I’ve been a fan of singer-songwriter Lelia Broussard since hearing her song ‘Satellite’ on thesixtyone.com and seeing her perform live along with the equally talented Allison Weiss and Bess Rogers.

Like most emerging artists, Lelia makes full use of the internet to promote her music. Besides her website and thesixtyone, she’s on YouTube, Twitter, and  Bandcamp. She has a Kickstarter page to raise funds. And, of course, the tried and true email list.

Earlier this month, Lelia sent out an email to her list. Part of it read:

For those of you new to my music, I have been putting out music and touring since 2005 on an independent basis. I have several records out, a good bit of my music is on Itunes, and my newer CD is in the store on my own website, but if you can’t get enough of my music and want more more more, I recently decided to release a digital collection of all my old records that I have put out and a TON of unreleased rare tunes that I won’t ever release…some acoustic, some live, and some are full on studio recordings that never made it onto a record. However, because of some of the upcoming events and if all goes according to plan, I am only going to be able to offer this for a short time longer.

A few days later, Ms. Broussard followed up with another email. Apparently, many of her fans thought she had meant she was giving away all this music for free. Not so.

What followed was an impassioned message about the struggle musicians like Lelia face getting to the point where they can sustain a musical career.

I do give away a lot of music to my fans, when you join the email list and throughout the year and will absolutely keep doing that, no question! But I can’t give away everything!! #youguys

Please hear me out for a sec on this. I am at this moment in time, a very poor, underpaid musician. Right now, I am not even permanently living anywhere…it may sound like a jet set life, traveling here and there for shows, but believe me, its not! I wouldn’t trade if for anything, I can’t NOT make music, I just have to…but there you go, that’s the truth, not so glamarous and jet setty! #newword

Even if I were on a major record label, that could still be the case. Unless I start selling out much bigger clubs than I am currently playing, I am losing money when I go out on tour, and unless I independently sell at least 10,000 records, I am barely breaking even on putting out a record because of all the costs that come with that.

That is why you see me busting my ass doing fund  raising along with music, it’s the only way for me to fund my life and continue to write and record, and tour, and its how I am able to pay for some PR, radio campaigns, keeping all the things running that I do have. I haven’t raised enough for all of those things yet, but am working on it, which is why I keep at it like this and ask for support.

A lot of people just simply do not buy music anymore, they just illegally download it. I don’t like it, my musician friends don’t like it, but we realize its part of our world now, so we try to do  and release music/things that fans might want that they can’t get elsewhere and  that they would purchase, because they do want to support us.

I think Lelia’s message highlights some important points. The question of illegal downloading is often cast as generational, with young people seeing it as a way of life. It is also often framed as only an industry problem: corporate suits wanting to control culture versus new artists embracing the “benefits” of piracy. These are useful narratives for proponents of weaker copyright, but as Lelia attests to, they don’t necessarily hold up when compared to reality.

Although Lelia sells her music online, she also provides a good deal of it for free, either streaming or available for download. Some musicians choose to give all their music away online, others don’t even allow digital downloads for sale. Which is the best choice? I don’t know. But the bottom line is that it should remain the artist’s choice. Many copyright critics would rather take that choice away from artists, gussied up in a “it’s for your own good” argument.

Becoming a full-time musician is tough work. Yes, people would still create without the copyright incentive. But that’s not the best way to ensure our lives are enriched with the songs and sounds that connect with us emotionally and give us meaning. And as much as the internet has opened up new avenues for artists to connect with their fans, twitter followers, touring, and t-shirts are not enough to sustain a musical career.

Crafting good music often involves talents beyond that of individual artists like Lelia — talents of people like producers and engineers. Getting that music heard requires the investment of a great deal of time and money, and it also is aided greatly by other talented individuals like video producers and promoters.

Creativity provides many benefits. The question lurking beneath the copyright debates is “where should those benefits go?” Should they all flow to those looking for a cheap way to fill up their iPods and web sites looking for cheap ways to attract traffic and sell ads? Or should the law ensure that some of those benefits go back to those who devote their time and talents to create?

