Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/161216/htg-explains-what-the-dmca-is-and-how-it-affects-the-internet/
The Digital Millennium Contract is a US law passed in 1998 in an attempt to modernize copyright law to deal with the Internet. The DMCA has a number of provisions, but we’ll be focusing on the ones that have most affected the web we have today.
I'm a professional musician. Consider the following scenario:
Your 12-year-old daughter comes home from school one day and tells you she wants to play the violin in the school orchestra.
Okay - So you take her down to the local music shop, where you rent a student-model violin for about $250 per semester, while she receives training in basic music skills and beginner violin lessons at her school.
After about a year, as her enthusiasm grows and her skills progress, her teacher at school tells you that she has progressed to the point where she needs to take lessons from a real violin teacher, if she is to continue.
You find a local teacher, who charges about $60 an hour for lessons.
After a few months, her teacher tells you that rental violin is "holding her back" and she needs to upgrade to a more serious instrument -- for about $5,000 (including a bow and case).
Now well on her way - she becomes involved in many out-of-school activities, as well as eight-week, out-of-state summer music camps and workshops - all costing about $2,000.
As she prepares to graduate high-school, she auditions for - and is accepted by - a prestigious music conservatory, which may (or may not) offer some scholarship assistance, but still costs about $20,000 per year with tuition, expenses, etc.
As your daughter begins to establish herself, it's time to upgrade from that second violin, to one of a more professional caliber -- entry level at about $17,000 - plus a good bow for about another $3,500 or so.
Finally, your wonderful and talented daughter - in whom you have invested ten years of serious time and money (and why not ? she's your child, right?) - graduates and begins to make her way in the professional world.
She forms a small group with a few of her young colleagues, and - after investing their time, as well as their own money - they achieve some success and produce their first CD of edgy classical-indie music which receives excellent reviews as it goes on sale.
And then --
I go onto the internet and download (aka "steal) it from a "music-sharing" website for free.
That's a real-life scenario.
A friend of mine told me that he had given a few copies of his new CD to some of his relatives. When he asked them what they thought, they told him - "I really loved it. In fact I liked it so much, I made copies to give to all my friends."
My only issue is when you purchased a DRM Audio file and the service no longer exists. I have several DRM'ed albums I can no longer play because Napster stopped using DRM (and then got bought by Rhapsody) and most software tries to go to Napster to verify the DRM and fails.
An artist only loses money if the downloader/recipient would have paid money for the song had it not been available for pirating or free downloading. Many aspiring artists on youtube are only happy to have strangers listen to their songs for free. Your friend's daughter at this point needs all the listeners she can have. Worrying about lost sales should be the last thing on her mind. Perhaps she knows this but her father doesn't.
It's not just the internet; ppl have been capable of "stealing" music ever since the music started being played on free radio.
The problem is that people will still be able to pirate music no matter how much DRM you use. An old tape recorder or recording directly off the sound-card will counteract any DRM. All DRM does is frustrate people. Sure it frustrates the pirates, but then again: do you really want to frustrate your customers too?
The insistence on physical CDs is odd here.
I suggest this modern formulation:
daughter starts a band
band has a website
band gets as many people as possible to visit the website via promotion, youtube videos, emailing friends and family, whatever works.
website has a big obvious "SUPPORT THE BAND" button for donations, merch, easy DRM free MP3 purchases, kickstarter, what have you
people love the band and click the button
The other reliable way to make money as a band, as I understand it, is touring. Ticket sales, merch, etcetera. But it's a hard life touring all the time. I have two daughters, only 1 year old, but I shudder to think of them in a band touring the country. I guess maybe once they're 18 years old they can do whatever they want.
I appreciate your POV - however my scenario was the long and winding road to success for a classically-trained musician.
I took my first steps into my field at the age of fifteen - and that's late by some people's standards, especially with an instrument like the violin, where training can begin as early as the age of six or seven.
Missing from my scenario are points such as - Your sixteen year-old daughter (a sophomore in high school) is spending three or more hours a day of intensive practicing, in addition to her school work and at the expense of considerable social activities normal for her age.
She doesn't have time for boyfriends or dating, because she's too busy practicing and preparing for her concert events. She's away every summer at a ten-week intensive music workshop out of state (if not abroad).
