            What were you saying about “serious misinterpretation going on”????

            “It’s not up to you to dismiss this because you think being a music artist is a walk in the park (no more than it’s ok for a musician to dismiss what you do as “unskilled grunt labor, so who cares about them?”) They both have their place.”

            I didn’t dismiss misappropriation. And I certainly didn’t do so on a justification that the creation of a work doesn’t require some skill. I dismissed Don Henley’s characterization of songwriting as “hard work” that “you sweat out.” that’s just a dumb characterization of the songwriter’s task, which is largely cerebral.

            Did you “interpret” ANYTHING I said, correctly?

            “The other point I take away from this is that Henley is wealthy so it’s not a big deal for him,”

            And once again, you’re wrong about that, as well.

            While it is true that Don Henley could not make one more dime off of his copyrighted works, starting today, and he’d STILL be fine, the point is that, having gotten there by being a meager songwriter, he’s really not the person who should be talking about how Copyright needs to be tightened up to protect folks like him.

            But I’m pretty sure you won’t get that. Especially given what follows, here:

            “the reality is that the direction of the economics of music these days are absolutely going to turn it into a pastime for the vast majority of musicians, and leave a very tiny number of artists on big labels. The reality of this is that you won’t have Pink Floyd, or The Eagles, or U2… you’ll only have what the labels consider most marketable…”

            Hah! You actually think that the previous, must-sign-to-label -> to-be-able-to-record/be-promoted -> for ANY chance of success as one of the “chosen few” system was a more open system, that allowed more diverse fans to find more diverse artists, than one in which anyone can find any music they want online?

            You not only misinterpret pretty much everything, but you’re also incapable of actual perception and thought. Seriously.

            1) Copyright laws are not “deteriorating,” genius. U.S. copyright laws are MORE robust now, than at ANY time in history. Longer terms (Sonny Bono Extension Act), more coverage (Sound recordings included, webcasting royalties), greater penalties, enhanced enforcement (IPEC, ICE).

            “Mr. Fvck Him… Mark Knopfler’s song “Money For Nothing” was inspired by and is written exactly about guys like you.”

            Wait…. WHAT?!?!?!?!

            Holy crap!!!!! I DID NOT know that!!!! Damn!!!!!

            Thanks for all of your entirely misguided and irrelevant comments.

            Please move along, now….

          • Anonymous

            The one, and only one, thing you’ve managed to prove in your comments here is that you’re a world class douchebag. Congrats.

          • Fvck Him, Seriously.

            If that’s the one, and only one thing, that you got out of everything I posted, then you obviously have a severely limited intellect and were never the type of person that was going to learn anything, anyway.

            No loss, there.

    • Black X Psychotic Series Vocalist

      Oh it’s going to be a world premier bloodbath coming out of Europe after Harry Fox officially cross the continent borders. I need bodyguards because too many motherfuckers are being beheaded ! You do know I’ll kill a bitch on one second notice about my shit ! I’m rising to power just like , Al Capone X , should after so many unfortunates of the beheaded has ended up in the department of ‘ Loss And Never Found ‘. . :: YOU KNOW HOW MY TERROR POETRY LYRICS Go. . .:: LX in partnership with , Jihadi John , the world premier legend of the butcher !

      Reply
    • Antinet

      I swear people like you must work for one of the major net companies. Either that, or you’re some pathetic loser living at mommy’s.

      I’ll say this again, so the stupid can read it YET AGAIN!

      Just because A FEW musicians are rich, doesn’t mean that thousands of others who are STARTING OUT don’t DESERVE PROTECTION!

      What part of that don’t you get? I see this complete red herring wheeled out again and again and again.

      I’ll tell you from personal experience that the internet is also ripping off photographers, painters, writers who you’ve never heard of and don’t know, and they’re not even close to making a living off their work, let alone getting rich.

      Now go back to your food stamps, or if you have a job, then just give me your companies inventory when you’re done. SOUND OK, M_____?

