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(Tech Dirt)   Psy proves it is impossible to make money in the music business without strong copyright enforcement   (techdirt.com) divider line 48
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7601 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 13 Dec 2012 at 12:41 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-13 11:58:04 AM
Not to sound like a geek, but Paramount figured this out years ago. They used to bring the hammer down on Star Trek fans trying to publish unlicensed novels and stories. Then they realized that doing so was not only costing a small fortune in legal fees, it was also squashing a bunch of free publicity. So, if those nerds wanted to write stories & make fan films about their licensed products, let 'em. And those fans kept the franchise alive for decades when it should have just been some failed TV show from the 60s.

Psy's seeing the same thing. He couldn't pay for the kind of marketing the internet is giving him. Let everyone play in his sandbox--he'll only get more famous and richer.
 
2012-12-13 12:00:18 PM
Won't someone please, PLEASE think of the poor record publishers?
 
2012-12-13 12:01:48 PM

brigid_fitch: Not to sound like a geek, but Paramount figured this out years ago. They used to bring the hammer down on Star Trek fans trying to publish unlicensed novels and stories. Then they realized that doing so was not only costing a small fortune in legal fees, it was also squashing a bunch of free publicity. So, if those nerds wanted to write stories & make fan films about their licensed products, let 'em. And those fans kept the franchise alive for decades when it should have just been some failed TV show from the 60s.

Psy's seeing the same thing. He couldn't pay for the kind of marketing the internet is giving him. Let everyone play in his sandbox--he'll only get more famous and richer.


The Grateful Dead did the same thing with their concert recordings. Instead of fighting to keep recording devices out of the audience, they not only condoned, but even encouraged the practice.

/The best publicity is free publicity.
 
2012-12-13 12:47:05 PM
Given that it's a world wide phenomena, I would've expected his take to be a little higher than $8.1mil.
 
2012-12-13 12:51:26 PM
Exception that proves the rule, really. This guy broke a certain threshold where this could come to pass, but for most small/new artists, every single miniscule sale is important.
 
2012-12-13 12:51:55 PM
That's impossible. From what my sources tell me, the only way to make money as an artist is to sign a deal with the RIAA gauranteeing them 80% of the profits from all sources and then suing into oblivion anyone who so much as hums one of your songs in the shower without permission. Something here doesn't add up...
 
2012-12-13 12:57:31 PM
Won't we think of the poor musicians who only want to record music then make a fortune sitting on their asses? If they made real music and put on good shows the money would follow. But then there's the poor record companies...
 
2012-12-13 12:59:43 PM

Walt_Jizzney: Exception that proves the rule, really. This guy broke a certain threshold where this could come to pass, but for most small/new artists, every single miniscule sale is important.


and if you're good enough, people will be more than willing to pay for your song / album. If you aren't good enough, they won't, end of story.
 
2012-12-13 01:00:23 PM

Walt_Jizzney: Exception that proves the rule, really. This guy broke a certain threshold where this could come to pass, but for most small/new artists, every single miniscule sale is important.


In order to get those sales you need to be seen or heard. There is a certain value to having your work being circulated for free to gain more exposure
 
2012-12-13 01:08:47 PM
Straight no chaser did this too. Their video went viral on youtube, and now they're raking it in. Saw them in concert after I watched the youtube videos, they put on a great show!
 
2012-12-13 01:27:40 PM
Who?
 
2012-12-13 01:31:10 PM
Too bad this guy hates Americans and wants to kill us all
 
2012-12-13 01:35:01 PM
It seems that, "The tighter your grip, the more that slips through your fingers" is true for things other than star systems.
 
2012-12-13 01:42:53 PM

Dogfacedgod: Too bad this guy hates Americans and wants to kill us all


when America bombs children with drones, its for FREEDOM
 
2012-12-13 01:44:30 PM
Well what it shows is that you cannot really make money off of the song - not that you cannot make money. In this, case the song itself is like a loss leader, a freebie, a give-away to get you in the store. It can be a viable strategy and i think it is great for small time guys to get some exposure - and again shows that the distribution system that the RIAA built is mostly irrelevant now.
 
2012-12-13 01:49:57 PM
The scarcity comment really hits the nail on the head. Look at what you can control/provide that the internet can't. You can provide no hassle access to high quality copies of your work via digital music channels. So put it on iTunes for cheap so millions impulse buy, put a HD up on Youtube for the ad views, and keep the fascination with your work alive so you can get more work as a pitchman.

