Why copyright is bad for music (apparently)

Why copyright is bad for music (apparently)

Copyright might be good for a few rich musicians, but is it good for music? In this video, we see how not having copyright might actually be the best thing for music perhaps since notes were invented.

Audio Masterclass

Is copyright good for music? We know that it's good for Paul McCartney, Elton John and Bono. They have all become filthy rich from music. But is it good for the wider world of music, including people who enjoy listening to music, and people who make music simply for fun?

Since we don't have the opportunity to look into a parallel universe where there is no copyright in music, we can't do anything but speculate about what would happen if there were suddenly no copyright in music. But we can look at a similar artistic industry where there is officially no copyright, and that is fashion.

In the USA at least, there is no copyright in the new range of evening wear you have spent the last six months creating. Clothing is considered utilitarian, and legally there can be no copyright in utilitarian items. So you spend six months creating and making your new range and show it on the runway. Photographs are taken, which speed to knock-off shops all around the world where your creations are copied and manufactured in bulk. Within days of your collection being shown, copies of your work are available to buy - legally - at a fraction of the price of an original.

Time for the video. Trust me - this is an interesting video all the way through and could have implications for the future of the music industry.

I could comment myself, but I don't want to pre-empt the discussion. I'll come back to this issue in another article in a couple of days.

However, I would point you to around 12.22 in the video. If you think that copyright in music is a good thing, there's something interesting that might change your mind. Or not.

Over to you... enjoy the video!

Publication date: Wednesday May 26, 2010
Author: David Mellor



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Earlier discussion on this topic...

Christian Santiago, Santurce, Puerto Rico

Very interesting indeed. A "similar model" exists in the reggueton subculture down here in Puerto Rico. Basically a studio consists of a vocal booth where aspiring beat makers leave tracks for free use. The studio then records the rappers and by the time they have an album ready for release they actually leak it into the internet themselves where people share the files. The funny thing though is that when a song is liked it ends up on the radio where it actually makes money on publisher royalties and reaches those few who actually still buy records, making more money and most importantly breaking the artist. It has never been a business model or anything: back in the early 90's underground rap music was distributed directly in the poor communities because major stores did'nt want to know. By the time the internet made things easier their natural reaction was to pump everything through the computer, and the whole thing became standard.Perhaps enough to be considered utilitarian.
Friday July 01, 2011

Michael Giguere, Montreal, Canada

This is a very interesting comparison, but I think also there is oversimplification. The fashion can't be digitalized and clothes are an essential need. The global sales of the market remain constant no matter what is on the market. People have got to dress. But, as people don't need arts to remain alive (physically, I mean ;), digitalism makes it harder for them to get their due. But... I think that more open sourced art wouldn't be bad. In my opinion, there are other ways to finance art (crowdfunding, sell derived products, concentrate on performance or derived experiences, etc.) than only getting money from copyrights. The copyrights aren't very payfull for everybody in that market... Well, not enough for starters or less mainstream contents. This is a way to get back some money from your work and protect your intellectual property. But this is something very valuable uniquely when you have come to a very high level of sales. Which if not a suitable model for everybody in that work field. Then, is it worth not-to-share your work if you can't rely on copyright to get the money you need to pursue your creative endeavour? I think no. Starters, less mainstream creators SHOULD think as free sharing as a very wide-open door to financial success and for getting known. We are in the freemium era and clinging only to the traditional copyright-based financial model is insane for every new creator in this industry. SHARING should be a part of today's every creator early years' business plans. Copyright should be another part. You've got to share some work, today, if you want your copyrighted work to be someday a significative income. You've got to share some content if you want to create a value for your content that can lead eventually to profit. In my opinion, being closed to sharing and thinking only in matters of copyright, makes arts and culture industry sick. Get involved in the change. At least, try it! Michaël Giguère - Buzzart.co
Monday December 06, 2010