Unlike other teenagers who may display an affinity for math or science, while on their way to deciding where it may take them - our young lady already knows by the time she's seventeen that she will be devoting her life to serious music - with the intention of making a living at it.
There's more - but you get the idea.
With that type of investment - both from the student as well as her parents - it seems only reasonable that she has every right to expect - if not demand - that her proprietary rights of copyright and ownership are protected.
If somebody were to come onto this site and ask how they can crack a computer software program so they can obtain it for free, and avoid having to pay for it - they'd by immediately warned by any number of folks here that, "We don't support cracking or permit that type of activity here" - and, if they persisted, no doubt they'd be banned.
If we are so quick to respect the hard work and effort put in by a developer to create, build and maintain a piece of computer software - then why are we not just as quick to protect the hard efforts of writers and musicians ?
When Sharing Is Stealing
Following is an article from "Allegro" - the monthly newsletter for members of Local 802 of the Musician's Union in New York City:
When ‘sharing’ is stealing
by Mike Longo
I want members of Local 802 to know that stealing hurts. I recently discovered that a Web site called www.Scribd.com was offering a download of my music technique book “How To Sight Read Jazz and Other Syncopated-Type Rhythms” for free and without my permission. It turns out that a user in Montreal had actually scanned every page of my book and uploaded it to this site for people to download for free.
This site apparently allows users to upload published works, both with and without the permission of the copyright holders. I encourage every Local 802 member who’s ever written a book to see if their work has been illegally uploaded to this site.
Over 350 people downloaded my book from this site. Since the book sells for $15, this amounts to over $5,000 worth of sales I have lost.
But that’s not the worst of it. Since 350 people downloaded it already, they can now pirate the book themselves, spreading it further throughout the Internet. Each pirated copy undermines my own sales.
I contacted Scribd.com immediately. They took down the pirated copy of my book, but the damage was already done. Scribd claims that they are just a “file sharing” site and are not responsible if users post illegal or copyrighted material. As Allegro goes to press, I am still trying to get them to tell me the real name of the person who pirated my material. (His user name is “Hootoob.”) I intend to pursue him or her in court.
“Hootoob” boasts of having over one million subscribers on his own Web site. There are even commercial ads on his site from advertisers who appear to have bought ads based on the amount of traffic he has gotten by giving away things like my book without my permission and other works that he has scanned. I really want to see this through, not just for me but for everybody who has become a victim of this sort of thing.
You would be surprised at the number of musicians who are now reluctant to publish anything creative because they know it will just be ripped off.
Prior to its theft, my book had enjoyed very brisk sales. I had received a nice video endorsement from the pianist and educator Hal Galper, which helped a lot. But after my book was pirated, sales fell off to practically none. Now that it’s out there in cyberspace, I’m worried that as far as this book is concerned, which I worked very hard on, further sales and income will be only a fraction of what they would have been otherwise.
The argument the perpetrators now use in support of “file sharing” is that it is the same as the way a library works. In other words, you can check out books in a library and read them for free. The difference is this. The guy who wrote a book in the library got paid by a publisher – and the library paid for the book. Furthermore, you can’t keep a book from the library. And a library doesn’t have unlimited copies of each book. Unlike illegal file sharing, a library is not permitted to make multiple copies of a book and let other people copy it and send it to all their friends.
Fellow musicians: listen up! This time it’s my book. Next time it could be your song or your score. This has been a problem in the music industry for years, greatly diminishing sales and royalties. If you have friends or relatives who believe it’s O.K. to steal music or books without paying for them, please share my story with them. Or if you become a victim of such activity yourself, pursue it. We need to band together to support each other. File sharing is stealing. Stealing hurts musicians. There are real consequences. We need to change the attitude of those who believe that musicians are not entitled to make a living from their art. Our sole purpose in life is not to supply weasels and thieves with free entertainment.
The legitimate site to buy Mike Longo’s material is www.JazzBeat.com.
Note from Straspey: - I refrain from supplying a direct link to the article because access is limited to members in good standing of Local 802.
Sure, but I'm 99.99% positive she won't be selling CDs to do that in the next 5 to 10 years. CDs are barely selling now.
The future is digital distribution, kickstarters, and other kinds of fan supported activities cutting out the middlemen and labels and promoters that take such a big cut of musicians' profits. Make it one-click brainlessly easy for fans to directly give musicians money.