29 Comments

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Lelia Broussard | Copyhype -- Topsy.com

  2. I think that Lelia needs some marketing assistance. She should read Amanda Palmer’s blog, Amanda has some good tips.

  3. Actually, Lelia is a master at marketing. I would think she could give out tips to other artists, Rarely have I seen a more proactive involved musician. I’ve read Amanda’s blog and Lelia goes so far beyond what she does. If you were on her email list, you’d already know that : )

  4. Not sure what you’re asking here…

    The law has always been about taking the natural rights of one group (say, the right to copy) and forcefully given those rights to someone else.

    Judge Richard A Posner wrote:

    ” And once copies are available to others, it is often inexpensive for these users to make additional copies. If the copies made by the creator of the work are priced at or close to marginal cost, others may be discouraged from making copies, but the creator’s total revenues may not be sufficient to cover the cost of creating the work. Copyright protection—the right of the copyright’s owner to prevent others from making copies—trades off the costs of limiting access to a work against the benefits of providing incentives to create the work in the first place. Striking the correct balance between access and incentives is the central problem in copyright law.

    Think also of Henri Forneaux, who invented the player piano. Pretty soon afterwards, the sheet music industry complained about it costing them their jobs. The recording industry of the time complained and yet… Others were allowed to “steal” the music. Then copyright added a performance rights license. And a compulsory rights license. Then a mechanical rights license. Depending on what you want to do with it, it’s complicated because it’s nothing more than a patchwork of different wants and needs of different times and industries.

    It’s probably much easier to do what Lelia is doing than get involved with all of the behind the scenes paperwork that can truly make artists go into debt.

    • Jay,

      Not sure what you’re asking here…

      I think you do. Terry is providing a clear, useful counterpoint to the notion spread by sites like TechDirt that truly creative artists are making more money than ever
      by “connecting” with fans, and that, if it weren’t for the obsolete record label business model, artists would embrace giving away their music for free. Clearly, Leila is a hugely talented artist that is deeply connected with a large fan base, she tours, sells limited edition merchandise, gives away some music, and has every new-age band funding site online — and yet she’s broke with no home to speak of. That’s the reality of telling artists to go “connect with fans” to make their money and that it’s your “natural right” to download an album they spent months or years working on. And that’s the point.

      The law has always been about taking the natural rights of one group (say, the right to copy) and forcefully given those rights to someone else.

      That’s a bit dramatic. How about: “the law has always been about giving the one who expends his intellectual efforts the benefits of his own creations or ideas.” You create something new and desirable, you have the right to benefit from it (including the right to exclude others). That’s the balance that was struck long ago by our Founders.

      Re Posner’s quote, Judge Posner also said:

      “In the absence of copyright protection, the market price of a book or other expressive work will eventually be bid down to the marginal cost of copying, with the result that the book may not be produced in the first place because the author and publisher may not be able to recover their costs of creating it . . . . The problem of recoupment is magnified, however, by the fact that the author’s cost of creating the work, and many publishing costs (for example, editing costs), are incurred before it is known what the demand for the work will be. Because demand is uncertain, the difference between price and marginal cost of the successful work must not only cover the cost of expression but also compensate for the unavoidable risk of failure.

      Moreover, I’m not really sure what your point is. If you have a problem with the incentive/access to works balance, you should be writing to your representative in hopes of reforming copyright law (or challenge the constitutionality of the laws in court). It isn’t up to individuals to decide whether they feel artists are properly incentivized under the Constitution, and to take their protected works accordingly. That’s not how democratic society works.

      Think also of Henri Forneaux, who invented the player piano

      Bad analogy. We’re not talking about CD manufacturers losing their jobs to iTunes. We’re talking about the artist herself who has a right that is being violated today. Laws exist, but they aren’t being enforced. There’s no “behind the scenes paperwork” involved, no patchwork of industries who want their cut. This is Leila asking her fans to pay for her art so she can live and work. The laws simply need to protect her decision.