Trying to put stuff off Youtube alone is an exercise in futility. Better to have your copy be the top ranked result and get the clicks. If you put up even more barriers people will just turn to p2p solutions. I call this the Game of Thrones rule, if you're going to make exert effort to get your digital product, I'll exert effort in the free route. On the other hand put it up on iTunes/Amazon/Play/Zune/etc shortly after it airs and at a reasonable price and I'll pay for the 1080p version of it rather than go delve onto shady websites.

Also lets say you somehow successfully purge every copy of your work from the internet (impossible, but let us say). That just means you're dead to most of society. If you're some rap star and do that, so what. There are millions of rappers with libraries of content on Youtube. I'll just go listen to some of them instead of paying the 50 dollars you're trying to demand for your BluRay collection or whatever. The venues through which you can reach me have changed, deal with it.
 
2012-12-13 01:50:26 PM

jeffreyh: Won't we think of the poor musicians who only want to record music then make a fortune sitting on their asses?


redriverpak.files.wordpress.com 

Hot
 
2012-12-13 02:05:57 PM
FTA: This is yet another great example of how artists can give away copies of their music and videos

That is exactly the point.
The artist made a decision to give stuff away.

That is not the same as people having the right to take things from the artist because they can and justify it with thinking it will help the artist.
 
2012-12-13 02:09:25 PM

cgraves67: Given that it's a world wide phenomena, I would've expected his take to be a little higher than $8.1mil.


Yep. Although he is raking in cash and getting a whirlwind of free publicity, I wonder how much he would have raked in if everyone who wanted the song couldn't just download it on a whim. On the other hand, I wonder if it would have been such a hit if you couldn't just download it on a whim.
 
2012-12-13 02:10:05 PM

Dogfacedgod: Too bad this guy hates Americans and wants to kill us all


Where is this from? My dad said the same thing
 
2012-12-13 02:11:31 PM
Waiting for him to hit 1 billy
 
2012-12-13 02:13:35 PM

Teiritzamna: Well what it shows is that you cannot really make money off of the song - not that you cannot make money. In this, case the song itself is like a loss leader, a freebie, a give-away to get you in the store. It can be a viable strategy and i think it is great for small time guys to get some exposure - and again shows that the distribution system that the RIAA built is mostly irrelevant now.


I'm waiting for them to crack down on "learn to play" videos. That's all I listen to it seems.
 
2012-12-13 02:14:07 PM

satanorsanta: Dogfacedgod: Too bad this guy hates Americans and wants to kill us all

Where is this from? My dad said the same thing


My dad, a Mexican, said the same thing... I don't get it..
 
2012-12-13 02:19:42 PM

satanorsanta: Dogfacedgod: Too bad this guy hates Americans and wants to kill us all

Where is this from? My dad said the same thing


He wasn't a fan of the Iraq war.

But I have a feeling he's changed his mind since then on his whole killing Americans thing now that he's a star here.
 
2012-12-13 02:23:29 PM
I compare the Japanese and Korean music cultures. The Kpop scene readily allows their tunes to be dumped on Youtube where you can hear them, whereas the Jpop scene enforces strict copyright, resulting in no one knowing about the new japanese hits. This is why kpop is growing and jpop isn't.
 
2012-12-13 02:27:19 PM

jeffreyh: Won't we think of the poor musicians who only want to record music then make a fortune sitting on their asses? If they made real music and put on good shows the money would follow. But then there's the poor record companies...


A lot easier said than done.
 
2012-12-13 02:28:32 PM

MagSeven: cgraves67: Given that it's a world wide phenomena, I would've expected his take to be a little higher than $8.1mil.

Yep. Although he is raking in cash and getting a whirlwind of free publicity, I wonder how much he would have raked in if everyone who wanted the song couldn't just download it on a whim. On the other hand, I wonder if it would have been such a hit if you couldn't just download it on a whim.


I got about 200 or so people to watch/listen. Wouldn't have happened if not "free."

Don't listen too much. It will be around a long, long, long, time.

Think weddings, sporting events, and of course movies.
 
2012-12-13 02:34:59 PM

Rev. Skarekroe: satanorsanta: Dogfacedgod: Too bad this guy hates Americans and wants to kill us all

Where is this from? My dad said the same thing

He wasn't a fan of the Iraq war.

But I have a feeling he's changed his mind since then on his whole killing Americans thing now that he's a star here.


newsimg.bbc.co.uk
 
2012-12-13 02:48:50 PM
it's already been established that singers/artists do not make money from record sales, they make their money from concerts, ticket sales. it shouldn't be a surprise that he's making barely 60k from physical sales on a single.

the ap article linked in the article pretty much explained why psy isn't trying to protect his copyright, piracy is common in asia, learned a long time ago it's a waste of time to fight it.


can't believe the AP would mention samsung by name but referred to nongshim as just a "major noodle company", they've broken into the us market a while back.
 