      Reply
    • Blue Collar envy

      So I suppose anyone who isn’t a roofer Isn’t working? You would’ve done great in Mao’s cultural revolution, or maybe the Brownshirts, taking down intellectuals because they were so far beneath you. People like you are the reason the world has wars. Grow up and fast, and stop admiring yourself so much. If all you care about is being a roofer, then congrats, you’ve reached your natural endpoint, but humanity has some other things to do, whether or not you appreciate it. F’in roofer angry at musicians….why are you at this website anyway?

      Reply
      • Paul Abruzzo

        Because he’s Jealous Henley can write a good song while all he could manage to get out of life was carrying bunches of roofing shingles up a 16 ft ladder.

        Reply
      • Fvck Him, Seriously.

        “So I suppose anyone who isn’t a roofer Isn’t working? You would’ve done great in Mao’s cultural revolution, or maybe the Brownshirts, taking down intellectuals because they were so far beneath you.”

        another one who can’t or won’t read and comprhehend, but just argues against a point that <bNO ONE made….

        No one said “anyone who isn’t a roofer Isn’t working,” moron. I clearly said that “writing” songs (which Henley doesn’t really do, without tons of um, “help” from actual songwriters) and performing them is not hard work.

        There is difference, there. You just can’t comprehend or won’t acknowledge it.

        “F’in roofer angry at musicians….why are you at this website anyway?”

        Maybe because I”m NOT a roofer, genius? Didja think that maybe I just referred to hauling roofing – something I have never done, either – as an example of actual, difficult, physical labor, “hard work” as Henley phrased it?

        Any other dumb observations, about what nobody said, that you feel the need to make?

        Reply
        • Fvck Him, Seriously.

          “Don Henley writes his own songs, and has since 1969, Freetardo.”

          Come back when you find out who Don Felder, Glenn Frey, J.D. Souther, Mike Campbell, Danny Kortchmar and about a hundred other people are….

          No wait.

          Don’t come back until after you figure out who those folks are AND also how the music business works.

          Reply
    • Bart Bowen

      You have no idea what people have done for the things you enjoy for free, the things you steal, you whining, entitled little punk. You have no idea what people have sacrificed only to have their lives work stolen by a bunch of spoiled brats like you, To have their retirement income ripped away after decades of working to entertain you.

      Reply
      • Fvck Him, Seriously.

        Bart, Bart, Bart….

        “You have no idea what people have done for the things you enjoy for free, the things you steal, you whining, entitled little punk.”

        I know EXACTLY what Henley has done to create the things I enjoy for free, and also pay for, you whimpering, child-molesting murderer.

        “You have no idea what people have sacrificed only to have their lives work stolen by a bunch of spoiled brats like you.

        I have EVERY idea of what people have sacrificed to have some copies of their work distributed by others, for free. And Don Henley is 100% absolutely and positively NOT one of them. He has sacrificed nothing, and gained everything.

        “To have their retirement income ripped away after decades of working to entertain you.”

        to the contrary, I am absolutely certain that Don Henley has not, and will not have any of his retirement income lost. Henley will retire comfortably withing the top 1% of the top 1% of ALL Americans. He’s going to be just fine.

        You on the other hand, I’m not so sure about. You seem very quick to accuse people on the internet of breaking the law, and you’re also very confused about Henley’s job, wealth and retirement options.

        Reply
    • john matarazzo

      Non of what you’re saying is the point. The point is the under our laws and the laws of most western countries
      these works are considered PROPERTY, PERSONAL PROPERTY. And as we al know it’s not OK to steal someones property, no matter how rich or poor they are

      Reply
      • Fvck Him, Seriously.

        “The point is the under our laws and the laws of most western countries
        these works are considered PROPERTY, PERSONAL PROPERTY. And as we al know it’s not OK to steal someones property, no matter how rich or poor they are.

