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Digitized Music between Pirate Copy and Societal Alternative

Maintainer: Stefan Merten, Version 1, 24.01.2005
Projekt-Typ: halboffen
Status: Archiv

Digitized Music between Pirate Copy and Societal Alternative

(2) Stefan Merten

(2.1) the void, 17.03.2005, 23:37, Olaf Boerger: wer ja sagt zu "Geld", sagt auch ja zu RAUB(-Kopie) - and vice versa


This contribution has been the basis of an impulse talk given on the panel discussion copy kills (music kills) capitalism. The content of the slides as well as the additional notes are presented here.

(4) This contribution may be discussed under http://www.opentheory.org/copykillsmusic_EN/.

1. Background: Oekonux

1.1. Free Software as Germ Form

(7) Oekonux uses Free Software (aka Open Source) as starting point

(8) Very short overview over the theory

(9) * 1st basis: Selbstentfaltung

(10) Basis of the mode of production

(11) Selbstentfaltung is something beyond self-realization

(12) Integrates the societal aspect of human activity

(13) - Fundamental: Creative development

(14) * 2nd basis: Digital copy

(15) New technology

(16) Internet as global remote copy facility

(17) - Produces abundance of information goods

(18) Abundance is enemy of scarcity

(19) Challenges commodity characteristic in a lasting way

(20) * Success through quality

(21) Mode of production is a pre-requisite for this

(22) Mode of production does not work under alienated conditions such as wage labor

(23) Free Software may be destroyed but not integrated

(24) * Germ form for a societal alternative

(25) Free Software points beyond exchange society

(26) Mode of production useful for many (all?) creative labor

(27) * http://www.oekonux.org/

2. Free Software and Music

2.1. Selbstentfaltung in Music

(30) * Similarities to Free Software

(31) - Individual motivation

(32) For music this leads to considerable investments in instruments, equipment, and education

(33) - Creative expression

(34) * Difference to Free Software

(35) - Artist subject vs. Free Software community

(36) Bourgeoise notion of art puts individual in the focus

(37) Questionable because new things are always created on a societal basis

(38) - Patches are unusual

(39) However: Modern music forms rely on this

(40) What is analogous to sources in music?

(41) - Musiscians usually earn little/no money with music!

(42) Many Free Software developers earn money in this area

(43) 900 persons in Great Britain make a living by composing

(44) Very few would get into trouble if they earn less money for their music

(45) * Selbstentfaltung is a basis also for music

2.2. Exploitation in Music

(47) * Similarities to software

(48) - Digital product

(49) Is thus subject to the features of digital copy

(50) In particular: Replaces scarcity of material substrate with global abundance

(51) - Copyright violation by "pirate copies" and P2P

(52) Not for Free Software!

(53) Not for Free Music!

(54) - Concerts as service

(55) As a live event concerts are not digitizable

(56) There are many service offers around Free Software

(57) - Established exploiters

(58) Software industry exploits software

(59) Music industry exploits music

(60) Exploiters are not identical with the creative persons

(61) * Differences to software

(62) - Fair use / collecting society

(63) - License to use on basis of works

(64) Has always been the case for software

(65) Was unnecessary for music because exploitation worked by binding music to a material substrate

(66) * Exploiters have a problem - not the creative persons

3. DRM, P2P, CC, CF

3.1. DRM (Digital Rights/Restriction Management)

(69) Copy protection or play prevention, respectively

(70) Most of all: far reaching plans for computers

(71) * Goal: Enforcing of exploitation interests by technology

(72) Thus is of interest for music industry and other exploiters

(73) State as classic protector of exploitation interests does play a small role

(74) - No problem in the framework of market economy

(75) Exploitation interests need to be protected in market economy

(76) - More just than collecting societies

(77) Collecting societies made sense in the analog era when individual billing of uses of works were not possible

(78) DRM can be more to the point than measures of collecting societies

(79) * Problems of todays DRM attempts

(80) - Tendency to supervise each and every use of a work exactly

(81) Deep intrusion in private sphere

(82) BigBrother .

(83) - With TPM the principle of the computer is cut massively

(84) Its strength is just the universal digital copy

(85) - Fair use is not taken into account enough

(86) Private copies, science, education

(87) - Transfer of state regulation power to corporations

(88) With DRM corporations can create their own copyright

(89) Beyond public control

(90) * Why not unobjectionable forms of DRM?

(91) This would be the solution matching market economy by individual billing

(92) Apple iTunes shows that success is possible with such models

3.2. P2P (Peer to Peer)

(94) I.e. peer to peer networks such as Kazaa, eDonkey, etc.

(95) Usually there is no real exchange

(96) * System to conceal illegal copies

(97) At least for music it would be far simpler to have fat, central servers

(98) There are also other uses for this technology (legal content, load balancing, ...)