      • “And that’s the point.”

        Seems to be a comfortable living. She isn’t starving and she’s finding moderate success. Older paradigm is that she would have to be a Britney Spears before she’s allowed success on any level. At least now she can choose what she wants to do in terms of concerts and such on a more personal level.

        “That’s a bit dramatic. How about: “the law has always been about giving the one who expends his intellectual efforts the benefits of his own creations or ideas.” You create something new and desirable, you have the right to benefit from it (including the right to exclude others). That’s the balance that was struck long ago by our Founders.”

        Actually, no? Not the least dramatic since Shakespeare is still celebrated 300 years after his death, changing his stories to a newer audience. Meanwhile, Catcher in the Rye – The sequel is banned. Such is the state of copyright. But I guess that’s the state of having a notion that hey, copyright is no longer a balance since the Founders were alive. Kind of happens when Congress declares that 70 years of copyright monopoly + years after the death of the author, when not economically proven, can be a little skewed against new expression of ideas.

        “Moreover, I’m not really sure what your point is. If you have a problem with the incentive/access to works balance, you should be writing to your representative in hopes of reforming copyright law (or challenge the constitutionality of the laws in court). It isn’t up to individuals to decide whether they feel artists are properly incentivized under the Constitution, and to take their protected works accordingly. That’s not how democratic society works.”

        HAHAHA!

        To my Senator? Let’s look at what a lobbyist can do versus little old me.

        I can donate maybe $100 for a Senator to listen to me? A lobbyist can donate $2000 maximum at one time. Then add the fact that a business can donate $5000 at one time. Let’s also not forget the shell companies who are loyal to the business, lobbying for $5000 at a time.

        Human voices are drowned. It’s a shell game since no individual can spend so much money to have their voices heard

        And yet, how can I truly fight the Constitutionality of something such as the DMCA, which is entirely out of my grasp? How can the Supreme Court declare it unconstitutional when it hasn’t been truly presented before them, and it costs so much to fight it? Maybe we should be like Whitney Harper who fought, lost and is ordered to pay $27K for 37 songs. Asinine doesn’t begin to describe this.

        Perhaps if the law was fair to consumers having rights such as in other countries it would be better for all. As it stands, the best options for artists is to find their own way to success rather than leaning on litigation for their success.

        “Bad analogy. We’re not talking about CD manufacturers losing their jobs to iTunes. We’re talking about the artist herself who has a right that is being violated today. Laws exist, but they aren’t being enforced. There’s no “behind the scenes paperwork” involved, no patchwork of industries who want their cut. This is Leila asking her fans to pay for her art so she can live and work. The laws simply need to protect her decision.”

        Uhm… You do realize the analogy worked in the fact that it still undermined a certain set of people? All of those rights are in the copyright law that we have now. It works to make it quite difficult to work to support an artist through means other than direct donations or the ignorance of copyright law. How exactly is the law supposed to support her if it’s too byzantine? That’s what makes no sense…

        She seems to make an alright living with what she’s doing, nothing saying she HAS to be a megastar, and she could probably find other avenues (say… Videogame music or appearances to her fan’s house) to continue to live with what she’s doing. I don’t know all the answers, neither does the law. But saying that the law can support all of her efforts is kind of the wrong idea.

        • She isn’t starving and she’s finding moderate success.

          Lelia’s situation demonstrates that, contrary to some reports, independent artists who “embrace” new ways of connecting with fans don’t necessarily become extraordinarily profitable or suddenly become perfectly okay with others downloading their music without compensation.

          Older paradigm is that she would have to be a Britney Spears before she’s allowed success on any level

          Gosh, I wonder how much more money she would make if listeners actually bought her album instead of just assuming they had a “natural right” to download it. That might REALLY put the “old paradigm” to shame. Interesting that you aren’t advocating that fans buy independent music as opposed to “corporate” music. All music should be free to copy, because you’ve figured out that everyone in Congress and the judiciary got it wrong all along. Shame on those dummies!