        No one is advocating that it is OK to “steal” anyone’s works. Where did you see anyone say: “Well, Done Henley is worth $200m, so it’s OK to steal his works.”???

        Be clear. Specifically – and more to the point – Henley is suggesting that copyright law, as we now have it, needs to be changed, to better protect him and people like him.

        But you JUST referred to these laws as the very ones that create the concept of his personal property. There is a conflict there. You say the law is correct, because it creates protectable copyrights, but Henley is saying the law is incorrect, because they don’t protect enough.

        What I think this ought to lead us to realize is that there is a debate, about whether these laws, taken as a whole, are working or not.

        In that context, it might not be the best PR stance to have a guy who earned $200m off of the existing copyright scheme, be the guy to say it isn’t working…

        Get it?

        Reply
        • Fvck Him, Seriously.

          Wait…. WHAT?!?!?!

          He’s saying “it works but its being killed”?!?!?!?!?!

          Damn. That wasn’t TOTALLY and COMPLETELY APPARENT from the fucking HEADLINE

          Thanks, so much, for clarifying that, for us. *sigh*

          For those of us who can actually understand what he’s saying and then actually contemplate the ramifications of it. Some might realize that what he’s saying is wrong. And that he’s saying it from an entirely privileged, hypocritical and utterly biased position.

          Reply
    • Gailstorm

      Not everyone he is talking about has that net worth. And I guarantee you that most musicians do have those day jobs and then work on their craft on top of that.

      Reply
    • Silvio

      Look at that yoyo, that’s the way you do it, these guys ain’t dumb.
      Maybe get a blister on your little finger, maybe get a blister on your thumb.

      Fvck Him, Seriously’s thoughts were mocked 30 years before he ever had them.

      Reply
      • Fvck Him, Seriously.

        My thoughts were mocked 30 years before I had them?

        By who?

        Oh yeah, another “hard working” musician. Wow, your entirely unpredictable revelation really hurts! Ya got me there.

        At least I’m not reading about Mark Knopfler (who actually writes his own stuff) complaining that “the internet is slowly killing the idea of copyright.”

        Oy.

        Reply
    • Micah

      1st: Megamind – right on man!!!

      2nd: To all of you complete asshats who insist on ripping artists as being ‘lazy’ or ‘entitled’, and saying their work is not ‘Real’ work….. try living out of a van for 10 yrs to fund your efforts….try hauling 100’s of lbs of gear up and down 3 flights of stairs + packing/unpacking everything in the van every night you play a gig in some dirty rathole of a bar…..try writing/recording/mixing/mastering/printing/publishing/marketing your songs for under $50K and getting anybody to pay attention enuf to give you $$ for lunch.

      Anybody can play an instrument? Try it!
      Anybody can write a song? Try it!
      Creating art is not real work? Ask any musician/author/artist/filmmaker/photographer/actor if he EVER gets the luxury of working a 40hr week like you?

      Maybe think about these things next time you listen to your fav song, watch your fav show, go see your fav genre of movie, read your fav authors latest book…..and STFU!

      Reply
    • Versus

      Whether he is wealthy or not is irrelevant to his point.
      Violation of copyright is not justified.
      Or do you believe it is acceptable to steal from anyone just because they are successful?
      Furthermore, what about all those with less impressive net worth whose livelihood is being destroyed by intellectual property valuation (and its subsequent rationalized devaluation in legal channels as well)?

      As for “hard work”, I’ve done manual labor, including farm work, and mental work, from computer programming to research to music, and both can be strenuous and demanding in different ways.

