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‘How Will the Artist Get Paid?’ Is the Wrong Question…

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The following post comes from Swedish Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge.  It first appeared in Torrentfreak.

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People sometimes ask how the artists will get paid if – no, when – the copyright monopoly is abolished. This question is not based on facts.

Every time somebody questions the copyright monopoly, and in particular, whether it’s reasonable to dismantle freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of information, and the privacy of correspondence just to maintain a distribution monopoly for an entertainment industry, the same question pops up out of nowhere:

“How will the artists get paid?”.

The copyright industry has been absolutely phenomenal in misleading the public in this very simple matter, suggesting that artists’ income somehow depend on a distribution monopoly of publishers. If the facts were out, this debate would have been over 20 years ago and the distribution monopoly already abolished quite unceremoniously.

There are three facts that need to be established and hammered in whenever somebody asks this question.

First: Less than one percent of artists’ income comes from the copyright monopoly. Read that sentence again.

The overwhelming majority of artists get their income today from student loans, day jobs, unemployment benefits, and so on and so forth. One of the most recent studies (“Copyright as Incentive”, in Swedish as “Upphovsrätten som incitament”, 2006) quotes a number of 0.9 per cent as the average income share of artists that can be directly attributed to the existence of the copyright monopoly. The report calls the direct share of artists’ income “negligible”, “insignificant”. However, close to one hundred per cent of publishers’ income – the income of unnecessary, parasitic middlemen – is directly attributable to the copyright monopoly today. Guess who’s adamant about defending it? Hint: not artists.

Second: 99.99% of artists never see a cent in copyright monopoly royalties.

Apart from the copyright industry’s creative accounting and bookkeeping – arguably the only reason they ever had to call themselves the “creative industry” – which usually robs artists blind, only one in ten thousand artists ever see a cent in copyright-monopoly-related royalties. Yes, this is a real number: 99% of artists are never signed with a label, and of those who are, 99% of those never see royalties. It comes across as patently absurd to defend a monopolistic, parasitic system where only one in ten thousand artists make any money with the argument “how will the artists make money any other way?”.

Third: Artists’ income has more than doubled because of culture-sharing.

Since the advent of hobby-scale unlicensed manufacturing – which is what culture-sharing is legally, since it breaks a manufacturing monopoly on copies – the average income for musicians has risen 114%, according to a Norwegian study. Numbers from Sweden and the UK show the same thing. This shift in income has a direct correlation to hobby-based unlicensed manufacturing, as the sales of copies is down the drain – which is the best news imaginable for artists, since households are spending as much money on culture before (or more, according to some studies), but are buying in sales channels where artists get a much larger piece of the pie. Hobby-based unlicensed manufacturing has meant the greatest wealth transfer from parasitic middlemen to artists in the history of recorded music.

As a final note, it should be told that even if artists went bankrupt because of sustained civil liberties, that would still be the way to go. Any artist that goes from plinking their guitar in the kitchen to wanting to sell an offering is no longer an artist, but an entrepreneur; the same rules apply to them as to every other entrepreneur on the planet. Specifically, they do not get to dismantle civil liberties because such liberties are bad for business. But as we see, we don’t even need to take that into consideration, for the entire initial premise is false.

Kill copyright, already. Get rid of it.

It hurts innovation, creativity, our next-generation industries, and our hard-won civil liberties. It’s not even economically defensible.

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Image by PhyreWorX, licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).  Written while listening to The National.

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Comments (112)
  1. Anonymous

    Hi Rick,

    Do you still think child abuse should be legalized?


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Relatedly, do you still think that child pornography laws should be repealed?


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        That was what I meant by my comment above.

        I think that ‘child abuse’ or ‘violence against children’ are better terms than ‘child pornography’ because the latter always is a direct result of the former.

        So when Mr. Falkvinge wants to legalize child pornography, it means that he wants to legalize violence against children.


        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          I posted a link to a pro-child porn article written by Mr. Falkvinge, but it usually takes some time for links to appear so here’s the title of his article, if you wish to google it:

          Three Reasons Child Porn Must Be Re-Legalized In The Coming Decade


          Reply
          1. Anonymous

            Scratch that. Don’t use Google, they ARE the internet, and they ARE the enemy!


            Reply
            1. Anonymous

              No, Google is not the Internet. The Internet is wonderful.


              Reply
          2. Me

            No way in hell am I typing that phrase into the Google search bar (or any search bar).


            Reply
            1. Anonymous

              I don’t blame you.

              Paul thinks there’s room for ‘interpretation’, but I believe most people will disagree.


              Reply
            2. no need for that

              Got news for you: Google/NSA has already processed the phrase through Google Analytics.


              Reply
    2. Anonymous

      Here’s a link to Rick Falkvinge’s article Three Reasons Child Porn Must Be Re-Legalized In The Coming Decade:

      https://falkvinge.net/2012/09/07/three-reasons-child-porn-must-be-re-legalized-in-the-coming-decade/

      I don’t know if the link works anymore — I didn’t want to check it for reasons I think you will understand — but I can assure you that the title of Mr. Falkvinge’s article is correct.

      Btw, I tried to find another interesting statement by Mr. Falkvinge (in which he expressed his desire to hit somebody in the head with a chair, if memory serves me), but I got a Google message that some results might ‘have been removed under data protection law.

      So I’m like, oh, but, uh… I was not aware that Mr. Falkvinge were in favour of censorship?


      Reply
      1. Jacob

        Are you a fvcking government shill? Sharing a link which can place numerous users into liability over an argument which has NOTHING to do with the debate.

        Your arguments sounds similar to feminists and progressives, and in the end you all want to ban everything or else any of the dissidents are supporters of child pornographers, racists, womyn beaters, the patriarchy, evil white men, Natzis and all of that straw man arguments.