Jim, Elkhart, In, USA

I see a lot of oversimplification on both sides here. As for the point in the video, see all the posts above. As for the music industry- *Have you ever been in a cover band? If not, how did you get people to come to your shows? Pay up. **Why are you afraid that the song you wrote last week will be the next new release by the biggest "artists" on the radio next week? They've never heard of you, and never heard your song. Or you've made it popular and everybody knows who you are. ***Get your copyright, and then get on the bad side of the record company (easily done). They won't release your music, and you can't either (read your contract). You're not getting paid then. ****I don't care what you wrote, it's either bullsh*t that nobody wants to listen to, or those notes have been played before, or those words have been said by someone else. So pay up. Copyright should only keep the author's name with the creation, not protect "those four notes in the chorus" from being sampled or used in someone else's song. They're not that unique. Yes, copyright is needed, but not as it is now. There's way too much possibility for abuse.
Tuesday July 06, 2010

Future Music Persona

This is not achievable. you cant do the same in the music industry. this idea has no sense at all. fashion is something else , music is special category and its not just a file. if you think its just a file then erase it from you HD, bitch. I hate free thinkers that want to develop a blanket to wrap all human creation into a same thing. Thats not possible. The reason for the low sale of the movies, books and music is they CAN be digitize, clothes, tattoos and perfumes CAN NOT! Soon there will be a model that will change the music industry thats for sure, im not worrying. They just want to hook up people to have a lot of music and they will introduce a new format, just keep watching.
Sunday June 27, 2010

Michael, Sydney, Australia

It appears more and more that the people promoting the idea of no copyright have little idea of the mechanics involved. Sure,technology has had a major impact and rules need to be updated to support such changes but the basic facts can't be ignored. An individual creating a work...doing a hard days work with labour...making and selling a product has the right to be paid. So i put it to all people who want to use my music for free...you can have all my music for your own use if you don't get paid when you go to work. Thats a level playing field. Dominic from Montreal is typical of a generation that has no idea of the realities of work and the creative process. Rick from LA has pointed out to his credit that this is typical over simplification and deception... Thats all this is folks...deception
Wednesday June 16, 2010

Al, Cleveland, USA

I believe that all creativity ,regardless if its in the digital or live instrument realm, should be done with a sense of pride ! Y would I want to take credit foe someone else's talent? If you do then are delusional as an artist, if I can even truly call you that !
Wednesday June 09, 2010

Nick, Cascine San Pietro, Italy

I believe that an artist should earn well from his/her efforts. Copyright is a way to do so. However the IPR, as imposed, needs to be fixed to help the real creative talents more. I believe that songwriters, composers are in the pitifully bottom rung of the heirarchy of the music industry.
Tuesday June 01, 2010

Jebabix, Kisoro, Uganda

The copyright is good in Africa because when you are musician,you want to know U and to go on high step so when the person we copyright your songs it importer.
Sunday May 30, 2010

Scott Titus, Manahawkin, USA

COPYRIGHTING is a good thing. It is designed to protect artists for their creativity arranging notes and words in such a way to make appealing. ARTISTS make recordings of their music for their fans to hear. Once the song is recorded and distributed, it should become free. The basic idea was to get the media out to the public to gain popularity. Most of them tour around different venues working hard to make the big money. How many artists can make millions by sitting home and writing songs? Millions of dollars is spent to stop copying songs. Is this to protect the artists or the labels? We are in a new technology and have to stay current with trends. Labels are needed for the artists that want to "get rich quick". They have the ability to get the artist recognized quickly. Hats off to all the artists that are unsigned. They can accomplish the same goal but have to work harder. Scott
Saturday May 29, 2010

Andrew Kay, Oxford, UK

It's important to make a distinction between (1) ripping off an mp3 file (this is surely wrong) and (2) making a cover version of a song (this is greyer) and (3) taking a song and rewriting it (this to my mind is what we SHOULD be doing). I mean, isn't this how the Blues works? Much rock and roll? In the Renaissance an entire branch of music was based on every composer having a go at setting a certain theme to their own style of music (the theme is called "in nomine") -- how great it would be to be able to do that today.
Saturday May 29, 2010