      Reply
    • docbob

      (So many comments here which got more and more detailed so possible someone made this point already)
      The obvious question to wonder about is if people who do manual labor (which I did for many years before medical school) are the only ones doing “hard” work. I did see that “Money For Nothing” was referenced below. Is that one of your points? That school teachers and college professors who don’t lift anything heavier than a blackboard eraser don’t work hard? Accountants? What about writers? Hemingway? Mailer? As for the copyright law part of your argument, the existing laws may have been toughened and extended, I’ll take your word for it for the purpose of this discussion. But I have friends in the music business who speak about how easy it is for their product to be stolen or misused. Maybe current copyright law has become a Maginot Line in the face of new technology which makes it easy to go around. One further point, and this is strictly a matter of musical taste. Henley’s products have been damn good. His productions, which he has at least some responsibility for, solo and with The Eagles, have been pretty damn good. He’s got a proven track record. I agree, and he might also, that luck played it’s part. But in general, that’s life. I have to add that I wonder if there is a correlation between how angry people can get on these posts and high blood pressure. It aint that important man.

      Reply
    • FarePlay

      Such old school contempt, dating. back to the early pro-piracy default charater assassinations that were effect, but no longer.

      Attack the individual, but selectively ignore the reality that you are a pawn for Google and all the other mult-billion dollar corporations feasting off the work of creators. Get out of your cave or from under the bridge hate monger.

      Reply
    • Rob

      Writing a song is not hard work.

      It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote a song enough for it to become well known, or possibly a “hit.”

      No one is going to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote a song if they’re not making a dime off it.

      Sure, someone could still write “Stairway to Heaven.” But most people just won’t ever hear it because there’s no money left in the business.

      Perfectly fine to enjoy the process of writing music, share it with your friends and have a few fans that randomly discovered it on the Internet.

      But without any money in the industry, it lowers the chance that you’ll get to hear an interesting new song rather than some repetitive crap with no intellectual or genuine emotional value.

      There are merits of being able to consume art for free on the Internet, absolutely. But it would be nice if more of us would donate a few bucks here and there to artists we like, so we can support their craft.

      Don Henley doesn’t need any more money. But the guy who writes the next “Stairway” or “Smells Like Teen Spirit” could use some help so that people can hear it.

      Reply
  2. Yup

    What would he possibly know, he was only an Eagle. Just try and accomplish what he was able to accomplish, or even try to just comprehend its significance and impact.

    It is sad to see this paradigm vanishing. I certainly don’t know what it will be, but there is going to be some karma for this copyright-theft-mentality.

    Reply
        • Everything is free

          Yup. Everyone can now agree that music has no value and we can just download it. Finally, we’re in the 21st century.

          Reply
          • Anonymous

            Eh? Recorded music is one of the most highly desired commodities around. People love it so much they break the law to get it.

          • Da TRYTH

            One day…probably soon, technology will make your job obsolete and unlike music there will be no massive demand for your services. I’ll remember how people like you treated musicians in their time of need and return in kind. Love & support or resentment baby, get on the right side of the fence.

  3. pb

    I don’t think his financial situation plays in to this. Read his comments and if you find an error, so be it. But saying that he can’t have an opinion because he made money is childish. The people who will never get a platform like the Charlie Rose show are who he is talking about, and he hits it on the nose. Songwriters are the labor force and like many other industries they are not represented by lobbyists. As long as the executives get paid there is “no problem”. If we can get amped up about outsourcing of jobs and other ways workers get screwed we can see the problem here too.

    Reply
    • Everything is free

      Here’s the error, I don’t think his work is worth what he thinks it is. So I’m not going to pay his prices, I’ll get it for free from where ever gives it to me at that price. If he doesn’t like what he gets for his work, he’s free to pick up a new profession.

      Reply
      • Bart Bowen

        That’s the attitude of a leech, a parasite. If you don’t like the price, go without. That’s how that works. Want to not pay people for work? You’re next!

        Reply
    • Fvck Him, Seriously.

      “Read his comments and if you find an error, so be it. But saying that he can’t have an opinion because he made money is childish.”

      His comments are full of errors. Factual, legal and philosophical.

      He doesn’t do “hard work.” His analogy between commercially distributed copies of sound recordings and a single original painting in a museum is so ridiculous it’s laughable. The Safe Harbor provisions of the DMCA are not a “loophole.” They were very specifically developed, carefully drafted and vigorously debated prior to enactment.