Wrong strategy -- link them to the website, let them listen to a preview track for free, then have a giant SUPPORT MY MUSIC button that lets them easily convert their friendship into direct monetary support of their friend's music.
Again: CDs? Seriously? CDs? What year it is, 1998?
This post/thread reminds me of this:
enter link description here
For those of us who listen to primarily classical music, we live in a different world.
I suggest you try listening to a recording of the Shostakovitch Symphony # 5 - or "Also Sprach Zarathustra" by Richard Strauss, or even the ever-popular Beethoven's 9th - on ear buds via your iPod.
In my world - people still listen to music played through large bookshelf or floor-standing speakers, powered by high-end, 1,000-watt component systems. In fact - I even own a turntable and a respectable collection of vinyl, analogue recordings.
And - in my experience - relying on the "Support My Music" button on your website provides very limited returns. Earlier this week, a woman I know told me about her new CD of the Bach Cello Suites, which was available for $15.00. I bought one from her - and will listen to it at home on my big speakers.
I dont condone stealing, but modern copyright laws just dont make any sense. I can buy a movie from Best Buy and watch it as many times as I want, legally. I can invite every single person on the planet (BILLIONS of people) into my home to watch it for free whenever they want, legally. I can project it on the outside of my home, so people passing by can see it, legally. So now every person on the planet has legally watched this movie multiple times for free (except me, since I paid for it), yet if I burn a copy of the movie I am now a criminal.
When you the DVD of that movie at Best Buy, what you are actually buying is a license - a Limited license - for the right to view the movie in the privacy of your home or other environment.
Yes - you can "share" your viewing experience with others - however you are specifically forbidden from charging others a fee for the opportunity to watch the movie.
Here, in NY City, there have been cases where a person has purchased the right to watch a one-time "Pay Per View" event - such as a boxing match - and then brought their 55-inch flat-screen TV out to their back yard so he entire neighborhood could watch it.
If memory recalls, I believe the Cable TV provider went to court to stop people from doing that and prevent it from getting out of hand.
I agree with you about the copyright statutes; and they need to be brought up-to-date for the digital age.
Seems like the discussion at "http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/20703/run-android-on-your-windows-mobile-phone/" is illegal under DMCA. Am I right?
The fact is a copy is a copy. A duality . However the ideal of archival of coyrighted works continues to be of perstant value to me beyond the description of copyright law.
First idea being that if its a copy,and your considering your fair use,than dont put it onto the Internet. That is keep it secure and to yourself. Nobody is going to change the trait,of electronic records being volitile to insecurity. And it is easier to defend fair use if your archive is concluded as being secured.
Trouble with copyright being,that,between authors,and its content,there can be from a single to several hundred authors. There is not much chance of gaining the 'right',to be holding a copy- if even the extended courtesy of asking an author was to be done. Even though the features of electronic copy may be the offereing of a given author (and true you should find stuff that actually gives you the priviledge) , .. you are more likely to run into groups of representatives such as RIAA, or MPAA before there is in fact that relationship.
Another trouble is the fact that copyright is basically a 'trade',or 'business',relationship. One could argue,that an archive is covered under the 4th amendment as 'personal effects ,and papers'- because of the fact ('they are secured !). And frankly no public estabolishes a fact they are not with this right. The courts are elusive,in conducting ideas of 'privacy,or 'security' at their own benevolent detail in this. So that you have conduct in common,or civil law to a piece that forces the issue at the question.
What I see is that while their is freedom of speech. Copyright,and its contributive to DMCA. Has prevented communication on the basis of the codecs that create the communications. These are locked into the copyrighted media,and for the most part participation deprives the individual of their personal privacy,and security. To conduct business ,or trade in order to communicate. (It just causes the same effect of paying a royalty for communication under copyright ,for the mechanical engine in place of the part of its communication ).
The copyright trade organizations hold the codecs for video communications. And are still attempting to enlist contract clause to participation within the electronics realm. And still the lock in- and lock out exists today.
A different order is needed for the structure of interaction,electronics,and internet. You may say linux,or open source etc. I think that we have a right not to be held hostoge. To conduction,and to be secured doing so. Without accusation.
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