        Fvck, those multi-million dollar thugs and pimps are making a killing in recording and distributing of child porn, and because of this, in your viewpoint, the internet should either be banned or spied by the NSA, or else anyone who disagrees is automatically guilty of endorsing child porn.

        Shame on you for trying to label Paul in a negative light! He should sue you for defamation, because anyone who reads the comments can see how his reputation is smeared with your constant feminist/gynocentric/ progressive viewpoints!

        And for the last argument, the child porn debate has been used hundreds of times by Republicans of the USA and Progressives of Canada to propose laws to spy on everyone and enforce thought crime legislation.

        That is why I suspect youre either a deluded progressive or an actual government shill trying to place people into legal issues.


        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          “Your arguments sounds similar to feminists and progressives”

          There’s nothing wrong with being feminist or progressive.

          Trivializing child porn, on the other hand…


          Reply
    3. Except...

      Mr. Falkvinge does NOT want to legalize violence against children — sexual or otherwise. He argues for wide-scale reform of anti- child pornography laws as they are not effective in the catching of predators and criminalize teenagers and others — now and in the future.


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Ah.

        So when Mr. Falkvinge says that violence against children — i.e. ‘child porn’ — must be legalized, he didn’t mean it?


        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          Hi Except…

          Are you sure you saw the title of Mr. Falkvinge’s piece? Here it is again:

          Three Reasons Child Porn Must Be Re-Legalized In The Coming Decade

          There’s not much room for interpretation…


          Reply
          1. Rick Falkvinge

            You managed to get the title wrong three times, all in bold, completely distorting its contents. That has to be some form of record.

            I’m arguing that current laws are counterproductive and that they help, not hinder, child molesters.

            Cheers,
            Rick


            Reply
            1. FarePlay

              Mr. Falkvinge. If the title of your article about child pornography is incorrectly stated in these posts, as you point out, why didn’t you provide the correct title?


              Reply
              1. Anonymous

                FarePlay,
                Here is the 100% correct title of Mr. Falkvinge’s article:

                Three Reasons Child Porn Must Be Re-Legalized In The Coming Decade

                The author is offended because I asked him if he still thinks child abuse should be legalized.

                In his opinion, I should instead have asked if he still thinks child abuse should be re-legalized.

                The missing “re” “completely distorts” his intentions, you see.

                I’m not sure ordinary people will agree, though.


                Reply
              2. Rick Falkvinge

                The aggressive derailer is deliberately taking the title from the URL instead of using the actual title. The actual title includes the words “possession of”, taking a considerably clearer stance.

                The article itself explains in detail how outlawing all evidence of a crime makes the perpetrators of that crime a lot harder to bring to justice for their crimes.

                Cheers,
                Rick


                Reply
                1. FarePlay

                  Mr. Falkvinge,

                  Would you please provide the entire, correct title of your article on child pornography and clear up this confusion once and for all.


                  Reply
                2. Anonymous

                  “The actual title includes the words “possession of””

                  Ah, so now you think that your attempt to legalize possession of child porn somehow will make you more popular than if you just wanted to legalize child porn?

                  I honestly can’t believe I have to tell you this — I mean, it’s absolutely baffling — but if you possess child pornography, then you actively support violence against children.

                  There’s no way around it, there’s no excuse for it; it’s the most stupid and mean thing you can do to another human being with the exception of murder, and you will never find support for it anywhere in the civilized world.


                  Reply
          2. Anonymous

            re-legalized, not legalized. no room at all.


            Reply
            1. Anonymous

              Don’t try to weasel yourself out of this one, Falkvinge!

              These are your own words from your own url — they can not be interpretated, and they can not be defended in any civilized society:

              “Three Reasons Child Porn Must Be Re-Legalized In The Coming Decade”

              Re-legalizing child porn is synonymous with re-legalizing violence against children.


              Reply
              1. Jacob

                Do you work for the progressives and right wing extremists?!

                You seem hell-bent to cause liability to the article author for something which is not relevant to the article!

                That means the left wing feminist claim of adult pornography is exploiting womyn is also true!

                Just see how Page 3 in the UK Sun was banned…those poor adult womyn being exploited on national newspapers.


                Reply
                1. Jacob

                  Progressive like ‘Anonymous’ uses the child porn argument to ban the internet, just like feminists use the adult porn argument to ban legal adult porn and adult prostitution.

                  BUT…

                  Try telling these social justice warriors/ thought police to confront the real child pornographers (the pimps, the mafia, the teachers, the government workers, the human traffickers) and these fvckers cower in fear because they know the real child pornographers can use either illegal force or state force.

                  This is why ‘Anonymous’ encourages everyone to read the link he/she shared (despite claiming it as questionable content) and honey pots a number of users who are probably going to be blacklisted by the NSA and their ISP for reading “immoral” opinions.

                  The irony of it all is that in Canada, a former Minister once said:—

                  “He can either stand with us or with the child pornographers”, ”. —Vic Toews,

                  The pimps and real human traffickers must be laughing all the way to the bank while thousands of teenage males have their lives ruined because their girlfriends sent him some pictures.


                  Reply
                2. Anonymous

                  “Do you work for the progressives and right wing extremists?”

                  No, I have kids.


                  Reply
                3. hippydog

                  Quote “That means the left wing feminist claim of adult pornography is exploiting womyn is also true!”

                  so you believe pornography empowers women? makes them better & more respected? Really?


                  Reply
                4. GGG

                  Um…you do know that progressives and right wing extremists are opposites, right?