(99) * Works as a form of distribution because publishing happens in another sphere

(100) MTV, radio, and co take over publishing of the products of the music industry

(101) Unique identification scheme necessary for searching is given by a simple naming scheme (interpret, title)

(102) More or less does not exist for Free Music

(103) MTV, radio, and co could change this in principle

(104) * Free Music / Free Content would not need P2P

(105) Distribution and publishing similar to Free Software

(106) Wiki-like systems could make available publishing for anybody

(107) Already today netlabels provide for choice / quality assurance

(108) P2P could be useful for certain uses nonetheless

(109) * P2P is not necessary for Free Content

(110) Free Software is a good example for this

(111) Marketing people wonder how Free Software gets known without advertisement

3.3. CC (CreativeCommons)

(113) * Licenses for "some rights reserved"

(114) - Attribution

(115) - Noncommercial

(116) - No Derivative works

(117) - Share Alike

(118) GPL is equivalent with SA+BY

(119) * Big movement with good "marketing" (http://creativecommons.org/)

(120) Apply for all sorts of content

(121) Are adapted to the national law systems

(122) * Noncommercial helps the Opus Magnum idea

(123) "I enjoy contributing if it can not be used commercially (aka alienated)"

(124) * CreativeCommons further the transfer the idea of Free Software

(125) There is probably no initiative doing this with more success

3.4. CF (Content Flatrate) / P2P tax

(127) * Charges based on Internet access

(128) * Redistribution to creators of P2P content

(129) * Legalizes P2P copying of material under copyright

(130) * (New) collecting societies as redistributors (VG online)

(131) So far GEMA is the collecting societies for music in Germany

(132) So far VG Wort is the collecting societies for text in Germany

(133) Collecting societies were created because it is impossible to bill analog copies individually

(134) * In reality: Flat tax for using Internet

(135) Needs to be enforced by state

(136) Is not bound to concrete use

3.5. Critique of P2P tax (1/2)

(138) There is a lot to say here...

(139) * A lot of practical problems

(140) - Just distribution of money gathered?

(141) For different media

(142) - Where shall be the limits?

(143) Can every web page be registered?

(144) Proprietary software?

(145) Deeper problem: digital copy is universal

(146) - Needs measuring just like DRM

(147) Measuring without DRM methods are always wrong

(148) - International use vs. national collecting societies

(149) * Problems with "compensation" / money supply

(150) - For the creators nothing changes

(151) At least when the system does not differ fundamentally to GEMA and co

(152) Publishing companies and collecting societies cash nonetheless

(153) Money supply doesn't happen so far

(154) Fundamenal problem: Creators act in a highly competitive sphere and the P2P tax does not make this vanish

(155) - Flat taxation is unjust

(156) Connection between arbitrary Internet use and P2P is much less than for instance for CompactCassettes

(157) - Different remuneration systems would be simpler and more just (Street Musician Model)

(158) Consumer pays creator directly

(159) Individual billing is more just

(160) * Many problems and little use

3.6. Critique of P2P tax (2/2)

(162) * Subtle effects

(163) - Introduction of the long worried commercialization of the Internet

(164) Until now there is a clear distinction between Free and commercial content

(165) There would be a tendency that all content would be subject to commercialization

(166) - Creators interested in Freedom would be weakened

(167) A number of musicians are for P2P etc.

(168) * Missing

(169) - Does not prevent DRM

(170) DRM is not forbidden because of a P2P tax

(171) Especially noteworthy: This is an official goal of the P2P tax!

(172) - Does not leave the logic of DRM

(173) Only changes the finance model from individual to tax based

(174) - Does not strengthen Free Content

(175) There is no more "uncompensated" content - even when this is wished for by the creators

(176) For the consumers the distinction between Free and restricted goods is blurred

(177) In practice consciousness for the problem copyright is prevented ("Now I may copy it even legally - why should I care about copyright?")

(178) * A lot of fundamental problems

4. Alternative perspectives

4.1. Utopian Oekonux perspective

(181) Important for a political orientation

(182) * Make money supply superfluous

(183) Selbstentfaltung as the central reason for creating works

(184) * Abolish scarcity of information goods

(185) Is not justified materially

(186) Is not just because there are no genius information goods

(187) * Exploitation is no super-historical right of creators

(188) Something like this is decided upon in a societal process and therefore this can change

(189) The production outside the guilds was illegal but nonetheless one beginning of the bourgeoise society

(190) * Quality is higher under conditions of Selbstentfaltung

(191) No looking to exploitation interests when there are no exploitation interests

(192) Free Software is successful exactly because of this quality

(193) * Long-term utopian perspective is clear :-)

(194) Simply bear this?

4.2. Realpolitik perspective

(196) * How far does DRM get?

(197) - Technical realization is difficult

(198) TPM, TCG

(199) Fundamental redesign of the computer

(200) - Political implementation is limited

(201) Fair use

(202) - Not accepted

(203) Un-CD campaign of c't

(204) Widely missing consciousness of injustice

(205) Which is understandable because nobody looses anything because information goods get more when copied

(206) * Useful acting

(207) - No P2P tax

(208) Blurring of the borders between old and new world is the best way to integrate a germ form!

(209) Enforces what the music industry seems not be able to

(210) - Make possible coexistence of DRM and Free Content

(211) - Strengthening of Free Licenses like CreativeCommons

(212) * Useful acting seems possible

4.3. Reform of revolution

(214) Old question for leftists

(215) This time with real substance

(216) * P2P tax has all characteristics of a social-democrat solution

(217) - Kills the top of the new

(218) - Integrates it into the old

(219) - Prevents a new development

(220) * Copyright system not useful for money supply?

(221) At least under digital conditions

(222) Completely new system of money supply for creators?

(223) * Is music / P2P / music industry that important at all?

(224) For the development of productive forces Free Science is much more central

(225) * May be we are to impatient?

(226) The basis for a fundamental change is there

(227) However, each change needs time

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