      And again, nobody said that he can’t have an opinion because he made money. The point is that a guy who collected $200m within the copyright law framework we have really isn’t in a position to be saying that they don’t work.

      Does anyone here understand irony or hypocrisy?

      “Songwriters are the labor force and like many other industries they are not represented by lobbyists.”

      Who’s fault is that? NMPA really only represents Sony/ATV – while claiming to represent the songwriters. ASCAP and BMI and SESAC represent the music publishers way more than individual songwriters, as well.

      Why don’t songwriters push back on that crap?

      …Oh, yeah, I forgot. It’s because they all still hope to make $200m….

      …and the wheel goes ’round again…

      Reply
    • Megamind

      Thank you! Fvck You Seriously is a fkn troll, that’s bitter and contrite that he didn’t have the guts, mettle and intelligence to BE Don Henley. I see you know a lot about the PRO orgs…that shows your envy!

      I HATE…I mean TRULY despise when people devalue intellectual prowess and property! It’s a cop out!
      if everyone could do what Don Henley, Elvis, Dr. Dre (stop hating Paul!), Lebron James, Tiger Woods, Tom Brady does…then they wouldn’t be special…but guess what…they fucking can’t!

      Just cause you can make a fkn roof doesn’t make you special! Like someone said, I’d rather own the company and have other do the labor. There are 2 ways to make money for certain…ideation and duplication.

      People act like because you’re a labor, you work harder than someone who followed their dreams and passion and turned what you considered a hobby into a profession. Fk that! Respect what this man has to say about HIS body of work. You don’t like it…don’t listen…but that doesn’t mean people should be allowed to steal his work!

      …if you envy money, you’ll never attain it!…so because he’s worth 200m, he shouldn’t be compensated for HIS property?? That’s like saying…”oh you made me a roof once…you need to come fix it at NO COST…because I paid you initially.

      Fvck outta here!
      Megamind

      Reply
  4. Name2

    Rose: —- a calling —

    Henley: — a calling.

    Hey! Is this the Joan Rivers episode of “Louie”??

    Reply
  5. Truancy

    Right on right on. Sampling is part of remix culture and should never be viewed as an original work.

    In fact every piece of work with a sample should generate monies only for the sampled artist and none to the remix artist.

    This could spark a creation all renaissance……by we may never know

    Reply
    • Antinet

      Anyone whose ever learned an instrument knows that sampling is a joke way of making music. Someone who can’t play an istrument can’t know that, because they are ignorant. Good music can be made without instruments on software, but it’s often made best by people who can play an instrument already, but I know that kind of deep thought is too much for most modern stoner layabouts. Truancy, huh? What a surprise….

      Reply
  6. Remi Swierczek

    He is absolutely correct, in the era of internet 2 seconds of the tune in THE AIR make you the owner!

    Unless music industry will unite and gets NEW FAIR USE ACT Google, Shazam and just few more lyric and music ID PIMPS will pass beautiful music to 2 billion FREELOADERS.

    In the meantime we can convert Radio, streaming, TV, movie theaters or restaurants to $100B music store before 2020. A lot of happiness and cash for musicians and MINDLESS PIMPS guaranteed.

    Reply
  7. Commentator

    Henley is totally right, and he earned what success he has. the non-creative entities steal it. Now, you need more songwriters than ever to do a pop /r n b album now, 40 or more, typically . 80% of pro songwriters have stopped writing full-time. Youtube has dug into sales for a while. Streaming has only become an issue and really exposed the failures of licensing, Rate and Royalty Court, and arbitrators in the last. if you put semi- pro songs on top performers’ albums their careers will sink like a stone. If you write a song that gets 178 million streams, Youtube, Satellite … and generates between $10 – 20 million , and you get $5k, 6k, ..$10k, you GOT ROBBED. How many songs are you going to write after that? Zero. If they load up star performers’ albums with secondary or semi-pro songs, it’ll ruin the value of those performer and the other star performers will turn their backs. Nothing can move for long without pro songs

    Reply
  8. Anonymous

    It’s like drawing on a COPY of a painting. Good lord. Also, Don Henley’s work is like art in a museum?