                  Reply
                  1. Anonymous

                    :)


                    Reply
                  2. PiratesWinLOL

                    Not always. Just compare their opinions on the Jews for example. Ah, I guess we are going a bit off-topic though


                    Reply
    4. Jacob

      You might agree that female teachers who record sexual acts with underaged students be given the same punishment in equal representation of the law regarding child pornography in the USA and Canada?

      Examples:

      “Do you want to go out with me or do you want to f— me?”

      The Ontario College of Teachers says that’s not the type of question teachers should be asking their students, but one of them did and acted upon it.

      Nathalie Champagne had a hearing in front of the College’s disciplinary panel Wednesday and was stripped of her teaching certificate for engaging in sexual acts with a 16-year-old student while his buddies watched via video conference. (Toronto Sun, 2012)

      A Michigan teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student on school grounds is facing more accusations this week.

      Kathryn Ronk, 29, was charged on Monday with three additional counts of first-degree sexual conduct, one count of possession of sexually abusive material featuring a child, and one count of furnishing alcohol to a minor. The additional charges stem new evidence that police say suggest she had several other sexual encounters with the boy on a Sterling Heights street and at the victim’s home in Macomb Township, according to WXYZ.( Huff Post crime)


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Again, I’m sure Paul appreciates your support…


        Reply
      2. hippydog

        damn.. I should have read all your posts, before replying to the one above..

        you are a serious misogynistic nut job arent you?


        Reply
  2. Anonymous

    i’m in the .01%, booya baby!

    This guy don’t know he be towing the line of conservative right wingers or else doing a good job of covering it up. Killing something cause they can make more money elsewhere, not because of anything he suggests, yeah, real freedom fighting for the people and for innovation and advancement.

    Assholes!

    :)


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      The thing is, I’m pretty sure he’s fully aware of what he’s doing


      Reply
  3. Anonymous

    Paul,

    You made several good points in your articles about Dr. Dre’s violent past. But now I’m confused:

    Is violence against children, as proposed by Mr. Falkvinge, more OK than violence against women in your opinion?


    Reply
    1. Paul Resnikoff

      I’ve read the Falkvinge piece on this topic, and while controversial I don’t think that is his point. He is rather extreme in his view that all information (in any form of media) should be legal, though he points to issues with broader laws in the area and inconsistencies with rules around other crimes like murder.


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        “I don’t think that is his point”

        Well, we all make mistakes, and this is a classic. But one thing’s for sure: You’ll change your mind if you have kids one day.

        Listen to Rick Falkvinge’s headline again:

        Three Reasons Child Porn Must Be Re-Legalized In The Coming Decade

        And let us know when you come to your senses.


        Reply
        1. Paul Resnikoff

          I didn’t say I agreed with his thesis, I was just clarifying what I interpreted it to be.


          Reply
          1. jw

            Pretty funny that someone would come on DMN & argue that articles must mean exactly what their headline says. Lol.


            Reply
            1. Anonymous

              Let’s hear you interpretate this headline, jw:

              “Three Reasons Child Porn Must Be Re-Legalized In The Coming Decade”


              Reply
              1. jw

                DMN Headline: Headbanging Can Cause Brain Damage…

                DMN Article: …the doctors who treated this man are not opposed to headbanging. They say the risk of injury is very low and “heavy metal fans should rock on“.

                If you didn’t actually read the article, how do you know that the article doesn’t mean the total opposite of what the headline says? For the sake of clarity, here’s the article’s abstract, which is much more reliable than the headline…

                >> This article argues that our current laws on the topic are counterproductive,
                >> because they protect child molesters instead of bringing them to justice,
                >> they criminalize a generation of normally-behaving teenagers which diverts
                >> valuable police resources from the criminals we should be going after, and
                >> they lead to censorship and electronic book burning as well as unacceptable
                >> collateral damage to innocent families. Child abuse as such is not condoned
                >> by anybody, and this article argues that current laws are counterproductive
                >> in preventing and prosecuting it.

                So it’s clear that you’re twisting his words all around, just based on the headline, suggesting that he is pro-abuse. I don’t agree with everything he says, & you don’t have to, either, but if you’re going to make such a fuss, I think you’re obligated to read the article & fairly represent his views.

                However, he does make interesting points about the criminalization of the younger generation. Teenagers have always had sex. Only technology has changed. And if teenagers are snapchatting racy photos to one another, there needs to be a distinction between that & other scenarios that are far, far, far more terrible. Surely you agree that the laws need to reflect changing use of technology? I don’t think that a call for nuance is unfair.

                Anyhow, I don’t see how this has anything to do with the article. There are plenty of criticisms to make about his ideas about artists without bringing child porn into it. I guess my point is just that you’re unreasonable.


                Reply
                1. Anonymous

                  “you’re twisting his words all around”

                  No, I’m reprinting his exact words, from his own url, letter by letter.

                  Here they are again.

                  “Three Reasons Child Porn Must Be Re-Legalized In The Coming Decade”

                  There’s no need to twist his them — they are as twisted as they can be.


                  Reply
                  1. jw

                    You need to invest in some critical thinking skills, bro.


                    Reply
                    1. Anonymous

                      jw, we now know you’ll invent excuses for anyone who supports your pro-piracy opinions.

                      I honestly thought child-porn would be the limit.

                      But no.


          2. Anonymous

            Child porn is synonymous with violence against children, Paul. You can not legalize one without the other.

            By using Mr. Falkvinge on your site and trying to ‘interpretate’ his pro-child porn statement, you are openly and deliberately trivializing one of the only crimes that can’t be defended in any civilized society.