Billyjoe Starbie, Oakdale Ca, USA

Vivian Westwood.. ted .com. wow right up my ally. i was one of the kids on the street who set trends.. and ehem.. all the music ive written that came out on the radio months after i wrote it... I swear i wrote sex type thing and stone temple pilots drove by our practice space in the middle of no where.. hm Im always getting copied. I love that you are a TED fan..me too with love starbie. long time RP member slow to post..
Friday May 28, 2010

Jason Baillie, Townsville, Australia

I have a solution, very simple really, if all musicians stay as live artists and never recorded anything for commerce, then the only way people will get to hear your music is to go to the concert, then you can charge what you like for every step closer to the stage speakers. Any recording can be left to be the musicians memories so that they can remember the database of their creations. Respect and money will come when all music can only be enjoyed LIVE, it will also rid our industry of those crappy f$%k wit artists that cant actually play instruments and put music back into our hands and not computers/samplers. Ha!
Friday May 28, 2010

Mike, Atlanta, USA

To Dominic of Canada: Obviously you're not a songwriter, but probably an MP3 freeloader and studio hobbyist. I can tell you this: First, there's almost no such thing as publishing songs as manuscripts since the 1900s and making money from words and music. Most artists today have to produce the music as a demo or finished project to get the work heard and sold. Thus, as I finish a 10- song CD with my compositions, I have worked as hard or harder on the project than my professional day job. What you're really saying is you put little value in the songwriter's work and the countless hours of work that follow the original inspiration. With live appearances and touring, it's a 24/7 job. So, I propose this: In your copyright free world, you should be entitled to only listen for free to beginners with their first chord book, not the polished work product from professionals. Or, do you work for free on your day job?
Friday May 28, 2010

Maranda Haynes, Takanini, New Zealand

This was extremely valuable thank you. Ironic! I am a screenprinter/musician, looking to sell a few t-shirts at the markets to help pay the bills while I work on that Grammy award-winning album! I was concerned about some of the designs and slogans I am intending to 'modify'. How may smiley faces do you see these days (and did Forest Gump really come up wih that first t-shirt? lol). To the musician fraternity out there...I wouldn't worry about copyright, personally I believe that true talent can't be copied. At the end of the day a true artist will shine through even the foggiest of bastardised arenas. IMO regarding fashion - hey, I'm a struggling artist who can only afford imitation Gucci, but I still know where the Gucci at, and I know that the Gucci isn't affected by my spending - after all, in a world of media multiplicity, isn't all publicity good publicity?
Friday May 28, 2010

K3v1nr055, Cincinnati, Oh, USA

Comparing dresses or shoes to digital copies of music, book, photos, etc. is ludicrous. Stretching that argument to allowing "cover" versions of those creations is even more ludicrous. Comparing a pair of pants to (insert any song title here) is like comparing apples to galaxies. Finally, comparing the financial growth of non-creative and non-copyright protected industries such as textiles to that of copyright protected areas of endeavor such as original music is not a valid argument for disabling copyright protection for artists. I have to wonder who Ms. Blakely represents.. Hopefully, she is playing devil's advocate and, hopefully, she does not represent or work for a major corporate entity....
Thursday May 27, 2010

Mike, London, UK

The sweatshops do exist copying many thousands of albums everyday, you can download pretty much any song/film/tv programme you want, you can walk into bars in any city in the world and hear music being played and not being paid for both live and recorded, so how are the current copyright laws working in our favour? Simply they're not. No amount of policing by the industry, or Government agencies come even close to combating this situation, so tell me just how does copyrighting any piece of work benefit you, the originator? The way we think about copyright needs to be rethought, this lady may not have the whole answer but at least she's addressing the question. Only the wealthy are really able to fight copyright issues are they're ones who it probably least affects financially. Nearly all copyright proceedings are taken by record and publishing companies, to protect corporate financial interests and very few by the artists themselves. Plug your sound-card in, play Spotify and record virtually anything you want. Come on anyone who believes the current copyright laws can in anyway protect them as artists needs to totally rethink the situation. The way a musicians work is currently protected needs challenging not accepting. In this day and age a copyright notice isn't worth the paper it's written on. Like it or not, Ms Blakely might be on to something which just needs refining to suit our industry.
Thursday May 27, 2010

