We store cookies, you can get more info from our privacy policy.

Capcom Clarifies Their Stance on SOPA

by Patrick Barnett - January 7, 2012, 8:29 pm PST
Total comments: 50 Source: http://www.capcom-unity.com/ask_capcom/go/thread/v..., (Capcom-Unity.com)

They are a part of the ESA, but have taken no official side.

Capcom attempted to clear up misconceptions regarding their support of SOPA in a forum thread on their site.

Earlier this week, a Capcom spokesperson released a statement regarding SOPA, claiming "The ESA represents us on these matters". The ESA, a group comprised of many game developers including Capcom, remained on a list of supporters of SOPA. However, Capcom now explains that despite the ESA representing them on the legislation, they do not have a stance on the bill.

Senior Vice-President Christian Svensson called earlier reports on their stance "bad journalism." Svensson went on to explain that they are a game making company, not legislators, and not planning to actually take a side. He also sought to allay fears that individuals streaming and uploading videos of their games would be targeted if the legislation passes.

SOPA, short for Stop Online Piracy Act, is a controversial piece of US legislation that would grant copyright holders and law enforcement a greater ability to fight online piracy and counterfeiting. Critics worry that the bill would, among other things, curtail free speech and the operation of legitimate online services.

Talkback

ThePermJanuary 07, 2012

being part of the ESA primarily means you get to attend trade shows like e3 to game creators. ESA does lobbying activities, but this doesn't make all members of ESA lobbyist. If we didnt have the ESA lobbying we would have more draconian restrictions on ratings systems and greater censorship. Unfortunately, an organization like ESA represents content makers and this creates grey area with supporting anti-piracy laws. Most of us can take a stance against piracy, but most of us agree the SOPA bill goes too far.

TJ SpykeJanuary 07, 2012

The ESA was originally created to give the game industry a unified voice in Washington, DC. During the Senate hearing over violence in video games (which ultimately led to the video game industry voluntarily creating the ESRB so that the government wouldn't create their own rating system), you had each game company having to represent themselves at the hearing. So they have the ESA representing them in terms of lobbying, organizing events, etc. In the past few years you have had some big names leave the ESA (like Activision and LucasArts), but also a lot of smaller companies joining and most of the big companies still belong.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/esa-members-and-sopa-where-they-stand/
So far, every ESA member on record is either against SOPA or have no position. So either the big names are for it and don't want to admit it, or the ESA is going to have to reverse their position if they want to continue representing the industry.

Who would want to admit it at this point? Even Nintendo's historically questionable PR people were smart enough to back away from it. By now it seems relatively safe to assume that anyone who hasn't publicly denied supporting it is in favor of it, because you've got nothing to lose by dropping support and it's a PR win because outside of TJ Spyke there doesn't seem to be any real public support and quite a lot of opposition.

TJ SpykeJanuary 07, 2012

Public supporters of SOPA include (http://judiciary.house.gov/issues/Rogue%20Websites/List%20of%20SOPA%20Supporters.pdf):

CBS
Comcast
Disney (including subsidiaries Marvel and ESPN)
Director's Guild of America
HarperCollins
Hyperion
L'Oreal
Major League Baseball
MCA Records
McGraw-Hill
National Football League
National Songwriters Association
Random House
Screen Actors Guild
several branches of Sony (basically the music branches)
Time Warner
Universal Music
US Olympic Committee
US Tennis Association
Viacom

Chozo GhostJanuary 07, 2012

That isn't the public.

TJ SpykeJanuary 07, 2012

Do you mean individuals? Because technically those companies are part of the public. I am sure I could find notable people who support it if I looked, but I don't know if it would be worth it.

Chozo GhostJanuary 07, 2012

I think "the public" refers to average joes. Obviously you support SOPA, but you are in the minority and I would guess a very small minority at that. Democracy is supposed to be about the interests of the people, not the interests of corporations. So I don't really care that you can produce a list of mega-corps who back the bill. They aren't the people.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorJanuary 08, 2012

Quote from: Chozo

I think "the public" refers to average joes. Obviously you support SOPA, but you are in the minority and I would guess a very small minority at that. Democracy is supposed to be about the interests of the people, not the interests of corporations. So I don't really care that you can produce a list of mega-corps who back the bill. They aren't the people.

To be fair, the people who run corporations are people too.  I know this is hard to believe, but they are.