            And there is no room for interpretation of Mr. Falkvinge’s headline:

            “Three Reasons Child Porn Must Be Re-Legalized In The Coming Decade”


            Reply
            1. Jacob

              Did we survive WW3 and enter Brave New World? The guy only posted his opinions on the law; which some may agree is too harsh on teenagers (and causes a backlog of the court justice system and overcrowding in prisons).

              Why should a teenage male be prosecuted and conflated with real child pornographers just because his girlfriend sent him an X-rated picture? This is the argument. Child porn is exploitation, but there is a huge difference between a pimp using kids against their will versus two teenage lovers and their business.

              And YOU ARE SO STERN against child porn, you share a link and encourage everyone to access the link, which you yourself said was against your morals!!!

              Are you setting up people on this forum?


              Reply
              1. Anonymous

                the law; which some may agree is too harsh on teenagers (and causes a backlog of the court justice system and overcrowding in prisons

                I’m sure Paul appreciates your support.


                Reply
                1. PiratesWinLOL

                  I am sure the GNAA appriciate your trolling all over this place.


                  Reply
      2. Jacob

        Hey Paul

        dont reply to that ‘Anonymous’ progressive right wing poster. He/she is hell-bent to cause liability on the commentators using extreme views. For example, if a parent is concerned that child porn laws caused their 16 year old son to end up on the Sex-Offenders registry because his underaged girlfriend sent him some X-rated pics, then in ‘Anonymous’s’ view, the parents are complicit in the underground per-pubescent child porn industry which is the true exploitation and victimization of per-pubsecent children.

        The progressives and right wing extremists use extreme viewpoints to back up their arguments, and this can cause a liability on many of the commentators because in some countries such as Canada, child porn can even be termed as writings of text or a picture which describes someone under 18.

        But the loophole with child porn legislation is that female offenders in high status jobs such as teachers, social workers, professors and college deans are not given full accountability under child porn laws.


        Reply
  4. Franky

    “Kill copyright, already. It hurts innovation, creativity, our next-generation industries”

    Yeah, kill it!

    It’s more “creative” to rip other’s work instead of creating own work :)

    “Next-generation-industries” = companies who rip the artists and music lovers


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      ““Next-generation-industries” = companies who rip the artists and music lovers”

      The tide is turning. A great article in Variety today compares Google’s anti-copyright crusade to that of the Tobacco lobby.

      “Google is in the process of systematically destroying our artistic future, and more importantly, the future of our children and grandchildren. They’re spending tens of millions of dollars each year on eroding creative copyright laws.”

      SOURCE: Variety, today.

      I’ll post the link below.


      Reply
        1. Anonymous

          Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to donate to a fucking Kickstarter campaign

          That line caught my attention and allowed me to keep reading the article.

          Absolutely, he says a lot of truth.

          I’ve been reefing on that cord and pushing that button, and while he says right fucking now, i have lost faith in that community to ever do anything, they are all too busy rattling their crib cages for mommies attention and working for likes and follows to care about the things that really matter, but never the less I wish him luck for sure.

          They have the money, they have the servers, they are deep into robotics and now onto DNA etc. so certainly they will be allowed to continue on in the face of the economic devastation they and technology and the internet in general are creating and helping to materialize even faster.

          Right wingers hate creative classes anyways and would rather see them work a job and do the creating on the side, no problem, too bad their plan is actually eradicating numerous jobs, careers and leaving tons of people out of work or scrambling just to survive, and its only going to get worse, so i say fuck it, let them wallow in the misery they are creating and lets just lump all the problems on their laps to deal with, fuck it, ill put my feet up and float out however many poverty filled years I have left, i said my piece, i offered my services, no one gave a fuck, so i dont either.

          And I don’t want to burst his bubble, but there are countries out there that offer institutional medical services, where cigarettes are used as the core to good health. They smoke cigarettes while sick, use the smoke for medicine, etc. It’s sad and disgusting, so 50 years to resolve the issue is likely at the short end of the spectrum.

          Thanks for the link though, good stuff, appreciate anyone with the balls to tell it like it is,


          Reply
          1. Anonymous

            http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/05/19/divine-cigarettes-used-treat-cancer.html

            Sad out there. Kill as many people as you want so long as you have money or are making money, that is continually what History and the World teaches us day after day and year after year.

            One thing for someone to make the decision to smoke themselves amidst the information and facts, but to go to those levels to perpetuate a business scheme is sickening and leaves every single organization and institution at the height of question-ability, so looking to them for help is obviously likely a dead end.

            Fuck it right?

            :)


            Reply
          2. Anonymous

            On another note, his kids will be successful. He is a fat cat as he says, so likely he will be able to utilize his chips and his connections to help his kids careers.

            What will really happen is the vast majority of successful people in creative fields will be only those who are well off or in those circles, they will be the only ones who will be able to pursue the dream with the amount of time and energy and resources that it requires to get the skills to the level needed.

            Of course there will be the very odd case of someone coming from the gutter and rising above, but they are very few and very far between.

            It will be the working poor and those in poverty watching those rich and with money entertaining us. Expect the output to continually decline in quality as the future goes on. That’s not a slight at the richies or anything, just a reality of how the numbers will likely play out.

            The upper classes will be the only ones in any of these jobs and positions, and the rest of us will be shining their shoes and being forced to consume their product all while we toil away with no chances and no hopes.

            I do appreciate his candidness and desire to ring some alarms though.

            ;)


            Reply
  5. agraham999

    I posted this response somewhere else regarding this piece, but I thought I’d include it here as well:

    This is just stupid.

    Copyright doesn’t simply protect what this person puts forward as a traditional artist, it also happens to protect every citizen online. EVERY CITIZEN…something your party professes to care about.

    What people on the anti-copyright side want you to believe is that copyright is incompatible with todays society and technology. It is an outdated idea.