Iain Booth, Montreal, Canada

Shame ... shame ... shame . I'm tempted to steal Ms Blakely's presentation complete with her graphics ... write a book using exactly her words and call it my own ... I'm sure that she wouldn't mind that all the hard work and money she put into her presentation would help me line my pockets.
Thursday May 27, 2010


I totally agree with truemediaproductions!!!
Thursday May 27, 2010

Tu Mama, Las Tetas, De Tu Madre

ok this is plain stupid, first you cany compare music with fashion please!!! do you think that a girl studied more than athousand different thing like musicians do!! please!! do you think we live in the same world?? no we dont, so stop trying to steal our ideas and music!! dont advertise on doing it!! anyone who does this is a loser.
Thursday May 27, 2010

Twm, Alton, Us

I think there is an important discussion here that needs to happen, but Ms. Blakely seems to be, to quote herself, "...barely tethered to any physical reality." Having said that, if she can actually tell me how to make more money from my music without copyright than with it, I'm all ears! Mr. Mellor, if you made the comment above about the video at "12.22" possibly changing our minds and actually subscribe to that notion, I want some of what you're on. Most glaringly, at this time (and it may change at any moment) you can't download a pair of pants from a p2p site. And the food example. Wait, there may be something to this as one commenter below pointed out. I think there should be legislation to require every US citizen to eat at least one cd by a different artist every morning for breakfast. Then we'll take a look at that bar chart!
Thursday May 27, 2010

Lennox, Port Of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago

Difference in ripping off music vs fashion designs, is you're getting the real thing when you rip off music, every time. With fashion designs, somebody has to copy the original, the stitching and fabric may not be of the same quality and fashion has snob value. But who's gonna pay $5,000 for a CD/DVD because Elton John or Madonna made it? With music, buyers are interested only in how it sounds and every rip off is identical to the legit copy. So why pay $13 when a rip off costs only $2.00.
Thursday May 27, 2010

Jl, Kensington , USA

Man, I do not know why I am letting you people waste my time on this bullshit. She is full of shit. She is not comparing apples to apples. Who cares if the (Fashion Industry) is making more money than songwriters, etc? Who cares? All songwriters, want is to be paid for their work. She makes it sound, as if there are only a few individual songwriters in the entire business making money, bullshit. Sure, the music industry is presently in a quandary, because of music being down loaded free/stolen and record companies not keeping with the technologies. However, this bitch wants us to give-up our copy write laws, just so thieves can steal our shit a bit easier. At least with a copy write the songwriter is on an even playing field and can sue anybody, or anyone infringing on the copy write itself. Do you really want to know why the fashion industry is making more money? First, it is not because of what she has eluded to. As soon as the Designers’ girls hit the catwalks with their latest fashions, the Sweatshops are rolling out the knockoffs into the market place, selling them from one end of the continent, to the other. She makes it sound like the fashion industry approves of the knockoffs. I reiterate she is full of shit. She is a wannabe. You people should not have even entertained this bitch’s itch. And do not write me back with your tired ass responses either, like, (It sound like you are hate-n, or you sound like u/r jealous).
Thursday May 27, 2010

