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[ox-en] "Digitized Music between Pirate Copy and Societal Alternative"

Hi list!

Soon I'm invited to a panel discussion about music P2P and so on.
Below is a long form of a 10-minute statement I'm planning to
contribute and I'd love to have any feedback on the thoughts presented

						Mit Freien Grüßen


--- 8< --- 8< --- 8< --- 8< --- 8< --- 8< --- 8< --- 8< --- 8< --- 8< ---

Digitized Music between Pirate Copy and Societal Alternative

Stefan Merten

Background: Oekonux

Free Software as Germ Form

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

     Very short overview over the theory

o    1st basis: Selbstentfaltung

          Basis of the mode of production

          Selbstentfaltung is something beyond self-realization

          Integrates the societal aspect of human activity

     o    Fundamental: Creative development

o    2nd basis: Digital copy

          New technology

          Internet as global remote copy facility

     o    Produces abundance of information goods

               Abundance is enemy of scarcity

               Challenges commodity characteristic in a lasting way

o    Success through quality

          Mode of production is a pre-requisite for this

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

          Free Software may be destroyed but not integrated

o    Germ form for a societal alternative

          Free Software points beyond exchange society

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

Free Software and Music

Selbstentfaltung in Music

o    Similarities to Free Software

     o    Individual motivation

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

     o    Creative expression

o    Difference to Free Software

     o    Artist subject vs. Free Software community

               Bourgeoise notion of art puts individual in the focus

               Questionable because new things are always created on a
               societal basis

     o    Patches are unusual

               However: Modern music forms rely on this

               What is analogous to sources in music?

     o    Musiscians usually earn little/no money with music!

               Many Free Software developers earn money in this area

               900 persons in Great Britain make a living by composing

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

Selbstentfaltung is a basis also for music

Exploitation in Music

o    Similarities to software

     o    Digital product

               Is thus subject to the features of digital copy

               In particular: Replaces scarcity of material substrate
               with global abundance

     o    Copyright violation by "pirate copies" and P2P

               Not for Free Software!

               Not for Free Music!

     o    Concerts as service

               As a live event concerts are not digitizable

               There are many service offers around Free Software

     o    Established exploiters

               Software industry exploits software

               Music industry exploits music

               Valorizers are not identical with the creative persons

o    Differences to software

     o    Fair use / collecting society

     o    License to use on basis of works

               Has always been the case for software

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

Exploiters have a problem - not the creative persons


DRM (Digital Rights/Restriction Management)

     Copy protection or play prevention, respectively

     Most of all: far reaching plans for computers

o    Goal: Enforcing of exploitation interests by technology

          Thus is of interest for music industry

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

     o    No problem in the framework of market economy

               Exploitation interests need to be protected in market

               Does not need direct force

     o    More just than collecting societies

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

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

o    Problems of todays DRM attempts

     o    Tendency to supervise each and every use of a work exactly

               Deep intrusion in private sphere


     o    With TCPA the principle of the computer is cut massively

               Its strength is just the universal digital copy

     o    Fair use is not taken into account enough

               Private copies, science, education

Why not unobjectionable forms of DRM?

          This would be the solution matching market economy by
          individual billing

          Apple iTunes shows that success is possible with such models

P2P (Peer to Peer)

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

     Usually there is no real exchange

o    System to conceal illegal copies

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

o    Works as a form of distribution because publishing happens in
     another sphere

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

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

          More or less does not exist for Free Music

          MTV, radio, and co could change this in principle

o    Free Music / Free Content would not need P2P

          Distribution and publishing similar to Free Software

          Wiki-like systems could make available publishing for

          Already today netlabels provide for choice / quality

P2P is not necessary for Free Content

          Free Software is a good example for this

          Marketing people wonder how Free Software gets known without

CC (CreativeCommons)

o    Licenses for "some rights reserved"

     o    Attribution

     o    Noncommercial

     o    No Derivative works

     o    Share Alike

          GPL is equivalent with SA+BY

o    Big movement with good "marketing" (

          Apply for all sorts of content

          Are adapted to the national law systems

o    Noncommercial helps the Opus Magnus idea

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

CreativeCommons further the transfer the idea of Free Software

          There is probably no initiative doing this with more success

CF (Content Flatrate) / P2P tax

o    Charges based on Internet access

o    Redistribution to creators of P2P content

o    Legalizes P2P copying of material under copyright

o    (New) collecting societies as redistributors (VG online)

          So far GEMA is the collecting societies for music in Germany

          So far VG Wort is the collecting societies for text in

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

In reality: Flat tax for using Internet

          Needs to be enforced by state

          Is not bound to concrete use

Critique of P2P tax (1/2)

     There is a lot to say here...

o    A lot of practical problems

     o    Just distribution of money gathered?

               For different media

     o    Where shall be the limits?

               Can every web page be registered?

               Proprietary software?

               Deeper problem: digital copy is universal

     o    Needs measuring just like DRM

               Measuring without DRM methods are always wrong

     o    International use vs. national collecting societies

o    Problems with "compensation" / money supply

     o    For the creators nothing changes

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

               Publishing companies and collecting societies cash

               Money supply doesn't happen so far

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

     o    Flat taxation is unjust

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

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

               Consumer pays creator directly

               Individual billing is more just

Many problems and little use

Critique of P2P tax (2/2)

o    Subtle effects

     o    Introduction of the long worried commercialization of the

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

               There would be a tendency that all content would be
               subject to commercialization

     o    Creators interested in Freedom would be weakened

               A number of musicians are for P2P etc.

o    Missing

     o    Does not prevent DRM

               DRM is not forbidden because of a P2P tax

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

     o    Does not leave the logic of DRM

               Only changes the finance model from individual to tax

     o    Does not strengthen Free Content

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

               For the consumers the distinction between Free and
               restricted goods is blurred

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

A lot of fundamental problems

Alternative perspectives

Utopian Oekonux perspective

     Important for a political orientation

o    Make money supply superfluous

          Selbstentfaltung as the central reason for creating works

o    Abolish scarcity of information goods

          Is not justified materially

          Is not just because there are no genius information goods

o    Exploitation is no super-historical right of creators

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

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

o    Quality is higher under conditions of Selbstentfaltung

          No looking to exploitation interests when there are no
          exploitation interests

          Free Software is successful exactly because of this quality

Long-term utopian perspective is clear :-)

          Simply bear this?

Realpolitik perspective

o    How far does DRM get?

     o    Technical realization is difficult

               TPM, TCPA

               Fundamental redesign of the computer

     o    Political implementation is limited

               Fair use

     o    Not accepted

               Un-CD campaign of c't

               Widely missing consciousness of injustice

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

o    Useful acting

     o    No P2P tax

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

               Enforces what the music industry seems not be able to

     o    Make possible coexistence of DRM and Free Content

     o    Strengthening of Free Licenses like CreativeCommons

Useful acting seems possible

Reform of revolution

     Old question for leftists

     This time with real substance

o    P2P tax has all characteristics of a social-democrat solution

     o    Kills the top of the new

     o    Integrates it into the old

     o    Prevents a new development

o    Copyright system not useful for money supply?

          At least under digital conditions

          Completely new system of money supply for creators?

o    Is music / P2P / music industry that important at all?

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

May be we are to impatient?

          The basis for a fundamental change is there

          However, each change needs time

Organization: projekt

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