    However it is actually more important than ever before. In the past, average citizens wrote things that were never published or seen, we took photos that were never published or see, etc, so copyright rarely had any value or affect on us. Today we share everything. Everyone today is a rights owner and we are entitled to the right to protect the things we create. Without that right…with copyright destroyed or “killed,” tech companies will have no barriers at all or any interest in protecting anything you value because they won’t have to. In Rick Falkvinge’s vision of the future we gladly hand over all of our rights to privacy and ownership of our ideas, our photos, in fact everything we create. Without copyright any tech platform in the future will be able to include Terms of Use strategies whereby they own everything you post, not via copyright, but by an agreement.

    “Kill copyright, already. Get rid of it. It hurts innovation, creativity, our next-generation industries, and our hard-won civil liberties. It’s not even economically defensible.”

    The problem with copyright and innovation is that instead of finding a solution to the problems and barriers copyright seems to have with today’s technology, we have seen companies ignore it and “innovate” without any consideration around the idea of how their entire industries are build on the intellectual property of others. Pull all the copyright materials from all of the social media platforms out there and what do you have? Nothing.

    As for civil liberties…really? Civil liberties include ideas like freedom of speech, but also include the right to own property and the right to defend yourself. Copyright absolutely grants someone the right to not only own property but defend that property.

    If you plan on saying to people that every written word, every photo taken, etc has no ownership and none of us have any right to these things, you basically set a precedent for the complete dismantling of our privacy, which is a mainstay of your party’s position. You stand for increased privacy of individuals, but if I have no ownership of my words, my thoughts, my images, my videos…how will you enforce privacy, since nothing belongs to me?


    Reply
    1. dude

      I agree that it’d be dumb to throw out copyright altogether for some of the same reasons (privacy, moral rights, etc) you do, but I think Falkvinge makes a few good points as well. Copyright law as it stands isn’t and has never been a particularly good way for artists as a class to make a living and its disingenuous to defend it on the basis that it helps artists get paid when really its mostly distributors (eg labels and publishers) and a very select few of the top selling artists they’re propping up that benefit


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        “Copyright law as it stands isn’t and has never been a particularly good way for artists as a class to make a living”

        Copyright law is, and has always been, absolutely necessary for artists to make a living from their work.

        If artists can’t make a living from their work, there won’t be any new art, music, literature and movies for you to enjoy.

        So it’s very important for us all to understand that we don’t protect copyright because we wish to protect artists. Artists are just people and don’t deserve that.

        We protect copyright everywhere in the civilized world because we wish to protect art.

        And you can rest assured that copyright is here to stay — our global economy is based on patents, copyright, trademarks and other types of Intellectual Property and it would collapse without these rights.


        Reply
        1. dude

          Im sorry but thats complete bullshit, only a tiny minority of musicians ever make enough off copyright royalties to make a living and tons of people carry on creating art despite being commercial failures. Thats just facts.

          How are you gonna argue that people will stop creating art if they can’t make a living off copyright, when thats already the world the vast majority of artists live in?


          Reply
  6. Kyle Williams

    Interesting idea. Not 100% convinced yet about getting rid of copyright, but I do believe that artists need less middlemen in their lives.


    Reply
  7. smg77

    Great article. I’m really glad to see the continued focus on the labels as the problem and not streaming services.


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      “Great article”

      Are you referring to his pro-child porn article, or his pro-piracy article?


      Reply
  8. Jacob

    Since youre conflating copyright law with child porn (like any social conservative, progressive, feminist and Marxist will do) what do you think about if the accused was a female teacher?

    http://www.torontosun.com/…/toronto-high-school-teacher-loses-certificate-for-sex-with-student

    ““Do you want to go out with me or do you want to f— me?”

    The Ontario College of Teachers says that’s not the type of question teachers should be asking their students, but one of them did and acted upon it.

    Nathalie Champagne had a hearing in front of the College’s disciplinary panel Wednesday and was stripped of her teaching certificate for engaging in sexual acts with a 16-year-old student while his buddies watched via video conference.” (Toronto Sun)


    Reply
  9. Jacob

    Is this some social conservative thread? When did this article turn from copyright law to child porn debates?


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      I think the question is if Paul should let child porn defenders write for DMN.


      Reply
  10. they hate democracy

    Just watch this and you will understand why neonazis are on the rise in Sweden:


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Indeed — they hate and abuse everything that ordinary people love:

      Democracy, music and children.

      And yes, the Pirate Bay is created and operated by convicted criminals, it was financed by right wing extremists, and it is defended by notorious child-porn proponents such as Rick Falkvinge.


      Reply
  11. Dan

    Rick,
    Your dodgy support of paedophiles aside I’d like to ask a few questions. And before I start I need to come clean – I think you are a fucking deluded moron who seems to have found some sort of following amongst the freetard community – the people who lap up your crap as a justification for stealing on an industrial scale.

    Whenever I read an article of yours on Torrent Freak I see a never ending queue of sycophantic computer nerds (who’ve never produced any art in their life but think they have some sort of divine right to take everything without compensating the artists) claim you as some sort of Nelson Mandela-esque figurehead. Quite astonish really given you openly support many of the things that have nearly killed the music artist community.

    1 – You claim less than 1% of artists income comes from copyright and that no artists try and defend it? Hmm I think you’ll find thousands upon of them do. The ones who’ve had their sales decimated by your thieving friends Peter Sunde and Gottfried who have finally started their jail sentences. Your little nerdy friends at Prate Bay have ensured that millions of artists have been stolen from on an industrial scale whilst making a pretty little packet of cash off their backs. Maybe all of the cash that your Pirate friends have stolen in advertising revenue and paying for faster download speeds or to rent cyberlockers should, oh I don’t know, be shared with the people who’s art was stolen? Just an idea as you are such an advocate for artists to get paid?