George, Utica, USA

Point 1: CUSTOMER BASE In the presentation Tom Ford formerly of Gucci said that studies showed that the counterfeit customer is not our customer. What does he mean by that? In short, the counterfeit customer cannot afford to purchase the actual Gucci product so they settle for a non-Gucci product. In a sense, pricing acts as a sort of copyright limiting the quality and cost of the product. If one were to apply this same standard to music, it would be similar to someone being forced to purchase a copy of a Beatles tribute band CD because they could not afford to purchase an actual copy of a Beatles record. Thus, to say that the counterfeit customer is not a Gucci customer is a bit misleading. Why? Because if the buyer could afford the Gucci version my guess is that they would not purchase the counterfeit, but the real deal. Thus, cost plays a big role in terms of customer base. Point 2: PRICING The presentation made it clear that many within the fashion world strive to create fashions that are not easily reproducible. This effort might be construed as a backdoor copyright. If you can’t afford to produce it, your ability to freely partake in the openness of fashion design in fact is not a reality. Point 3: COPYRIGHT Within the world of music and print no once is forcing an artist or writer to copyright a work. As a result, one has a choice to do so or refrain from doing so. If someone wants to give their stuff away for the sake of the creative process they have the right to. Point 4: OPEN SOURCE Regarding the presentations point about Open Source programming, many if not most Open Source programmers are donating their time to projects of interest. As a result, they have some other means of supporting themselves. Why? Because it take a lot of time to build reliable complex projects, and everyone needs a place to live and cash to pay the bills. Point 5: PERFORM Dominic, Montreal, Canada said, “Make your money from live performances.” This is a somewhat truncated view of the reasons why various music makers make music. It assumes all music makers are public performers. Fact is, many of create music for the sole purpose of supplying it for film, TV, advertising and the like. Thus, live performance in and of itself does not address all music makers. And for those creating music for industry purposes, copyright is essential.
Thursday May 27, 2010

Anon, London, UK

The graph at 12:22 is ridiculous. Of course food, clothes and car sales are a lot higher than music or film sales. People have to buy food to survive, therefore the amount of food bought, and food sales are enormous. If people ate CDs rather than food then music would be top on the list!
Thursday May 27, 2010

Myx, Corvallis, Or

I don't think it really matters. The poor have to play by the rules and the rich don't no matter what. Im not putting the rich down because they generally are our employers but theres a reality to all this. The reality is the corporations have taken over the music market and the artists get screwed no matter what.
Thursday May 27, 2010

Brent Millar, Ottawa, Canada

Dominic, Montreal, Canada Wrote: "Don't expect people to pay you for sitting on your ass at home" Um, if you think writing and recording an album is just "sitting on your ass" you've obviously never recorded an album of your own material for release. It's not easy, it's not "lazy" work but it is work, hard work at that. Go tell the Arcade Fire that they're just being lazy for wanting people to pay them for their work. See how far that gets you. But hey, if you want to give your music away, have at it. Enjoy the line-up at the food bank...
Thursday May 27, 2010

Truemediaproductions.com, Baltimore, Md, USA

Unlike fashion and other industries where there are no copyrights, the designer or CEO etc... can pretty much put a price tag of their choosing on their products and the public accepts it. This means a poplular fashion designer can charge $1000 dollars for a purse and a knock off company can design the same purse and only charge $100 and this is mentioned in the video. However in the music industry and film or DVD sales you couldn't say that because this artist or musician is soooo good that we're going to charge the public $200 for this CD and for this other musician we're only going to charge $13.95 and the same goes for movies. If you go to Walmart or Target most of the DVDs will be in the same price range. When you have industries where there is a set price range already instilled in the public's mind then obviously there will not be much increase in revenue in that industry cm,pared to fashion and food etc. People have been conditioned to pay a wide price range for clothing, automobiles, food (fancy restaraunts compared to fast food establishments as well as grocery stores) Look at it this way, if I'm selling a product for $100 and this other person is selling a product for $10,000 in order for me to reach 1 million dollars in sales I would have to sell a whole lot more of my product than the person who is selling their product for $10,000. So when you look at the bar graph in her video, to download music might be .99 cents a CD might be $15.00 where as a purse might cost $700. So around 46 CDs @ $15.00 would need to be purchased in order to reach the same revenue as one purse being sold @ $700. I feel the facts are manipulated in the video although presented in a thought provoking manner. When you have such a large price difference in each industry you really can't compare them. When you get into rare, classic and vintage products the rules all change but that's for another time and discussion.
Thursday May 27, 2010


