Monday, December 5, 2011

Final Blog Post.

Final blog post assignment:
"Choose two or more articles from the four Scoop It channels. I’ve set up that are related to a similar issue. Compare and contrast the various articles and state your own opinion on the matter. Your must provide support for your opinion based on the articles from the Scoop It channels and other materials you have found that are related. You will be expected to provide links back to the supporting articles. You also will need to include at least two excerpted quotes from any of the supporting materials you choose."
 In my previous blog post for class, I blogged about Copyrights, and the inseparable Politics of cyberspace. In summary: Starting circa 20th century, an artist's work is subject to copyright as soon as that work is created. The phenomenon of the internet has forced democratic nations to rethink their constitutions of copyright laws. This is because media subject to copyrighting is so feasibly shared through the internet, via P2P networks and such. Thus record labels and big companies (big business) are loosing money, and policies like SOPA take effect. Now, the music industry is being revolutionized from the inside out, and the future the music business is coercing our fancy.
(Note: The above applies to Western democratic values. For worldly view points of nations with different value, I urge you to read fellow blogger William Yeow's post)

The Copyright

Basically, internet mediums such as BitTorrent sites have driven the music industries to lose a lot of money. As Jukka Jouhki ponders in his blog post, Copy Right or Wrong - The Pirate Bay Case and Mind Games, it's a questions not only of copyright violations, but also one of ethics--what our society values as right or wrong. What Torrent sites like do is merely link to links that link to other links with the actual copyrighted material, which is being uploaded by not one, but many servers. With such a perplexed concurrence, one must consider all the actors and moving parts, and ponder. Jukka wraps it up succinctly:
Eventually copyright is a cultural phenomenon par excellence. It has always been an intriguing ethical issue and the digital age makes it even more so. It seems like the rapid progress of digital technologies makes it very hard for strict copyright to exist. Especially if the counter-sharing technologies and the law-making processes are not able to keep up with the development.

Is it really right to go after these Torrent websites? Aren't they really just promoting the share of wealth amongst the world through the internet? To answer this question one must speculate where the artist stand and whether these big record labels are truly necessary.

The Artist

Jason Feinberg does a great job at speculating how the artist fall into copyrights laws in his blog post What's wrong with copyright? Where he expands on Brazilian musician Denis Borges Barbosa's critique of copyrighting music. He explains how the great composers and artists of the past had numerous master pieces, juxtaposed to the few that contemporary artist have in the last century:

"Eighteenth century composer Georg Philipp Telemann...wrote some 8000 opi. There was no copyright law to protect his works. Likewise, Vivaldi composed over 500 concerti, 43 operas, published 100 opi. Handel staged 50 of his operas and 23 oratorios. Beethoven produced 849 opi (eight concerti and nine symphonies). Mozart and Bach were incredibly creative and prolific too...
...However, by the twentieth century, long after copyright laws had been laid down...Gershwin wrote a mere 19 classical pieces, 35 Broadway shows and contributed to 22 other plays, and seven films, while Bernstein wrote just three symphonies, two operas and five musicals"
 This copyrighting laws, in theory with Barbosa's speculation, has greatly limited our current artist potential. Knowing they will well copyright to sell their work as they please, they become successful and stop there. Humanity has been cheated out of possible masterpieces, all because of this limiting and restricting copyright laws that don't motivate current artists to toil away in their talent, doing what they love and are good at.

The Record Labels

So how much power does the artist actually have? Given the advent of the internet allowing the spread of media rapidly and efficiently, are the big music business really that important? According to Jason Feinberg,  president and founder of On Target Media Group, an online music industry and market, the music industry makes the most of it's money from the sales of the physical product. The internet has instantly taken that away, as the iTunes store sees more sales of mp3s than the actual CDs do.

So why would a capable artist need a record label? Our current technological world allows the individual artist to sell and distribute his music all on his own. Heck, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog have bragged about selling their tapes from the back of a truck back in '93. The information age world should certainly allow more feasibility than that.

The only thing left of the companies and record labels to do is promote their artist. All artist need an experienced marketer to get their music out there, in the right places. Thanks to the internet and noble advancements, there can now be gargantuan amounts of music artist our on the net. As Feinberg points out:
"Ultimately, labels will need to find new ways to generate revenue from their artist relationships, as the continuing decline in physical product sales will not sustain profitability."

The Future

But a smart artist and a smart manager can get past that need, if they market themselves accordingly. Erin Carrol's final presentation for the class was about Block fm and TYC Radio and and Recordings using social media to promote their artists. She seem on the roll with technology, and plans to manage and promotes her artist. As she showed us in class, she's already got "a family" of artist and marketers. With fresh young talent thinking out of the box like this, there isn't much home for big labels in the far future of music. Jukka ponders in the future:
"Imagine the year 2050. Will we laugh at the ancient practice of having to pay for likeavirgin.mp3 as all possible public digital data is accessible free by anyone...?"
If "outside-the-box" thinking from newer generations who chew up the internet protocols for breakfast can get past the necessity of  a useless middle man as the big record labels, then humanity will benefit greatly from art and freedom to enjoy it.

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Final Blog Post.

Final blog post assignment: "Choose two or more articles from the four Scoop It channels . I’ve set up that are related to a simila...