Additionally, our government (we're not a democracy) is supposed to allow for "majority rules, minority rights" - meaning it doesn't matter if 99.999999% of the population wants to do something, if it harms that 0.000001% of the population, the government is supposed to protect their rights.

With that said, SOPA is just bad legislation.

Chozo GhostJanuary 08, 2012

But that's the thing: SOPA infringes on rights.

And Corporations are made up of people, but just because a corporation supports a piece of legislation doesn't mean everyone who works at said corporation does. Its actually very possible for a majority of employees to oppose something, because its the white collar people at the top who decide these things, and they might represent a very slim percentage of a corporation's employees. The blue collar majority might have a completely opposite opinion. But the bottom line is corporations aren't people. They are made up of people, but they aren't people.

Atari_usrJanuary 08, 2012

@UncleBob The people who run corporations are obviously individuals.

But they are fighting as proponents and authors of SOPA solely as huge world-wide monopolistic enterprises, worried only about profits even if getting more and more degrades technological infrastructures they don't even understand or aren't central part of, nor of its community (i.e., any and all of us); fighting to force their users into giving them more profit without them actually having to innovate or improve their products, or to fix their prices so it is actually possible for most people to buy one of their movies, songs mainly after another but just force ALL OF US, and with this law, even reach people who don't even consumes their products, pirated or not...

--------

Meanwhile, on the side of opponents you have the most prominent companies on the Internet (Google, Yahoo, Amazon, Paypal, and free ones like Wikipedia) and even the very creators of the Internet.

Such corporation owners have rights, but if you let them do whatever they want you allow them to establish monopolies and abuse their users, and you know it.

_____________________________________________________________

So this is more about extremely powerful corporations with obsolete views pretending to degrade the Internet contents and limiting its legal possibilities as long as it allows them to control it so much that they would be the ones in charge and dictating what is good and what is bad.

And sooner than later, those powers would be abused by other powerful people other than those who created SOPA (and by themselves too, as shown by fact because of bogus claims with current copyright laws), and then they would be used to censor anything they would wish to disappear from public view.

The result wouldn't be any different from an Internet that would first be completely wiped out and then filled only with the (commercial and promotional) content those mega corporations wanted to allow, in a world wide scale.

Being people mainly in the entertainment industry, and generic commercial products, the actual information on the Internet would be so controlled and non-free, so complicated and risky to edit by users without any risk to run into more bogus claims, and so bureaucracy-bound, that it would be much more difficult, if even possible, to have a lot of quality information than what it already is.


UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorJanuary 08, 2012

Again, as I said, SOPA is a bad bill.  Period.

However, the fact that you might think that the entertainment being provided by "corporations" is "generic", "worthless" or "without innovation" doesn't mean that anyone should be allowed to take this content and use it for its intended purpose without compensating the owners of this entertainment.

This debate is tired and old and no one is going to change their minds on it, so let's not get into it, okay?

Chozo GhostJanuary 08, 2012

Piracy sucks and it should be illegal. But it is illegal... I don't think anything more needs to be done than that. Passing new draconian laws which infringe on freedom may curtail some piracy, but nothing will ever eradicate it entirely. It will always be around, just like how there will always be rape and murder and every other bad crime no matter what anyone does. That doesn't mean you shouldn't fight these things, but lawmakers need to realize no amount of legislation will ever rid the world of evil. As a matter of fact, legislation like SOPA only results in more evil in the world... just in a different way.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorJanuary 08, 2012

Quote from: Chozo

Piracy sucks and it should be illegal. But it is illegal... I don't think anything more needs to be done than that. Passing new draconian laws which infringe on freedom may curtail some piracy, but nothing will ever eradicate it entirely. It will always be around, just like how there will always be rape and murder and every other bad crime no matter what anyone does. That doesn't mean you shouldn't fight these things, but lawmakers need to realize no amount of legislation will ever rid the world of evil. As a matter of fact, legislation like SOPA only results in more evil in the world... just in a different way.

If there was a huge rash of murders, you'd see new laws created at curtailing those murders.

In recent times, piracy has gone from occasionally getting a mix tape to individuals downloading thousands of songs in an hour.  We've gone from dubbing movies from the rental store to downloading entire libraries of films.  Instead of occasionally copying that floppy, you can download the entire NES catalog in about fifteen seconds.  There's virtually no risk involved, practically no costs and, as some very simple minded folks see it, there's "no harm".