          It is simply shameful (and incomprehensible) to me that you feel you have a natural right to take Lelia’s art (or any other artist for that matter). Putting aside all Constitutional arguments, all of the alleged record label fat cats, all of the “outdated business models”… I just don’t get how anyone could feel moral in taking art from an artist against their will.

          To my Senator?

          Yes, that’s democracy Jay. If that’s not good enough for you, then you can donate to the EFF or any other lobbying organization that you feel better represents your position, and that, in aggregate, wields more political power. What is the alternative? Allow people to break any law they disagree with for whatever constitutional/moral interpretation they adopt?

          Uhm… You do realize the analogy worked in the fact that it still undermined a certain set of people?

          No, I don’t recognize that your analogy worked. You might as well argue that your analogy “worked” because it involved people. We’re not talking about intermediaries fighting for complex, non-existent, “byzantine” rights. This is the artist. She’s asking her fans directly to pay for her music, because she’s not making that much money selling hugs on Twitter. It doesn’t get much more simple than that.

          • Interesting that you aren’t advocating that fans buy independent music as opposed to “corporate” music. All music should be free to copy, because you’ve figured out that everyone in Congress and the judiciary got it wrong all along. Shame on those dummies!

            I did that on older posts actually. Since you asked:

            Jamendo
            Dmusic.com
            Grooveshark (cloud based)
            Spotify (oops… not available for the US because of copyright issues…)
            Ustream

            Go nuts in finding new artists or whatever else you want to find. Further, Arista, BMI, Sony, Universal, are no longer the gateways to her success. THAT is the old paradigm. She now has a better chance to succeed or fail based on HER merits, not those arbitrarily put on her such as the fake numbers for CD sales. If anything, that was one of the greatest scams running for the music industry. Go to a music label, make a hit, get an advance that you can NEVER pay off, and squeeze every ounce of creativity from the artist. Even piracy can’t cover that up.

            ” I just don’t get how anyone could feel moral in taking art from an artist against their will.”

            I’m not. I haven’t heard about her until now. That’s an even worse tragedy. So which is worse for an artist, piracy and a chance to get known or obscurity? Think carefully. The world is filled with great music, great art, and great performances all around. A person can’t hear of all of it.

            What’s funny? Napster helped people discover new music, leading to boosted sales

            So yes, I hear the argument, but it doesn’t make sense when the evidence for so long has pointed elsewhere.

            Other than that, it’s up to you to decide how I feel on the subject.

            “Yes, that’s democracy Jay…”

            Read what I wrote again. You seem to have missed my point. My voice is drowned by corporate interests, especially in the state that I live in. I’ve looked at the lobbying dollars of my Senator. His voice is skewed towards that money, not me. Having been on the job for years, there’s nothing I can do to change my state’s opinion. Some fights you truly can’t fight alone. Especially when you know that it’s a fruitless effort. Rather, might as well focus on my own goals and when I can attain such a position, do similar to Senator Rob Wyden and focus on the legislation and actual moral rights I can fix.

            “No, I don’t recognize that your analogy worked.”

            The art of copying sheet music to be played in Henri Forneaux’s piano… Somehow it seems to be akin to copying a song on the internet to be heard.

            *scratches head*

            I guess history does repeat itself. The same argument about losing jobs, losing money, and ignoring the new opportunities.

            I think Lelia will be fine though. I’ll just have to see more to see a way I can show that she does make good music.

      • Jay,

        Instead of confronting the real issue presented in this story, you’ve repeatedly pulled the conversation towards topics you seem to want to talk about: record labels and recording agreements, the supposed benefits of Napster, the allegedly broken political system, and the historical greediness of copyright intermediaries.

        Sounds like you’ve got a bunch of issues. None of that has to do with the fact the Lelia (who is not an intermediary) is directly asking her fans to purchase her music due to the extremely modest success she has found by using “new opportunities” to connect with fans. She hasn’t achieved much success using the “new paradigm” that you and others champion as a new and revolutionary business model. And, she isn’t alone. You can acknowledge this example of moderate success, or, yet again, resort to an attack on record label agreements, the constitutionality of copyright and the American political system.