2012-12-13 03:15:12 PM

pacified: Dogfacedgod: Too bad this guy hates Americans and wants to kill us all

when America bombs children with drones, its for FREEDOM


Shut up, both of you.
 
2012-12-13 03:16:55 PM

spman: Walt_Jizzney: Exception that proves the rule, really. This guy broke a certain threshold where this could come to pass, but for most small/new artists, every single miniscule sale is important.

and if you're good enough, people will be more than willing to pay for your song / album. If you aren't good enough, they won't, end of story.


That said, Psy's debut was in 2001. If Gangnam Style is what it takes to hit it big without copyright, then it took him ten years to hit it big. Most artists can't wait that long, and if this were the only way to make money as an artist, he wouldn't have been able to either.
 
2012-12-13 03:32:20 PM
Great to see the record industry die right in front of us. The artists need them less every year and now they're not getting screwed by the business and being told how to make their music.
 
2012-12-13 03:46:04 PM

Rev. Skarekroe: satanorsanta: Dogfacedgod: Too bad this guy hates Americans and wants to kill us all

Where is this from? My dad said the same thing

He wasn't a fan of the Iraq war.

But I have a feeling he's changed his mind since then on his whole killing Americans thing now that he's a star here.


The same site has a better article on what likely spurred his song:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/12/07/gangnam- n ationalism-why-psys-anti-american-rap-shouldnt-surprise-you/


I'm not making excuses for that. I think those lyrics are pretty despicable, even though I understand why South Koreans would identify with them. However, I believe has also apologized for those lyrics and said he wished he had never said them. Whether that's true contrition or just smart policy when expanding into the Western market, who knows.

All I know is this makes me smile every time I see it:

gcaptain.com
 
2012-12-13 03:52:12 PM

TheJoe03: Great to see the record industry die right in front of us. The artists need them less every year and now they're not getting screwed by the business and being told how to make their music.


THIS
 
2012-12-13 04:24:19 PM

not5am: it's already been established that singers/artists do not make money


FTFY
 
2012-12-13 04:37:51 PM

Rev. Skarekroe: satanorsanta: Dogfacedgod: Too bad this guy hates Americans and wants to kill us all

Where is this from? My dad said the same thing

He wasn't a fan of the Iraq war.

But I have a feeling he's changed his mind since then on his whole killing Americans thing now that he's a star here.


The silliest part of that controversy is that it's still pretty tame compared to most gangster rap..

// both koreas have a right to be ambivalent about the US in their own ways, and if we're honest nobody came out of either iraq war exactly smelling of roses.
 
2012-12-13 04:39:58 PM
Fun Fact:

Pys last name is Kotic.

Google it.
 
2012-12-13 04:59:21 PM
$0.02

I certainly think artists should be paid for their work, and I certainly don't begrudge any that enforce their copyright. We're a niche market society nowadays though, and I think that if an entertainer structures a free stuff strategy right, he can do very well. You put out oodles of free stuff, let the internet spread the word, build up a niche fan base, and profit then profit from doing shows or selling swag.

Comedians in particular seem to be doing well in this model. Chris Hardwick and Adam Carolla put out a bunch of free entertainment in the form of podcasts. A couple years later they have relatively small but dedicated fan bases that sell out every show and buy their swag, Hell, I just bought a bunch of Carolla's Mangria to give out as Christmas presents.

I don't know, it is just my limited view, but I think the free stuff model will pay off dividends for the talent that is willing to get out there and work.
 
2012-12-13 05:14:41 PM
People are making a HUGE leap here....

Some guy who enjoyed a historic amount of world-wide publicity managed to make 8 million dollars off ads revenue and tv commercials. What does that tell us? Well, not a lot. It doesn't even really say ANYTHING about copyright infringement.

First, 8 million is not a big sum of money compared to what top artists make. That'd suggest it might not be such a great thing for the artists. Also, the same people who would gladly pirate a CD or music video are the SAME VERY PEOPLE who will gladly block ads once you show them how. Just like they'd gladly pirate stuff, once you show them how. And the revenue from TV commercials only came because TV stations are *forced* to respect copyright law.

So, I'm not really sure what the point here is.

Without any copyright - the guy would have made some ad money, so long as enough users were stupid enough to look at and click on ads. The article says the majority of his money came from TV and that only works because of copyright. And, while 8 million sounds like a lot - when you compare it to traditionally sold music and big record labels - it's not. The total amount of revenue generated from a free and open (but ad supported) internet is much lower than closed off stores and DRM.