What's the answer?  I don't know (it isn't SOPA)...  Perhaps you're right - there is nothing that can be done.  We'll just keep pirating everything until the only entertainment is YouTube Poop and mainstream crap like American Idol.  Studios will stop funding smaller movies and we'll only get theatrical releases of **** like Transformers because those will be the only movies to make money.  Small, independent film makers won't be able to get funding, so they'll be stuck attempting to use the internet to distribute their works.  And that will make them tons of money, as no one will just steal if from the internet.  They'll be trying to make their next film while working two shifts at McDonald's.  And music - yay for mainstream pop.  Oh, you might have a few small artists that you'll get to hear - but good luck ever seeing them live unless you want to travel across the country - they'll never have the funds for any kind of a tour.  And don't worry about games.  I mean, piracy won't hurt games.  It's not like the release of any game has ever been cut due to the lack of sales.  That never happens.

Chozo GhostJanuary 08, 2012

As I said, piracy can never be eliminated entirely... only reduced. Even if SOPA goes into effect (which it probably will) it will not eliminate piracy, and may not even do much to reduce it.Even if it does reduce it, it will do so at a great cost which is worse than the piracy itself.

Its like trying to kill mosquitoes with an assault rifle. Sure, there's an outside possibility your spray of bullets might actually hit a mosquito, but its much more likely innocent people are going to be hit instead. And that's exactly how it is with SOPA. I'm sure some pirates will get taken down by it, but so will alot of innocents, and at that price its just not worth it.

MagicCow64January 08, 2012

Even using the term "piracy" is a big PR win for media companies. Piracy is a crime that involves theft and coercion. Downloading files on the internet is not theft and it doesn't involve coercion. What internet "piracy" actually is is copyright infringement. Copyright infringement is a crime, though one not nearly of the same degree as actual piracy or even theft. When you download files illegally, you're not taking anything from anyone. As much as legislators want to push the moral equivalence of shoplifting on illegal downloaders, it's not the same. And that's their problem; the vast majority of people won't shoplift, but they will download files illegally on the internet and not feel bad about it. It doesn't feel like stealing because it isn't.

Copyright law was originally created to ensure that citizens would have the motivation to produce works of art that would serve the public good. "Piracy" hasn't created some dearth of content. There's more content than ever. As a society we're going to have to seriously rethink how we view all of this, unless copyright protection is going to cover anything the age of Mickey Mouse in perpetuity. The notion that you get rich by practicing your art is actually a fairly novel societal expectation that arose in the 60s and 70s following the post-war economic boom and the introduction of new technology. For most of human history artists made a living practicing their craft and that was the reasonable expectation.

I recommend checking out this Cory Doctorow talk about what the real danger of SOPA-like legislation is: http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2012/01/07/cory-doctorow-on-sopa-the-coming-war-on-general-computation/

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorJanuary 08, 2012

You keep bringing up SOPA - which, I guess, is appropriate, since this is a SOPA thread... However, as I said, I don't think SOPA is a good bill.

That said, I also don't think SOPA justifies the mentality shown in this (and other) SOPA threads where it's "screw the people who run the corporations.  screw the people who make this entertainment.  it's all worthless, so we can take it and not compensate them and they owe us for spending our time even watching/listening/playing it."

Quote from: MagicCow64

"Piracy" hasn't created some dearth of content. There's more content than ever.

There's more content than ever, but the overall quality of it has gone downhill.
I'm curious as to how history will judge the "artistic" values of this era.  Will Simon Cowell be the Da Vinci of our time?

Chozo GhostJanuary 08, 2012

So what can be done about piracy? Well, one thing that could be done is content owners could make more of an effort to ensure their products are always commercially available in all markets. One commonly used argument pirates use for old NES games is that they are no longer commercially available, which is often true. A lot of them are now available on Virtual Console, but not every game is. Why are they not?

And look at the Xenoblade Chronicles game for the Wii which was on the list of the top 10 pirated games of the year. There was almost 1 million pirated downloads of it, and a lot of those could have been sales but the game isn't commercially available in NA and it was only about a month ago that we found out it was coming to NA eventually in April. I'm guessing at least part of the reason the game was pirated so much is because it was not available commercially. Had it been maybe it wouldn't have made that top 10 piracy list.