    2 – You say 99.99% or artists aren’t receiving royalties because of bad accounting by record labels? Where’s the proof then? Where are your facts to justify the claims you’ve made? They aren’t receiving Royalties because thieving cunts like you have absolutely no morals and think that stealing their life’s work and sharing it to the world without giving them a penny is your right.

    3 – Artist’s income has doubled from ‘Culture Sharing’ – really – please show some facts that prove this? Stealing someone’s life’s work and sharing between your thieving little community has done fuck all for my income except reduce it.

    Oh and I wish you freetards would get something straight – stopping you from stealing on the internet is not “dismantling civil liberties” its stopping criminal behaviour – you wouldn’t have the balls to walk into a shop and steal a CD so don’t think doing it online makes you some kind of modern day robin hood.

    You are right about one thing though – copyright needs updating. It needs updating so you and your little criminal friends can’t claim ‘safe harbour’ and you actually pay the price for your years of rampant theft.


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Dan, you’re the man.

      Thumbs up.


      Reply
    2. Wurd

      Thank you Dan. Couldn’t have said it better.

      This douchebag has zero documents to back up his exaggerated claims and artists are different than writers. Many writers are self-published.

      With the zero brain through process employed, the drummer becomes a songwriter in the band even though he can’t speak or write.

      Why is this guy even given air time? Oh yes… linkbait.

      Someone makes money off copyrighted works. These Pirate party would like to believe that artistic works come out of thin air and the “next generation industries” should be the ones that profit off their work.

      I dare you to write a song Mr Falkvinge. Chances are no one would listen to it, but it might make you realize that you should have a choice of what happens to that song after it’s created and whether or not your work should be given away, or if someone else should have to pay for it.

      If you don’t think it’s worth money, then you likely have no talent or understanding of what craft is. The giving away of one’s work should be a choice made by the creator, not some asshole who thinks “culture wants to be free”. I create art. I don’t want mine to be free and I don’t care if no one wants to buy it. It should be my right to decide how I distribute and get compensated, not some techno nerd who’s decided that everyone can steal legally because it’s just so damn easy and supported by ad sales on the theft-encouraging sites.


      Reply
    3. Obie

      Great post, Dan.

      All your points were spot-on.


      Reply
  12. Mat Clasen

    I am a musician. I make my living from being a musician 100%. In order to achieve mastery on an instrument or as a songwriter, composer, producer.. you have to work on your craft/art so intensely that there is no time for a day job.
    And from my perspective, my daily work and tribute to being a musician I can say:
    You have no idea what you are talking about.
    Best Regards


    Reply
  13. Markus Hassold

    What a Jerk!
    This guy just ignores facts:

    The fact, that there is no willing audience in the “net” that will pay money for what they will get free anyway.

    The fact that people will not find an unknown artist “just so” – promotion is possible in the net, but actually the most virally successful campaigns where sponsored by an industry that needs a revenue from that.

    The fact that there are people making huge amounts of money with free content just by selling advertising on the hosting platforms and so on – and they will not on a free-will base let any artist participate on their revenue, whose content they host.

    Falkvinge is a just big asshole with no clue!


    Reply
  14. Tomas

    this is the worst article I have ever read on Digital Music News.
    Makes absolutely no sense and every argument of yours is invalid.


    Reply
  15. Jughead

    Just another reason to hate Swedes. Snarky know-it-alls who contribute little to the world.


    Reply
  16. Truth

    I’m going to try and help some of you see the point here. I think Paul himself might even be regretting the direction he took his site in not too long ago now that he sees how foolish many of his readers are compared to a couple years ago.

    The point of this article is really really simple. And the misinterpretation of it is like a sad microcosm of the US way of thinking. This man is simply pointing out that 99% of you who are defending copyright laws are not going to benefit from them. This misconception that you have to defend it and one day may even gain from it is an illusion major labels are happy to see you stuck in. So if you stop defending their wallet and we start looking out for our own interests there may be a better way. Universal and ASCAP are not up in Congress lobbying for YOU.

    The comparison to the US is how many of us support military investment as good for us all. It actually only helps a very small few, possibly 1% as mentioned above. And yet lucky for those 1% there are 99% of “Americans” in the US supporting spending as much money as possible in the expansion of our empire. One day I hope they wake up and see its not ours, its theirs.


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      “how foolish many of his readers are”

      Um, because some of us are professional musicians, writers and artists who love music?

      This site would just be so much better if it were populated with pro-piracy & pro-child porn guys like the author of this article?


      Reply
    2. Jughead

      Yep–that whole “nobody owns anything except the state” thing worked great for the USSR, China, North Korea?

      Dirtball.


      Reply
  17. matt greenberg

    Why DMG would even dignify such nonsense by printing it is beyond me.


    Reply
    1. matt greenberg

      I meant to type DMN


      Reply
  18. Andy

    Stupid. Ignorant. Pointless. Untrue. Where do you find these writers? I hope he didn’t get paid for this


    Reply
  19. Willis

    Yes, but artists get self-satisfaction out of it…and promotion. ;-)


    Reply
  20. So....

    What you’re all saying is you support ASCAP, BMI, RIAA, etc because one day you feel like they might cut you in on their billions? I think the author is saying that its apparent so far the law hasn’t benefited most of you. Maybe if we shift gears there will be something better and more beneficial to you financially. It’s hard to know when our congressman are too busy enjoying the lobbying from both sides. Why would they ever want this argument to end? If you support copyright the majors will pay you, if you’re against it Google will pay you, and so on.