        • “You can acknowledge this example of moderate success, or, yet again, resort to an attack on record label agreements, the constitutionality of copyright and the American political system.”

          I’ve said on at least two occasions that she’s doing alright. I’ve also said that I don’t know every last way I can help her. I have tried to keep the argument focused on her, with minor hints of the other parts of the argument such as history repeating itself. Somehow, that’s not enough for you all.

          So here’s a question, how is copyright supposedly going to get her a major payday?

          Maybe, since everyone doesn’t want her to do this (yep, a dreaded Techdirt article. Spooky…) then I’m out of ideas. Feel free to throw them out here rather than find new supposed holes in my argument. It’s entirely up to you all. I’m open to debate anything but when you’re the only one supplying hints, tips, links, and different pieces of advice (while getting everyone’s ire for a different view) it just gets kind of wearing.

  5. Wow, Jay. So you’re saying you’d be ‘comfortable’ homeless and sleeping on a friend’s couch? I’d like to know how many hours per week you think an artist should work in order to deserve to be as well-compensated as yourself. Do you remember that night, maybe it was in high school, when you felt like you were all alone in the world and you searched your soul for hours for a reason to keep on keepin’ on and couldn’t find one, so you put on that song, the one that always made you feel better for at least a little while, do you remember that song, that moment? The central issue here is what’s that moment worth, and who gets to set the price? (If that moment is worth nothing to you, you’ve got bigger problems than copyright, imo, starting with a severe lack of empathy. It’s called soul, brother, and I sure hope you get some.)

    I would argue that the market value of that moment is variable and depends on market conditions, one of which is the availability of limitless virtual copies at virtually no additional cost, and that it is the work’s creators and assigns who should set the price, rather than persons who have not paid for the privilege. I’ve come across many arguments against this, and for me none of them hold water; they all come down to “Waaah, I don’t want to pay for music”. Personally, I feel a virtual copy of a thing is not the thing; it bears as much resemblance to the original as a photograph of the Mona Lisa to the Mona Lisa, and I price my goods accordingly. I consider personal use of my music by my fans to be fair use, but if you use my music to make a nickel, I want a penny. What’s unfair about that?

    • *sigh*

      I love it when people put words in my mouth. Look, she has no permanent home. But she’s not a hobo. Maybe she rents a bus, or she just likes the hotel living. I don’t know her situation. Not all of the ins and outs of it. I said she has a comfortable living as compared to other artists, that work in the morning and play gigs at night or haven’t found success as she has.

      Yes, music is a rough and tumble thing and not every artist makes it. Some people find that out real quick. But it seems she can afford to continue touring and keeping the lifestyle that she’s leading right now. By the old music system, she would have to continue just to keep up with her debts.

      “I would argue that the market value of that moment is variable and depends on market conditions, one of which is the availability of limitless virtual copies at virtually no additional cost, and that it is the work’s creators and assigns who should set the price, rather than persons who have not paid for the privilege. ”

      Set the price as high or as low as need be, that doesn’t mean people have to pay for it. If a song is worth $500 to you, you may need the reality check and soul, not me.

      My main point seems to stand that she seems to be doing quite well with the technology in front of her. She’s really talented. The sky is the limit on what she can do but should she decide to go down the litigation route that’s her choice. I just highly doubt it would work well given how much she’s invested in her current success.

      I think the point is, experience is a far better teacher than inane laws ever will be.

  6. If piracy continues effectively uncontrolled (that is, if recent legal measures to prevent it fail), I think we will see a return to the old practice of publishing by subscription. In the 18th century (say) if an author or publisher were planning on publishing an expensive work, e.g. a multi-volume series or a book with expensive engravings, they would first issue a prospectus to likely buyers, and get them to pledge themselves to buying it. The book would only actually be printed when a target number of subscriptions had been reached, sufficient to justify publication.