So that's one thing that could be done to help reduce piracy. I'm not saying it would eliminate piracy, but at least having your product commercially available to consumers at least provides them with the option to get the game legally.

MagicCow64January 08, 2012

Quote from: UncleBob

You keep bringing up SOPA - which, I guess, is appropriate, since this is a SOPA thread... However, as I said, I don't think SOPA is a good bill.

That said, I also don't think SOPA justifies the mentality shown in this (and other) SOPA threads where it's "screw the people who run the corporations.  screw the people who make this entertainment.  it's all worthless, so we can take it and not compensate them and they owe us for spending our time even watching/listening/playing it."

Quote from: MagicCow64

"Piracy" hasn't created some dearth of content. There's more content than ever.

There's more content than ever, but the overall quality of it has gone downhill.
I'm curious as to how history will judge the "artistic" values of this era.  Will Simon Cowell be the Da Vinci of our time?

Simon Cowell won't, but someone else who is actually talented will. Probably no one's even heard of whoever that is yet. I think you can legitimately argue that the quality of Hollywood films and mainstream music is guttering, but video games are thriving, as is independent music, as is serial television, as is digital art, however you want to define that. The internet is driving a lot of cultural change that I believe will shift the focus of what we consider great art. Hell, some group of cavedwellers inside of /b might be looked back upon as important figures in retrospect.

Chozo GhostJanuary 08, 2012

Comparing Simon Cowell to Leonardo Da Vinci isn't a fair comparison, because I'm sure in Leonardo's day there was a lot of mediocre Simon Cowell types running around. We don't know their names because they sucked and weren't worth remembering. That's how it goes. So a few hundred years from now Simon Cowell will be forgotten too, but someone more noteworthy like I dunno Stephen Hawking or whatever will be remembered.

rlse9January 08, 2012

Quote from: Chozo

One commonly used argument pirates use for old NES games is that they are no longer commercially available, which is often true. A lot of them are now available on Virtual Console, but not every game is. Why are they not?

A lot of them are because the publishers don't have the rights to release the games anymore because they don't own the license anymore.  Or it's just not worth it financially to release some of the more obscure games.

I'd bet that most of these game companies are still supporting SOPA behind closed doors and want the ESA to support it, even if they won't publicly say that because they don't want the negative publicity.

ThePermJanuary 08, 2012

Chozo when he says public he doesn't mean privately owned verses publicly owned, he means Overt or Covert. If someone overtly supports something out in the open they are public supporters, if someone supports things covertly in secret they are private supporters. Miscommunication and a half.  The use of public means "people know", whereas private "people don't know for sure", whearas the other use is "every person owns", and "some people  own".

Quote from: UncleBob

Quote from: MagicCow64

"Piracy" hasn't created some dearth of content. There's more content than ever.

There's more content than ever, but the overall quality of it has gone downhill.
I'm curious as to how history will judge the "artistic" values of this era.  Will Simon Cowell be the Da Vinci of our time?

Not Simon Cowell, but maybe David Simon. There's a lot more content available now, meaning there's a lot of shallow garbage but a lot of more obscure but still high quality stuff. Maybe the overall quality's gone down, but the best stuff out there is just as good as, if not better than, it ever was.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorJanuary 08, 2012

Quote from: Chozo

So what can be done about piracy? Well, one thing that could be done is content owners could make more of an effort to ensure their products are always commercially available in all markets.

This leads well into this...

Quote:

And look at the Xenoblade Chronicles game for the Wii which was on the list of the top 10 pirated games of the year.

http://torrentfreak.com/top-10-most-pirated-games-of-2011-111230/

A misleading article title (it list the top five Wii, 360 and PC titles)...  So, out of those 15 titles, one wasn't widely available.  And even then, those numbers don't differentiate between downloads from Japan, Europe, Australia vs. NA (i.e.: areas where the game was sold vs. areas were it wasn't sold).  And that's only the illegal downloads /they/ track.

Look at the #2 PC and #2 360 title... Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.  Pretty much the most widely distributed game of all time (dunno how it compares to Madden).  You can get it via (legal) download on the PC, a physical/retail copy for the PC, on the 360, the PS3, the Wii - hell, there's even a DS version and probably an iOS/Android version.  I'm pretty sure it had a mostly simultaneous world-wide release, so no one can cry foul about not getting it/not getting it quickly enough.