    Artists are the ones who need the voice at this table and none of you will have it until you see things the way they really are. Spotify, Pandora, and others are handing billions over to the companies you all say are fighting for your cause. Why isn’t any of that trickling down? Are we waiting another 50 years or so?

    Or maybe we should work harder on cutting out the middle men, by stopping the support of the illusions of the current system and who it benefits.

    WAKE UP!!!


    Reply
    1. Dan

      You utter tit.

      ASCAP – an American not-for-profit performance-rights organization (PRO) that protects its members’ musical copyrights by monitoring public performances of their music, whether via a broadcast or live performance, and compensating them accordingly. IE PAYS ARTISTS

      BMI – collects license fees on behalf of songwriters, composers, and music publishers and distributes them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed. IE PAYS ARTISTS

      RIAA – members consist of record labels and distributors, which the RIAA says “create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legally sold recorded music in the United States.”[ – IE PAYS ARTISTS

      PIRATE BAY – steals millions of dollars every day away from musicians


      Reply
      1. So....

        What you’re saying is you don’t understand how payouts work. But honestly, don’t be defensive when I’m asking you to do a little research on how ASCAP and BMI calculate the payouts for streaming and spins. When you know the math I think any one who supports artists would admit these “not-for-profits” are not helping you. If we break down the current giants I can guarantee a new much more beneficial system can be put in its place.

        Maybe that’s the whole issue here. Too many people just don’t understand those they defend and those they attack. It’s like the people who supported the bail out for banks because they were told it was the only way to save US.

        All the information is out there though, I promise.


        Reply
        1. And remember

          All the streaming companies pay millions of dollars to “artists,” these aren’t lies or rumors. And in fact for publicly traded companies its clear as day.

          So they send it to majors, send it to soundexchange, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC…Well why is every one so upset then? If those PROs are there for the good of the ARTISTS then why aren’t we all celebrating the increased income?

          Clarify that for me. My initial thought was of course the money isn’t making its way down to the majority of artists. Sort of getting lost in the middle there. Maybe I’m wrong though. Where’s the money?


          Reply
        2. Dan

          Don’t try and come here and play the “Labels are evil” card because many people who read this site have worked in them for years so know more than you’ll ever know.

          So you are saying that organisations that pay artist money are worse than scum like Falkavinge and his Pirate mates who have NEVER EVER PAID FOR MUSIC IN THEIR LIFE?


          Reply
          1. Anonymous

            ASCAP is great if you are a top 200 songwriter. Otherwise, you are shit.


            Reply
  21. Ben

    How’s your pathetic political party coming along then Rick? Got your arses handed back to you in the Euro Elections didn’t you?

    When are you going to join your little criminal Friends Peter Sunde and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg in prison then?


    Reply
  22. Jurgen Korduletsch

    Rick –
    let it be said that no matter how wrong you are you stay on message relentlessly – actually not unlike the folks at the NRA in the USA. I guess your hope is if you keep repeating misinformation often enough people might actually believe it.

    Unless you are also advocating the abolishing and abandonment of all patent and trademark protection your argument is laughably transparent. It represents a clear and singular bias against music creators for whom the monetary rewards are only one and not necessarily the most important aspect of the protection for their creative output. Without copyright protection ANYONE would be entitled to not just steal recorded music but essentially do with a composition whatever they want including claiming it as their own, using all or parts of a composition and song for their own “creations” and financial gain, use it for slanderous or immoral purposes and the list goes on.

    So where is your call that filmmakers, authors, painters, photographers and inventors should be treated the same way as music creators? Who cares that all of these groups are spending lots of time, energy and money honing their craft and turning their dreams into reality?! Under your proposal why should anyone care about that – their works belong to everyone – free to take for all. How is that fair and just, especially for people who are suffering for their art, either supporting themselves with jobs they would rather not chose to afford their creative ambition or god forbid depending on social services or government support as you imply (probably wrongly) most of them do.

    Maybe if it wasn’t so easy and such a widespread and accepted practice to steal their work a good number of these creators could afford to make a living off the work they create! A little protection goes a long way to achieving that goal. Your portraying music artists as downtrodden and dependent on financial aid means that you advocate stealing from the poor is okay. At least the original Pirates stole from the rich, even though in the end their ill gotten gains usually ended up in the pockets of a few as well, instead of improving everyone’s life.


    Reply
  23. Someone important

    I can’t stand fucking morons like the guy who wrote this article! Go suck your moms penis!


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      :) You’re not exactly alone…

      But I think it’s time to look at the bright side: There’s no doubt this is an eye-opener for several readers.

      And make no mistake about it: Mr. Falkvinge’s views — no matter how extreme and disgusting you may find them — reflect widespread opinions in the pirate movement.

      This has made Falkvinge extremely popular among cyber criminals. In fact, he’s almost a rock star in the darkest corners of the web.

      Don’t take my word for it. Go visit TorrentFreak [.] com (a popular meeting place for pirates and pedophiles) and see for yourself.

      (Make sure you’re well protected, anti-virus wise…)


      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        haha the pirate movement!