If it wasn't for copyright, I wouldn't have been able to record my first CD and buy a lot of things I have now for my home studio. I'm far from rich, I'm an independant musician and I've never signed any contract which forces me to give away my copyright money, if you compose a song you have the right to receive money out of it, if you don't receive it other people will. I don't care if people download my music from internet, I promote that, but if you use my song for a commercial, or tv show, radio, a pub, bar, disco or a party you should pay me because you are making money out of my music. We all know in fashion there are many different interest and a big mafia going on, have you read the best selling book "Gomorra"?
Thursday May 27, 2010

Paradise Sound Arts, Palm Bay, Forida, USA

"plagiarism occurs throughout Led Zeppelin’s impressive catalog… 10. “Black Mountain Side” (LISTEN) – originally it was a traditional English folk song that appears on Bert Jansch’s 1966 album Jack Orion as “Blackwaterside” (LISTEN); yet it was credited on Led Zeppelin’s first album as a Jimmy Page composition. This is a common theme. 9. “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” (LISTEN) – a folk song that was written by Anne Bredon in the late ’50s and then recorded by Joan Baez in 1963 (LISTEN). Led Zeppelin included the song on their 1969 debut Led Zeppelin credited as “trad., arr. Page” but then later changed (in the ’90s) to properly given credit to Bredon for writing the song. 8. “Since I’ve Been Lovin’ You” (LISTEN) – released on the album Led Zeppelin III, the song features lyrics taken from the Moby Grape song “Never” (MP3). Perhaps it was coincidence that Moby Grape was one of Robert Plant’s favorite bands… 7. “Moby Dick” (LISTEN) – a fan favorite during Led Zeppelin concerts, the guitar riff is eerily similar to (or, a nearly note-for-note ripoff of) a riff which appears on Bobby Parker’s 1961 single, “Watch Your Step” (LISTEN). Jimmy Page was an admitted fan of Parker’s, at one point even attempting to sign him to Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song Records label. 6. “In My Time Of Dying” (LISTEN) – this is a traditional blues song that has been covered by a LOT of musicians since the early ’60s when Bob Dylan covered it on his debut album (LISTEN). Unlike most musicians who record the song, Led Zeppelin could not admit the song wasn’t their own: Dylan credited the song “trad. arr. Dylan”, Zeppelin’s credits read “Page, Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham”. 5. “The Lemon Song” (LISTEN) – from Led Zeppelin II, this song steals heavily from the Howlin’ Wolf song “Killing Floor” (LISTEN), a song Led Zeppelin often played during their first tour of the United States. I say “steal” because the credits on Led Zeppelin II attribute the song solely to Page, Plant, Jones, and Bonham. 4. “Bring It On Home” (LISTEN) – written by Willie Dixon and made famous by Sonny Boy Williamson II, Led Zeppelin’s version from Led Zeppelin II featured an intro and outro that were deliberate homages to the original. However, Willie Dixon was not given a writing credit for the track and Arc Music later filed a lawsuit against Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement. The case was settled out of court. 3. “Whole Lotta Love” (LISTEN) – released on Led Zeppelin II, this song was the band’s first hit single. It was not, however, an original composition as the album credits originally claimed. In fact, the lyrics are heavily taken from “You Need Love” by Willie Dixon (MP3) whose label would later file a lawsuit claiming copyright infringement in 1985 (see above). 2. “Stairway To Heaven” (LISTEN) – yes, even this most classic of all Zeppelin songs is based upon another band’s music. Nooo! Not “Stairway”, say it ain’t so! Well, the main guitar riff sounds an awful lot like the song “Taurus” by the band Spirit (LISTEN), doesn’t it? Especially when you consider that Led Zeppelin toured with Spirit in 1969… 1. “Dazed And Confused” (LISTEN) – released on Led Zeppelin’s first album, the song was originally credited as “written by Jimmy Page” and was one of the band’s most signature songs. However, it was NOT written by Jimmy Page. In fact, “Dazed and Confused” was originally penned by folk singer Jake Holmes (LISTEN) who caught Page’s attention one night at the Village Theater in Greenwich Village while opening for The Yardbirds (Page’s band at the time). Jimmy arranged a version of the song for The Yardbirds but didn’t record a studio version until 1969 with Led Zeppelin. “Dazed And Confused” went on to become the highlight of Zeppelin shows for their entire career, Jake Holmes never sought any manner of legal action. – If you’d like to dig deeper into the Led Zeppelin theft phenomenon..." Source: http://earfarm.com/features/daily-feature/monday/1820 Source: http://earfarm.com/features/daily-feature/monday/1820
Thursday May 27, 2010