The idea that "oh, they should make the game available to me when I want it and how I want it" is just another lame excuse pirates use to attempt to justify taking someone's hard work without compensating them.

It's no excuse for piracy, but it does seem like it would be in the best interests of everyone to do it that way. In the real world, piracy is always going to be a thing, and one of the best ways to minimize it is to make the legal route as easy and painless as possible. See: iTunes, Steam, etc.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorJanuary 08, 2012

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

It's no excuse for piracy, but it does seem like it would be in the best interests of everyone to do it that way. In the real world, piracy is always going to be a thing, and one of the best ways to minimize it is to make the legal route as easy and painless as possible. See: iTunes, Steam, etc.

You'd think so.

Until you look at the number of illegal music downloads.

The fact is, people (in general) are greedy, selfish bastards.  If they can get something they want without any perceived immediate downside, they're going to do it.  Period.  There's all kinds of excuses people come up with that attempt to justify, in their own mind, taking what they want without regards to anyone else.

There are people out there who are going to pirate no matter what; those people shouldn't really be considered when you're making decisions. I get wanting to stop them or punish them, but they will always find a way to beat you and the restrictions will only serve to inconvenience legitimate customers. I'm not excusing their behavior; I'm just realistic enough to know that you can't stop them and shouldn't bother trying.

Then there are people who decide whether to pirate or to buy. These people will be swayed by the convenience and simplicity of services like I pointed out. You want to convince them to do things legitimately, because it increases sales.

Some people are too preoccupied with the lost cause of bringing people to justice or wiping out piracy that they let it hurt people who are playing by the rules, which, over the long haul, will increase piracy. Again, I'm not looking at it from a moral perspective, but a practical one. Pirates deserve to be punished, and to be stopped, but that's not a practically feasible goal.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorJanuary 08, 2012

I have to disagree with the idea that you shouldn't bother trying.  You'll never eliminate it 100%, sure - but you shouldn't just roll over and accept it either.

There's a happy medium, somewhere between one's company going broke in spite of millions of downloads and the likes of SOPA or SONY's Rootkit debacle.

Additionally, I have to disagree about people being willing to legitimately purchase media.  We're at a point where stuff still sells, but we're also still at a point where there are a lot of old timers like myself who *like* physical media.

A good peek into this is music - due to the size/ease of uploading/downloading songs, music was, as you likely know, the first major form of entertainment to really be hit by piracy.

Now, who's the #1 selling artist in the most recent years?  Justin Beiber?  The kids from Glee?  Someone from American Idol?

Garth Friggin' Brooks.

His last album of new material was released in 2001.  Yet, no one has managed to top his sales figures.  Like him or hate him, Garth was *huge* back in the day... but there are artists who have came along with a much bigger stage presence since his time - why haven't any of them managed to find album sales (physical or digital) that come anywhere close to him?

Hell, look at this list:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_albums_in_the_United_States

As much as I hate linking to Wikipedia as reference, that list is pretty convenient.
The last album to go 10-times platinum was in 2004.

The sales just aren't there.  Piracy dominates the music field, and it shows.  Hell, this was the first year in several that combined music sales were actually up - it has been falling, sharply, in recent years.

This is another fun chart to look at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best-selling_albums_by_year_in_the_United_States#2000s

I can't say 100% that this includes digital album sales - though I know the 2011 number for Adele does.

There's a *significant* decrease in numbers between the first half of the decade and the second half.  Of course, this being the major decade in which music piracy really took over.

Meanwhile, turn on the radio and all you hear is American Idol-auto-tuned-pop-crap.

Yes - there are still artists out there who have a real talent and a real love of the music industry.  Sadly, unless they fit the "major sellers" mold, they're going to have a hard time making a living with their passion... and I'm going to have a hard time finding their CD in stores to purchase.  Seriously, I can't find Kasey Chamber's new album in a single store... I'm going to have to end up ordering it online, aren't I?

Chozo GhostJanuary 09, 2012

Album sales may be down in part because it is now possible to digitally purchase and download only the individual songs that the customer is interested in, as opposed to the other "filler" that they aren't.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorJanuary 09, 2012

Quote from: Chozo

Album sales may be down in part because it is now possible to digitally purchase and download only the individual songs that the customer is interested in, as opposed to the other "filler" that they aren't.