    The same approach could obviously be used for records, DVDs, etc. The record would only actually be released in full when a target for advance orders has been reached. The target would be determined in accordance with the artist’s popularity, so, for example, for a new single by Lady Gaga it could be millions, while for a ‘fringe’ indie artist it might be a few thousands. As an incentive to prospective buyers, there would be some kind of bonus such as a discount on concert tickets.

    This approach is already being used to a limited extent in the ‘Pledge’ system, but to really take off it would need to be backed by the major content providers. Of course, people like Jay would absolutely hate it, which would be another advantage!

  7. Well, up to now, the only word of yours I used was “comfortable”, but since you mentioned it, let’s take a gander at some words that did come from your mouth; “Look, she has no permanent home. But she’s not a hobo.”-having no permanent home is very much a part of the definition of “hobo’, especially as opposed to “tramp”; a tramp has no home and roams from place to place looking for such work as to define his occupation, while “hobo” is an actual occupation that precludes work, especially gainful employment; a hobo would rather gather what comes to hand, or steal, or do without, than work. .I hope for your sake that you never have to learn this distinction as I did, from a real hobo, who rode the rails looking for anything but work.

    Lelia Broussard doesn’t even begin to fit that description, so you’re correct in that she’s not a hobo, she’s a person who actually tries to make a living by doing useful work. Next, there’s “…she has a comfortable living as compared to other artists, that work in the morning and play gigs at night or haven’t found success as she has.” -Leaving aside the question of what kind of twisted fuck do you need to be to equate homelessness with success, I personally would define those that spend their time keeping the peace as police, those fighting fires as firemen, and those that teach children as teachers, those that tend to illnesses of the body as healers and those who heal the soul as either preachers or musicians. All of the above are callings, which means that those whose hearts aren’t in the right place need not apply; if you don’t have it in your soul to do such important work, you’ll never be completely up to the task, imo. (if not, I don’t give a shit if you work for Goldman Sachs, you’re useless, so far as I’m concerned, because your work does good for nobody but you, unless maybe you’re a farmer, but I digress) Certainly, in any rational sort of society, such persons should be provided for; if you require the services of any of the above, and you possess the means, it’s your call whether to pay them, they’ll do their work regardless, but if you don’t, you’re a douche.

    This is not to say that every music artist must be paid; some will become experts on eastern Peruvian nose flute sonatas, for which there’s little market to speak of, but when the market uses and profits from an artist’s music, the market owes that artist a cut, and that is most emphatically NOT charity. I’ve saved the worst for last, though, because then there’s this: “The sky is the limit on what she can do but should she decide to go down the litigation route that’s her choice.” Wow.The idea that an artist would hire a lawyer to pursue litigation for copyright infringement before securing a household for herself and her potential progeny is beyond laughable.I earnestly hope that you never need to live life as an artist; I also hope you don’t mind me pointing out that you didn’t answer my question.

    • Mojo, you need to chill, dude. This is ONE artist and she seems to take good care of herself with what she has. She makes music. Obviously, she has somewhere to do so. She may not be ready to settle down and buy a home. I. DO. NOT. KNOW. HER. ENTIRE. SITUATION.

      Just what she’s said and from what Terry is saying, we see that she at least has the calling of the musician. Just like the call to adventure that Joseph Campbell is talking about or the unique experiences she has on her journey. I don’t know where her journey ends. If I could, I’d love to help out with a few dollars. Sadly, I have my own needs to attend to first, such as finishing my college degree and avoiding the wrath of the RIAA or MPAA for supposedly costing them millions in downloads (just to appease DavidB in thinking I’m some pirate. 🙂 )

      “Wow.The idea that an artist would hire a lawyer to pursue litigation for copyright infringement before securing a household for herself and her potential progeny is beyond laughable.I earnestly hope that you never need to live life as an artist; I also hope you don’t mind me pointing out that you didn’t answer my question.”