        That’s a failed movement if there ever was one, probably the lamest thing around and about as uncool as you can get! Just yes men puppets fighting for something that contradicts fully those who funded them from the beginning, meaning, they are just lying fraudulent actors playing a role that is rooted in exactly the opposite position to their public beliefs, absolutely hilarious i do say, to see them fight for something with such vigor and seeing their actions result in the exact opposite of what they supposedly want haha

        Oh you pirates, so free, fighting for the righteousness, fighting for freedom and a better World! Yet yall idiots mostly don’t realize you are pushing big stones around for those the most against freedom and the best part is, not even realizing they are being whipped like little slave bitches hahaha

        Do they not realize that their exact actions will be the moving of the goal posts needed to really start to lock down the Internet and stop the information free for all? If they truly want freedom, they need to step up and do everyone a solid, otherwise they are just doing the Illegal dirty work of some of the biggest wardens around, hows that make ya feel pirate boys? hahaha fuckin wankers pseudo freedom fighting thieves. ;)

        So many Pirates out there these days, I’ll head inland, stick to the desserts and outback. I can make a fire and a little shelter, am pretty good at sourcing fresh drinking water, although its a little skint on food, it sure is free from Pirates, filthy bastards. Head out to the Ocean and the Jolly Rogers start swarming like the Oil boys in Water World. What a PITA! The Ocean is now super toxic filled with garbage and plastic, there’s Pirates and sharks and perfect storms and crazy tides and rough seas and it’s so over-saturated if I drop a speck of salt in it won’t even dissolve, won’t see me sailing the great blue yonder in anything but a battened down Destroyer, lock on those pricks and blow em out the water when they try and swing aboard my vessel with their baggy garments and their tiny little sabers!

        What a PITA!

        There be some real messed up people in Music man, it’s like the Industry had last pick at the fishing grounds and just trawled around a big net keeping whatever they caught, no throw backs or anything, just slim pickings of whatever human flesh vessels had a heart beat and a pea brain were left after all the other industries decimated the fishing hole.


        Reply
  24. dopey

    I’m confused. I make half my income from directly licensing my music to hollywood, ads, etc. Am I part of this “copyright monopoly”?


    Reply
  25. Projekt Records

    Must be nice, living in fantasyland, Rick. “Artists’ income has more than doubled because of culture-sharing.” Really? Really. I work with 50+ artists, and this is not true for a single one of them.


    Reply
  26. Kevin Coral

    Wow. That is some serious bullshit. Amazing in it’s selective arguments. And “data.”


    Reply
  27. Shane Tierney

    Well, I’ve now had more than my daily recommended dose of horseshit.


    Reply
  28. Andrea Scarpone-Music

    Bad piece.


    Reply
  29. Steve Sussmann

    It is only the wrong question if you are someone who is not paying artists.


    Reply
  30. Steven Ray Merola

    There is no “copyright monopoly”. That is BS from Larry Lessig


    Reply
  31. Anonymous

    Copyright doesn’t even work anymore. Stop beating the dead horse and move on.


    Reply
  32. Versus

    “99.99% of artists never see a cent in copyright monopoly royalties.”

    This statement needs serious qualifications as well as evidence.

    What is being defined as an “artist”? Are all hobbyists included in that list? Are my childhood scribblings included?

    What is the “copyright monopoly”? If I register my own work, run my own label, am my own publisher, where is the monopoly?


    Reply
  33. Chris

    Good to see that the City Of London Police have arrested the operator of Immunicity (and several other illegal proxies) today – not so anonymous anymore are you? Let’s hope they systematically throw every one of your little pirate friends in jail – wont be able to hide behind the internet then will you?

    Mr Falkavinge – I notice you haven’t responded to any comments about your ludicrous ideas or statements on here except the ones calling you a nonce?

    This isn’t TorrentFreak – people here actually value music


    Reply
  34. Rudolf Hess

    Ahhh I can see everyone has been enjoying the rants of my illegitimate son Rick. It was a wild night after one of the many parties I had with a femaie gaurd at Spandau prison that Rick was conceived.

    Unfortunately Rick suffers from delusions of being sane …… he should be put back on his medication and returned to our new home on planet Zoltar in the Degobar system. There he can work on the new Death Star with my cousin Darth Vader …..there is talk that Lego may hire him as a consultant on the anti lego movie …..everything aint awesome in the world ….but its all we got baby !!!

    I am sorry Rick has been ranting and apologize to all and sundry for his remarks. Please note that once he is back on his medication and properly restrained and put into orbit around the 7th Moon on planet Zoltar ….he will be in the best place possible and he can live out his days working with the Ewoks who understand that sometimes humans talk to animals and they expect them to understand ……. I have reserved a seat on the new Virgin Galatic flight …….and we should all hope and wish him peace love and kindness from all on earth. Often the rantings of the sick are like a dog barking non stop ….. at sometime you just have to muzzle that mut and you can get some sleep.


    Reply
  35. Willis

    The real question is – how can we get artists to continue to create for everyone else’s benefit without paying them?


    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      I don’t know. But why is so much music being created year-over-year despite record drops in music revenue? It’s not just that there is less money to go around, there is more and more albums being creating vying for that pot of money.


      Reply
    2. GGG

      Human beings have been creating art since cavemen. And they did it for a long ass time for no pay. It’s what makes humans humans; creating a beautiful thing just for the fuck of it.

      Now, there should certainly be fair ways to compensate artists in this day and age, but I continue to find it odd that people make this dumb argument on here. You know who will stop making art? The shitty/mediocre people who are only doing it because everything is so easy now and they have a nice financial safety net to fall into if shit doesn’t work it. Anyone worthwhile will drag themselves through hell to make their art.


      Reply
  36. Obie

    DMN is really scraping the bottom of the journalistic barrel by giving op-eds to the likes of Rick Falkvinge. The man and the extremist, neck-bearded fringe he represents are about as credible, well-reasoned, and deserving of serious thought as the Westboro Baptist Church or the KKK.

    Trying to convince artists that they would be better off WITHOUT property rights is just…laughable.

    Paul, seriously, why are you giving an outlet to people that want to turn musicians, filmmakers, authors and artists of all stripes into second class citizens?


    Reply
  37. punkorama

    What the fvck does child abuse have to do with artists recordings or royalties?


    Reply

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