Which means A.) total sales are down (which they are) and B.) you're not experiencing the artist's entire vision - and for those who claim to be in it for the artist, you should be experiencing the entire work of said artist.  You wouldn't just cut the smile out of the Mona Lisa, would you?

DasmosJanuary 09, 2012

But the music industry, well more specifically the 'pop' music has been single oriented for a while. You very rarely see albums that aren't a bunch of singles lumped together. Anyway artists don't make a ton of money off album sales anyway, they see the most money from playing shows and thankfully there are people who will still pay good money to go see shows.

And UB if you want Kasey Chambers new album I can give it to you, buddy. My mum got it as an unwanted gift hover Christmas.

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusJanuary 09, 2012

When was an album considered an artists entire vision? To borrow from you, a painting equivalent would be having to own the entirety of Picasso's Blue period to "experience an artist entire vision"  of that period. Each painting in itself is a a point of view, a snap shot of their vision, completed then moved on from. The same can be said for individual piece of music.

The only real reason why music is even sold in albums is so not to waste space/material on the recording media, which with advances in technology is now a non-issue to deliver just one song or even a fraction of one. So when people have the choice to buy exactly what they want, of course according to their metrics total album sales are down. Buying an entire album is nothing more than a marketing ploy to push music that otherwise wouldn't have sold on their own.

Chozo GhostJanuary 09, 2012

Quote from: UncleBob

Quote from: Chozo

Album sales may be down in part because it is now possible to digitally purchase and download only the individual songs that the customer is interested in, as opposed to the other "filler" that they aren't.

Which means A.) total sales are down (which they are) and B.) you're not experiencing the artist's entire vision - and for those who claim to be in it for the artist, you should be experiencing the entire work of said artist.  You wouldn't just cut the smile out of the Mona Lisa, would you?

Unless we are talking about concept albums, which very few artists other than Pink Floyd have done then it doesn't really matter, because for most artists each song stands on its own and does not have any interconnection with their other songs. So its more like separating the Mona Lisa from Leonardo's other paintings, as opposed to chopping the painting up. You see what I mean?

An album like The Wall by Pink Floyd should be kept together as a complete album, because each song is like a chapter in the album as a whole so in that case it is important to keep it together. But if we're talking about a Britney Spears album or something like that does it really matter?

And btw, a lot of artists like Britney Spears don't even write the lyrics or music to their songs anyway, so preserving their vision is pointless because they had no vision to it. Each song on an album could have in fact been written by a different songwriter, so there is no single artist's vision to it.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorJanuary 09, 2012

Quote from: Dasmos

And UB if you want Kasey Chambers new album I can give it to you, buddy. My mum got it as an unwanted gift hover Christmas.

I guess that's the advantage of actually being from Australia, eh? :D

As per my comment about the entire album being the work of art - yes, it does depend on the artist and how involved they are with their work.  If you have some feeble pop sensation, then, yeah - they're probably single-driven and don't see the album as a way of expressing themselves.

If you're looking more at the musicians that see themselves as artists, then they're likely to give much more thought in how the album flows together to become one piece of art.  Admittedly, this became a little more rare in the days of CDs, as individuals could easily skip songs or play the disc on random.

A very minor example, but on Lisa Loeb's Purple Tape album, the last track on Side A (who remembers Side A/Side B?) was "It's Over".  Hint: Turn the tape over. :D

Artists (not performers) regularly include songs on albums that they know aren't going to be successful as commercial singles, but because, for one reason or another, they're attached to the song, the lyrics, the way they perform it, etc.  If you have an artist you enjoy and you only listen to the commercial singles, you're doing both yourself and that artist a disservice.

DasmosJanuary 09, 2012

Quote from: Chozo

Unless we are talking about concept albums, which very few artists other than Pink Floyd have done

You don't listen to a lot of music do you?

rlse9January 09, 2012

If you're going to look at the music industry as an example, you could argue that a large portion of the issues the music industry has is how hard they fought piracy and how they actually made it a disadvantage for the consumer to buy the music legally between CDs with copy protection and downloads with copy protection.  And going after consumers with lawsuits was a horrible PR move.  They did their fair share to create the problem they've found themselves in but at least they've somewhat realized their mistakes and have stopped suing their customers and allowed sites to sell music without copy protection.  From what I've heard, which the list of best selling albums from each year would seem to support, is that the music industry actually grew in 2011.