      You truly read that wrong. But let’s pull up exactly what I was commenting on:
      “I would argue that the market value of that moment is variable and depends on market conditions, one of which is the availability of limitless virtual copies at virtually no additional cost, and that it is the work’s creators and assigns who should set the price, rather than persons who have not paid for the privilege. ”

      Basically, when you look at my starting comment, what did I say (last one I promise):
      “The law has always been about taking the natural rights of one group (say, the right to copy) and forcefully given those rights to someone else.”

      So no, I feel that the litigation route is putting the gun into the hand of an artist and is the wrong route to take. Lelia has made a few good moves it seems and I don’t know where her journey ends. Am I checking out her Youtube, etc? Yes. Can I give money to her when I have things I have to take care of? Perhaps not this very second but I’m pretty sure that can change as time goes by.

      Quite frankly, it’s great to see more artists and more variety come into the US because of the diverse nature of the internet. It also means that artists compete more for a person’s attention. Such is the nature of music.

      Regarding your question(s) since you seem to ask a few and think I’m avoiding them:

      “…who gets to set the price? ”

      Mine was the radio was playing with my girlfriend in the car but that’s another story… If I recall though, the music was free to listen to and this was before ’93. 😉

      ” I consider personal use of my music by my fans to be fair use, but if you use my music to make a nickel, I want a penny. What’s unfair about that?”

      I’m trying hard not to make this a big guy vs little guy argument. The main reason I brought up the litigation route is because you seem to want to say the law should enforce an ancient view of what music means. This is basically the view that corporations should run the artist into the ground with massive debt and their fans support this. This also seems to want to support the view that performance rights organizations, who go for maximum money in taking down businesses are in the right. The problem I see is the long term damage to your fans. If you sit here and say forcefully to an establishment “I want a penny for every nickel you sell”, it may not end well for anyone involved.

      These are the issues that come into play when someone like Tay Zonday says “I want a nickel from every business that plays my music”. It’s like a dissonance actually. Shouldn’t you negotiate with businesses who want to play your music because of the fact that you’re a local, or you have a place that only YOU (general term) can play in?

      It’s why I can’t agree that having to pay a compulsory tax for everyone, the litigation route (involving PROs, one of the big 4, etc) or threatening with copyright infringement on businesses is really the best way to do your thing.

      It’s why I think Lelia is doing the best with what she has. Should the law be involved to forcefully take money from one group to pay her? I don’t think so. I think there’s other solutions than copyright getting involved.

      • Oh hey Jay, Lelia here…here’s a clue for you,STOP STEALING FROM ARTISTS….sorry for yelling everyone else…I really detest ignorance. You remind me of a group of college students I played in front of one time, who when I posed the question of piracy and I said, “you wouldn’t go into a store and steal a loaf of bread” to which they all replied, YEAH I WOULD. Awesome, so everything should be free or stolen. Your ignorance is blinding.

        • Nope. I wouldn’t steal a car. Not sure if this is truly Lelia who I’ve actually been looking at the Twitter and Youtube of recently. But if this is how you treat potential fans, then I’ll gladly oblige in never looking at any of your work again.

          I’ve already stopped talking to one person for bad behavior. Saying I’m “ignorant”, uneducated, unsophisticated? Because I think you have a lot of potential to make money in different avenues? Because I sit here and have said on more than one occasion that I, personally, don’t have all the answers? Because I’m interested in checking out someone who I think has a good voice?

          *shrugs* Wish granted.

          @artistrights
          “Buy. her. album.”

          Not the only way to make money. I have nothing else on this subject.

  8. When I mentioned the ‘Pledge’ system, this is what I had in mind:
    http://www.pledgemusic.com/

    There may be other similar projects.

    Of course it’s not a complete answer to the piracy problem, but it beats doing nothing.

  9. Interesting to see that Jay is a student. Does he think that the ‘right to copy’ includes a right to copy other students’ essays or exam answers? Presumably not (though one never knows!)