    A technological revolution that gives consumers exactly what they want makes no impression on him.

    Speaking of which, the ipad version of this site is total shit. It makes me want to go upgrade the os and download those adblockers i’ve been hearing so much about. Not to mention it just doesn’t do what i want.

    Reply
    • Paul Resnikoff
      Paul Resnikoff

      Technically you’re correct, it is a copy, but the downside for someone like Henley is that this new, ‘mustachio’d’ version becomes the new song that people reference. So, it doesn’t matter if it’s an altered Mona Lisa copy, it could become the new Mona Lisa or confuse the original for people.

      That said, there’s an issue of how much you can control here, or how much you want to control. After all, everyone now has the tools to draw mustaches on paintings. Society needs to address whether this is really a problem or not. Copyright law requires permission and payment back to the author, though as we’re seeing, that’s becoming very difficult to control.

      Also, on the iPad version, I hear you and thanks for the response. We’re actually just experimenting there, it’s about 3-4 percent of viewers so we’re just trying some things out.

      Reply
      • Remi Swierczek

        If we switch to Discovery Moment Monetization the “mustachio job” or REMIX is the most genuine opportunity for fresh cash for original creator and new star or just joker.

        Well done “mustachio” equals a lot of CASH in my environment.

        Local Radio DJ would crave for those money makers for Radio station, the author and REMIxer!
        Revise the game board and broadcast or stream the best you can then count your cash and go for IPOs.

        Reply
  9. Literati X

    All of the sudden the idea of copyright is being killed by the internet because the robots and the computers of high technology has spawned billionaire poets. Keep talking you whack ass cracker ! It’s not billions it’s , Quadrillions ‘ ; I’m just giving your cracker ass a discount and a reminder of who you stole from. . . ;; Literati X with more net worth than the king of Saudi Arabia. . .

    Reply
    • Ariel

      No, the root of the problem is infinite free copying and distribution. The ground beneath copyright’s fight has completely shifted. This site and so many others need to get that already.

      Reply
  10. Anon

    It’s becoming a work-less society. The songwriters, musicians, engineers were the first to go, because fuck them you can always hire them to sell you a 100 loops for 5 bucks anyway, shove into garageband and presto you’ve got a song.

    Streaming kills off even those guys.

    Next, Google will kill off the poor slob that drives cars, buses, trucks.

    If your daddy left you money you should be OK, unless you shove it all up your nose.

    Reply
  11. Me2

    Music is the canary.
    It’s coming for your job next.
    Then we’ll see what gets said about value and work.

    Reply
  12. Adam

    Dear Mr Henley, you are confused. You seem a little bit cloudy on why the value of copyright has been “diluted.” You say “the internet is slowly but surely killing the idea of copyright.” It is not. Technology (possibly including the internet,) and especially recording technology are simply changing the role of copyright.

    Copyright was created to ensure creators could be paid out for a reliable amount of time after they invested time, thought and money into an idea that others could otherwise copy.

    This made a lot of sense for music, especially since it used to take tens of thousands of dollars to get into a studio, and millions by the time you were done with recording, production and publicity to put out an album. You had to get on the radio to be heard, or figure out another way to pay your way in.

    These days, it costs very little to record and produce an album. You don’t have to invest millions in pressing records or CD’s. There are direct and digital distribution channels. The internet took the control away from Terrestrial radio. And as a result, there are thousands and thousands more musicians making music and releasing it.

    So what really is going on right now, is that we need copyright A LOT LESS than we used to. Copyright is over controlling in today’s world and with today’s technology.