It's also not the 1990s anymore.  As was mentioned, you don't have to buy a full album to get the one song you want, you can download just the song.  The cable TV industry would suffer in the same way if they're ever forced to go a-la-carte instead of forcing customers to pay for a bunch of channels they don't want.  There's also streaming options like Rdio and Spotify that allow people to legally listen to music and not have to buy the albums.  And there has been the invention of the podcast, which for someone like me takes up about 80% of the time that I would have spent listening to music so I buy less music now.  My point being, the sales of albums would be way down compared to where it was 20 years ago even if there was no piracy at all.

Quote from: UncleBob

If you're looking more at the musicians that see themselves as artists, then they're likely to give much more thought in how the album flows together to become one piece of art.

While this is true, how often did the artists who dominated the charts the way you talk about fall into that category? The ones who went 10x platinum were usually shitty pop artists who had one song people bought the whole album for. I personally buy a lot of full albums, but they're usually from artists who'd never make it to the top of the charts. This is another area where the wider variety of content has an effect; it's allowed people to find their own niche, leading to less concentration of sales in the mainstream pop area. Sure, piracy is a factor, but there's a lot of other stuff going on there as well.

Ian SaneJanuary 09, 2012

One thing I find funny about the list of supporters is that MLB and the NFL are on it.  Sports leagues have the least to fear regarding piracy.  Not only do they make a fair chunk of change from live attendence which cannot be pirated but the very nature of sports broadcasts is such that there isn't much value in repeat viewings.  A sports broadcast is a current event like a news broadcast.  If you know the results there isn't much interest in watching an old game.

I was talking with my brothers about how PVRs are going to completely change television because people record a show for later and skip the commercials, which is the main revenue generator for a show.  If no one watches the ads then advertisers have no reason to prop a show up.  But with a sporting event there is clear incentive to watch it as it happens since it's a one off live event.  The Superbowl will always do big ratings because who is going to record the Superbowl and watch it later to avoid commercials or pirate the thing to watch it the Monday after?  It just isn't threatened the way a TV show that can be watched at any time is.

But I'm not surprised MLB and the NFL are supporting the bill.  I think there is just a kneejerk reaction for a company to protect its IP, even if the infringment does no real harm.  We talk about stuff like how this will prevent people from putting YouTube videos up of them playing videogames.  Does that do any real harm unless the game is a glorified interactive storybook?  They're like screenshots but better.  It's pretty much free advertisement and promotion for a game.  If you see someone playing the game you might think "hey that looks like fun, I should try that game out".  Playing the game is the experience that is being sold and one can't get that from watching a video or looking at screenshots.  You can't steal the real selling point of the game without pirating it outright.  But it's copyright infringment so we've got to kill it right now!  That's the attitude.  What's ironic is that they would gain more sympathy if they were more reasonable.  Having people make copies of your game and giving them away for free makes you sympathetic.  Getting on someone's butt because they put a clip of your game up on the internet makes you look like a big bully corporation that's out of touch with the general public.  Pick your battles and you'll gain public support.  Fighting piracy shouldn't be lumped in with the general idea of big corporations being dicks.

Actually, the sports leagues would really stand to benefit from the bill. There are a lot of sites based in other countries that offer streams of live sporting events which this bill could block.

Chozo GhostJanuary 09, 2012

While I don't do it anymore, about 10 years ago I did pirate a lot of MP3s. This way I was able to discover a lot of artists which never received any radio play at all and I never would have even known existed otherwise. But you know what else? If I liked it I bought the album. Technically what I did was illegal, but not only did it not do any harm, but it actually benefited these artists by giving them a few album sales that they otherwise would not have received.

In that sense, I think piracy is more of a problem for mainstream platinum selling artists like those Insanolord was referring to. Everyone hears their music on the radio and on TV constantly, so its not something new to be discovered. Therefore if someone pirates it, its because they know exactly what they are getting and getting it just for the sake of it being free. But if its some unknown artist, then the piracy might just be a more try before you buy approach, and if the pirate in question likes it they may buy it.