And the whole 'We don't even need record labels' argument - I've been hearing that since the days when not all desktops could handle decoding MP3s with decent bit rates. Well before Napster. Back then everyone was all, 'Now anyone can share music with the whole world! For free!'

But that never happened. I don't know of a single band anyone *cares* about that didn't get famous via the traditional route. A band that just put their music up, for free, and the world loved it, and they became rich and famous, without a record label. If the radio is filled all these no-talent hacks, how come all the 'good' free music hasn't taken over?

More than anything, I think people just want to download whatever music they want. And they want to feel smug while doing it.
 
2012-12-13 05:23:01 PM

Krashash: $0.02

I certainly think artists should be paid for their work, and I certainly don't begrudge any that enforce their copyright. We're a niche market society nowadays though, and I think that if an entertainer structures a free stuff strategy right, he can do very well. You put out oodles of free stuff, let the internet spread the word, build up a niche fan base, and profit then profit from doing shows or selling swag.

Comedians in particular seem to be doing well in this model. Chris Hardwick and Adam Carolla put out a bunch of free entertainment in the form of podcasts. A couple years later they have relatively small but dedicated fan bases that sell out every show and buy their swag, Hell, I just bought a bunch of Carolla's Mangria to give out as Christmas presents.

I don't know, it is just my limited view, but I think the free stuff model will pay off dividends for the talent that is willing to get out there and work.


Joe Rogan does the same thing, and he apparently is going to sell his new album directly from his website. Even hid comedian friends do well live because they hang out on his podcast.
 
2012-12-13 05:36:36 PM

Fark_Guy_Rob: And the whole 'We don't even need record labels' argument - I've been hearing that since the days when not all desktops could handle decoding MP3s with decent bit rates. Well before Napster. Back then everyone was all, 'Now anyone can share music with the whole world! For free!'

But that never happened. I don't know of a single band anyone *cares* about that didn't get famous via the traditional route. A band that just put their music up, for free, and the world loved it, and they became rich and famous, without a record label. If the radio is filled all these no-talent hacks, how come all the 'good' free music hasn't taken over?


The "we don't need record labels" argument isn't centered on free music. It's centered on the fact that artists don't really need the middle man anymore and even some of the best selling artists in the past didn't even get the money they deserved. The internet provides a platform for artists to distribute music, market themselves, make and post videos, sell merch, and promote their shows. Those are all things that artists used to NEED the industry for, now they can do it themselves. Sure there's a lot of free music out there, but there would be if the artists are on a label or not. Plus, you bring up the radio, but that is industry backed. The "good" music is all over the internet, the selection is amazing, and I think this is a great era for music. Bad time for mainstream, sure, but when MTV doesn't play music and people don't listen to the radio, mainstream becomes irrelevant.

/yeah I'm listening to Pandora right now, wanna fight about it?
 
2012-12-13 05:49:12 PM

Krashash: $0.02


Funny, that's almost as much as most artists make on each album sold.
 
2012-12-13 06:20:51 PM

pacified: Dogfacedgod: Too bad this guy hates Americans and wants to kill us all

when America bombs children with drones, its for FREEDOM


I think you know that civilians are not deliberately targeted, don't you? As opposed to the other side which does target civilians - even their own.
 
2012-12-13 07:25:52 PM

StrangeQ: That's impossible. From what my sources tell me, the only way to make money as an artist is to sign a deal with the RIAA gauranteeing them 80% of the profits from all sources and then suing into oblivion anyone who so much as hums one of your songs in the shower without permission. Something here doesn't add up...


Not only that, but I've actually seen people argue that the creative artists won't create without the possibility of massive wealth.

That is how we know all the old composers and painters were crap, right?
 
2012-12-13 08:49:59 PM

BeowulfSmith: All I know is this makes me smile every time I see it:


gcaptain.com

GODDAMN I'M TIRED OF ALL THESE FLAT ASSES!!!
 
2012-12-14 12:39:48 AM

peterthx: BeowulfSmith: All I know is this makes me smile every time I see it:

[gcaptain.com image 591x394]

GODDAMN I'M TIRED OF ALL THESE FLAT ASSES!!!


Hey now, they make it up with their long legs.
 
2012-12-14 09:41:28 AM

Smackledorfer: Not only that, but I've actually seen people argue that the creative artists won't create without the possibility of massive wealth.

That is how we know all the old composers and painters were crap, right?


Um they existed back then due to massive patronage systems - which also meant that to do art in the past you needed to suck the dick (often literally) of some rich yahoo. Actually . . . come to think of it, the system's the same. carry on
 
2012-12-15 06:37:36 AM
Surely if there was no copyright, advertisers would be free to use his music without compensating him?
 
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