Dominic, Montreal, Canada

Ok, I believe everyone who is clinging on to copyright is lazy and just wants to get paid doing nothing. So here is the idea: Make your money from live performances. Don't expect people to pay you for sitting on your ass at home, get out there and play for them and they will gladly pay to see you. An album should be a tool to promote your shows, not the other way around. @Vincecent "artists from the late 50's and early 60's got screwed by record companies"... no news there artists are still getting screwed by record companies. Artists know art... record companies know how to make money and screw people and copyright is to their advantage. @Scott "If you could digitally duplicate fashion the way you can music"... Show me to an artist (outside of Bono, McCartney, etc.) that makes a living off the sales of an album. Record companies make money off sales of an album not artists.
Thursday May 27, 2010

Mike, London, UK

Tmac, "Copyright protects the little guy and makes it a level playing field." I take it you've never had to take legal action against a 'major' then. As with any law the person who can afford the best lawyers for longer usually comes out on top. Justice costs. Anyone who's trawled the markets in certain parts of Asia will realise that your copyright has little impact in these territories, what is needed is a complete overhaul of the laws which are supposed protect ownership because current legislation protects the publisher and record company against financial losses far more than it does the original creator. Copyright simply doesn't ensure an income and that surely is the issue that (these) various institutions are addressing and the one thing which affects us all. What is interesting is that fact that their is far less original music being produced commercially now, so perhaps we can all be accused of a little plagiarism :-)
Thursday May 27, 2010

Tmac, London, Canada

What a load of BS. Just try to copy a Gucci purse and sell it in quantity even without the logo, and see how fast you get an injunction placed against your product. What Ms. Blakely describes here is a Multi Million dollar company, ripping off a design so they don't have to pay any designers, and then having the money to hire a gaggle of corporate lawyers to suppress any original designer who tries to get justice. No difference between them and the major companies that never accounted for royalties to the artist. Copyright protects the little guy and makes it a level playing field. The big players speak out of both sides of their mouths. Hypocrites.
Thursday May 27, 2010

Vincent, Yonkers, U.s.a.

This is the craziest idea I've ever heard of.Not copywriting your songs is a bad thing. Ask the artists from the late 50's and early 60's that got screwed because their music was not copywrited,and all at the hands of so called legitimate recods companies. Tell you what anyone who doesn't copywrite their music,Im giving you an invitation to send me as many of your non copywrited songs as you can and I'll take it from there.
Thursday May 27, 2010

Paul Hartley, Uckfield, United Kingdom

You cant parallel Fashion and Music. Tom Ford isn't bothered about others copying for the streets because his demographic is the rich, not the poor. The top fashion houses and the high street stores can live comfortably with one another because they're never going to muscle in on each other's business. If its a cheap copy then the rich can afford it but dont want it. If its a top fashion house original then the poor might want it but cant afford to buy it. There's no issue here. Music is for the ears. I hear the same sound whether I've got £1 or £1,000,000. Sure I can have a gold ipod to play it on but the stuff coming out is the same as the plastic version. Co-incidence we should hear from Tom Ford.... Henry Ford made automobiles for the masses. Cheaper, for the common man to buy. He did rather well I recall. But he didnt invent the car did he?
Thursday May 27, 2010