    The example illustrates the obvious point that there is no such thing as an unrestricted ‘right to copy’. There is no ‘right to copy’ if it involves cheating (obtaining a benefit by dishonesty) or plagiarism (dishonestly claiming credit or authorship).

    And there is no ‘right to copy’ if this involves breaking rules that you have voluntarily accepted. In the case of a student, you explicitly or tacitly accept the code of conduct at your place of learning, which no doubt includes a prohibition of cheating and plagiarism. In the case of copyright materials, those who buy such materials explicitly or tacitly accept restrictions on copying them. Those who break these conditions are acting dishonestly, and third parties who receive unauthorised copies are knowingly benefiting from that dishonesty.

    In short, the ‘right to copy’ is a figment of Jay’s imagination.

  10. Interesting thing about DavidB. He seems to always find a false dichotomy to use in an argument rather than debate.
    When he does let go of the notion of using rhetorical statements to prop up a position, perhaps we can debate in a logical manner. Otherwise, it seems sad that he can’t argue the points presented without resorting to such low brow tactics.

    • Boring thing about Jay is that he never actually answers any point that is raised against him. To quote a phrase coined by T. S. Eliot (fair usage!) he is ‘incapable of what is usually called thinking’.

      • “Boring thing about Jay is that he never actually answers any point that is raised against him.”

        Look at your own arguments. You went on a major tangent about me raising up the fact that I was a student and absolutely ignored everything else I had said.

        I’ve asked you on multiple occasions about how artists can use things such as Livestream for free and all you can do is attack the messenger.

        I don’t use those tactics myself and it seems you want to do nothing but attack people. Since this has become some personal vendetta on your part, it’s less a discussion, and more you trying to vindicate your behavior.

        Your false dichotomy is all about setting up my being a student to compare to copyright. My being a student has nothing to do with Lelia’s situation, which is what the argument was about. I have my own things I need to do, same as anyone else. Other than that, you continue to show nothing but ever more derogative statements in your replies, something that’s disappointing all the more.

        The Phillippines has less cases of copyright infringement and gives way to more fair use. Though similar, it’s pretty amazing to hear a diverse set of music and see the laws of different areas allow for more freedom.

        Napster lead to more CD sales. If you want a more recent article in regards to file sharing, here ya go (pdf). Basically, the Digital Economy Act of the UK was made useless, even though filesharing is around.

        Other than that, have fun with your negative statements. I have better things to do with my time than watch someone repeat themselves in a negative manner ad infinitum.

    • Incidentally, I looked through Jay’s interminable ramblings again in search of anything solid to grasp hold of, and noticed his reference to copyright law in ‘other countries’, which he seems to think give consumers greater rights than in (presumably) the United States. To support this he gives a link to a Wiki article on copyright law in the Philippines. I was curious to see in what striking way the law of the Philippines gives consumers greater rights, so I clicked the link. And what did I find? In a nutshell, the law of the Philippines is very similar to that of the United States, and as far as I can see gives ‘consumers’ no greater rights whatsoever. So if Jay wants a real ‘debate’, could he begin by explaining what he thinks we can learn from the Philippines?

      • >>>Set the price as high or as low as need be, that doesn’t mean people have to pay for it.

        If you don’t consume it in a way an artist charges for it, you don’t have to pay for it. If you do – and it’s not fair use – you very much do have to pay for it. That’s the law. If you disagree, try civil disobedience – distribute a few of of Leila’s song’s illegally and make it clear who you are. Maybe you’ll win. More likely, she’ll get your house.

        >>>I looked through Jay’s interminable ramblings again in search of anything solid to grasp hold of, and noticed his reference to copyright law in ‘other countries’, which he seems to think give consumers greater rights than in (presumably) the United States.

        The U.S. has looser copyright laws than most other developed countries. Canada would be an exception. Maybe Spain as well, although I think (not sure) that’s mostly a matter of lax enforcement, not actual laws. Maybe Brazil. That’s about it.

    • Or, how about the link to an opinion cited in a 2001 newspaper article to support the proposition that Napster boosted record sales. Laughable.