    A simple shift in the licensing and copyright structure would yield huge increases in income to many musicians.

    If you simply allowed anyone to sell music and trade it, legally, with micropayments being exchanged behind the scenes, and eased up copyright laws, more money would be generated, and paid into the proverbial pot.

    We need protection for music, but not the way we have it now. If you continue to allow the record labels to selectively license music to only certain companies to sell, like SPotify and iTunes, you will forever be slaves to big business interests, lobbyists, and people taking advantage of what you do.

    If you simply free up the music to be exchanged/sold/traded as we see fit, yet tracked and paid for as this was done, the world would be a better place.

    But nobody will ever push for this, because like Don Henley, they take the side of their record label, pushing for MORE copyright protection rather than more income and sales. It takes a true understanding of how people share music to make money off of it, and a completely different legal and distribution structure.

    It all starts with a simple change… you impose compulsory licensing on the sale of music, the exact same way it works when a band releases a cover song on their album, and everyone gets paid, consumers get to do things their way, and every time music gets shared, tiny payments can change hands.

    But nobody wants to listen to what makes sense, they’d rather argue about who’s right…. those who want more control over copyright and those who want it all free. Neither of those models will work in the future, ever.

    Reply
  13. Name2

    Every time I hear that line, “Out on the road today, I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac.”, I want to punch someone’s lights out.

    That’s gotta be worth something.

    Reply
  14. soulbil

    It’s HIS intellectual property!! NOT yours. He worked hard for that 200 million. It’s ALL his and fairly gotten. Don’t STEAL someone’s work. It’s just that simple.

    Reply
    • Name2

      “Life in the Fast Lane” changed my world. Hell, it changed everybody’s. Nothing’s been the same since.

      Reply
  15. Name2

    Is there anyone who doesn’t remember where they were and what they were doing the first time they heard “Dirty Laundry”?

    Game changer.

    [drops mic]

    Reply
  16. Literati X

    Don Henley is a good man and great artist talking the right shit ! But I don’t think the internet is killing copyrights . There are remedies that do work: A special shout out to my legal team , and all the folks who worked very hard alongside us. Much love to each and everyone of you , Eric Hugh Bonner . . .Keep doing it .SG, and ,HH. . .

    Reply
  17. Anonymous

    And now we find out that the Oregon shooter was a chronic pirate and likely posted about his planned extermination on 4 chan.

    Yes, these people are indeed sociopaths and psychopaths.

    Reply
  18. Tim Wood

    I see where he’s coming from about finished recordings being inviolate, but I don’t agree with it. Most innovation builds on prior knowledge and work. Combining older stuff in new ways often gets you the blockbusters. So re-mixing & re-editing someone’s song into a new one can still be artistically valid.

    He is right that the result is a derivative work, though, and its creator owes an artistic and financial debt to the creator of the original. The hard part is ever collecting on that debt with current technologies.

    Reply
  19. Tim Wood

    I support expansion of compulsory licensing, not reducing it as seems the trend. Art is a cultural resource. It should be broadly available to use, subject to mandated compensation for its creators. A lot of controversy comes from, yes, ego-driven desire for creative control and playing favorites.

    Hey songwriters/publishers, if you could confidently expect a known, enforcable payment for use of your work, but had limited say over who used it and how (synch, commercial, derivative, etc.), wouldn’t you still jump at the deal?

    Reply
  20. Name2

    Kick ’em when they’re up,
    Kick ’em when they’re down.
    Kick ’em when they’re up,
    Kick ’em when they’re down.

    Exeunt.

    Reply
  21. Danny Hartnett

    I love how all of us automatically all when to networth.com and checked out how much money Don Henley has. Which he does have 200million quid so. I wouldn’t worry all that much Mr Henley. Most of the small bands around the world depend on the internet for our sites , creating events , using Facebook advertising to share news about our gigs. I think there will always be a bunch of old school dinosaurs that just won’t let the world change.

    Reply

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