Alex, Sweden

But of course! Food, clothing, living. If someone wants to make money then the simplest way is to produce these first-need things, people will just buy them. All with technology based is that its just seasonal chance to make a living on it, sooner or later these producers (in electronics especially) must find a new way to make a living. To force high level need (for example software, cell-phones, DVD players) things to be utilitarian this way that reducing their lifetime is just nonsense.
Thursday May 27, 2010

Crawl, Hamburg

I'm with AL... plus the graphic at around 12.22 refers to label designer clothes and h&m knock offs... of course more people buy at h&m... that also doesn't mean that louis vuitton or prada starve to death... with music, the prices of a cd i.e. are pertty much the same, no matter if you are an established well known artist or a home recording band that just started and got their cd out on cdbaby... to tranfser that discussion to music, it's more like how to arrange and let things sound instead of stealing ideas... and that is not copyrighted and even yet annoying as it is...
Thursday May 27, 2010

Mike, London, UK

In response to Al, there are already many bands copying Led Zep, U2, Radiohead, or whoever, and also many cover bands playing songs by these artists and not paying royalties. You cannot copyright a chord, a snare drum hit, a reverb or distortion setting, so (playing Devils Advocate) why should you be able to copyright a particular sequence of chords, or a guitar/drum sound? What is the difference between a band saying that they're influenced by a particular artist, when often they're just simply ripping them off, because my experience is that when an artist says the first, they're actually doing the second. Those with imagination and originality will generally always come out on top whether their work is being copied, or not.
Thursday May 27, 2010

Lindsay Cunningham, Brisbane, Australia

@Al, Montreal, Canada It's incredibly interesting that you mention Zeppelin there in your argument. Zeppalin were one of the first bands to ever 'sample' other artists. Except, instead of what we would know as modern day, Paul's Boutique-esque sampling, they would listen to chord progressions or riffs or beats or whole sections from the music that they took influence from and directly pasted into their music. That's why their music was and is so fantastic. So while I agree with you in principle (well somewhat, it's 1000 times more complicated) I don't think you have the whole story yourself. :)…
Thursday May 27, 2010

Scott Kane, Melbourne, Australia

I hate it when they over simplify in order to support the abolition of copyright. *If* you could digitally (or by analogue means at the speed of seconds or minutes) duplicate fashion the way you can duplicate music, software, books etc then fashion would be duplicated the way copyright is designed to stop duplication. You can bet they'd be screaming too when it became almost impossible to earn a living from fashion because of an invention that made it possible to instantly duplicate the item. Apples make lousy comparisons to organges.
Thursday May 27, 2010

Rick Herron, Los Angeles, USA

This is nuts. There is so much on the video that is oversimplification or deceptive. Comparisons are dangerous. As an example let me see someone manufacture thousands of 85 Corvettes and try to sell them. Or multiple 2010 Lexus. GM and Toyota would be all over them like stink on ..... There is a protection called trade dress. One cannot copyright the functionality of a car- wheels, windshield, doors but the look , feel and overall styling is covered by Trade Dress. I think the writer of this article is barking up the wrong tree. It is not copyright which is the problem it is the gate keepers in the industry who keeps the music stale. There are thousands of songs by writer/artists out there that have never been heard and never will. It is not because of copyright but because the industry has a lock on record production, manufacture and distribution though thankfully with the internet and home studios this is changing.
Thursday May 27, 2010

Al, Montreal, Canada

Wow, I'm breathless. I don't like copycat. First, can you imagine if bad musicians would copy or change a note or two from a hit single from whatever band. ex, We would have ten thousand Zeppelin band with a different sound, 1 million of Bono, We would be listening to One (U2) over and over again in our car with a different band name all day long, wow really cool. Then, people would copy a book ( ex., Freud) an change the cover. Can you imagine if they change little in the subjects. What would Happen? I'm scared. Because i don't think people would behave correctly. That would be chaos. I Think that I'm gonna take a book for brain surgery and suggest to use different tools for the operation. That does not make me a Dr. Peoples who copy other ones, have no imagination at all or no skill at there works. simple as that. Al
Wednesday May 26, 2010