I'm not saying all the piracy of small time niche artists is benign, as I'm sure many pirates would be content to rip them off just the same as the big mainstream artists, but speaking for myself as someone who used to explore music this way, that was not the case. The only other option that existed at the time to discover music was to take a shot in the dark and buy random albums, but if you hated them then you were out $20. At least with MP3 piracy, if you hated the album you could just delete it and you weren't out anything. But if you liked the album and if you wanted to keep, then the right thing to do is to buy the album.

Nowadays there are services that let you explore music legally where you pay a monthly fee and you can listen to all the music you want during that time and do your discovering, but 10 years ago that didn't exist.


ETA: In regards to professional sports, I think it should be pointed out that the stadiums where these games take place are public property which is paid for by the taxpayers. So with that being said, I think its the public right to be able to view these games. If the stadiums were private property which the MLB owned, then sure, let them do what they want, but since our taxpayers are funding it we should at least be able to "pirate" it.

Ian SaneJanuary 09, 2012

Not all stadiums are publicly funded.  AT&T Park in San Francisco for example was paid for privately.

I get Chozo's point about piracy increasing exposure for an obscure musical act but in my own experience it was more just the internet in general, in a legal way, that has exposed me to a lot of more obscure acts.  Sites like AllMusic.com helped me discover a lot of acts because I would go there for kicks to read up on bands I liked but wasn't as familiar with as I would like.  So while I would be reading their bios and reviews of their albums it would namedrop some act that inspired them or was one of their peers.  So I would check that band out and because of the sound samples I could get an idea of what they sounded like.  I have bought many albums from discovering an act in that exact method.  Sites like iTunes also let you listen to samples.  If someone says "you should check out band X" it is easy to get some idea of what they sound like even without piracy.

ThePermJanuary 09, 2012

lol Chozo, while you don't do it anymore? Well thats because if you were smart like any smart pirate you would have had your collection of music backed up in triplicate 10 years ago, so you would never need to pirate again. Than you would just listen to the new music either on Youtube, Pandora, or Grooveshark where its free and legal.

Fiendlord_TimmayJanuary 09, 2012

Bahaha this thread reminded me of this clip here:

http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/103759/not-a-big-deal

rlse9January 09, 2012

It is fairly easy to find professional sports on the internet streaming live.  MLB and NFL don't want this because they'd rather have you paying for NFL Sunday Ticket or mlb.tv if you want to watch out of market games/games on the NFL Network.  At least NBC has gotten smart and streams Sunday night games on their website and even lets you choose between different camera angles.  It's a shame it's so far behind live TV or it would actually be a nice companion to watching on TV.  Give people a good legal option and they won't need to look for an illegal option.

I think it's a joke that professional sports stadiums are paid for primarily by taxpayers, the owners are mostly billionaires, the players are paid insane amounts, yet the public has to pay for their place to play in most markets because if the city/state won't pay for it they'll move to another city that will.  But that's a whole separate discussion than piracy.

Chozo GhostJanuary 10, 2012

Quote from: Ian

So while I would be reading their bios and reviews of their albums it would namedrop some act that inspired them or was one of their peers.

I've used Wikipedia for that purpose. If you read the article on a band or artist you like, it will probably list their influences which can be helpful to discover artists who have a similar style. You can also read about the solo work the individual band members may have done or are doing, and spinoff bands or tribute bands associated with them and things like that.

Quote:

I think it's a joke that professional sports stadiums are paid for primarily by taxpayers, the owners are mostly billionaires, the players are paid insane amounts, yet the public has to pay for their place to play in most markets because if the city/state won't pay for it they'll move to another city that will.  But that's a whole separate discussion than piracy.

I remember it because it was something that came up when congress was grilling professional sports over the use of Steroids and drugs and whatnot, and something that came up was that the government was threatening to pull public funding of the stadiums and stuff like that. Needless to say the professional sports bowed down and cracked down on steroids. But I was shocked because before that I didn't know this stuff was funded by taxes. I agree with you it shouldn't be, because like you said they are billionaires so they should be able to afford their own venues, and also that tax money could go towards any number of things which would be more practical than what is essentially just entertainment.

More and more stadiums are being funded by the teams themselves instead of the localities. And stadiums get funded by taxpayers because they, and the teams they house, bring a lot of money into local economies. Having pro sports teams has a lot of benefits for a city, and they make up the money they put into the stadiums in the long run, and then some.

TJ SpykeJanuary 10, 2012

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

More and more stadiums are being funded by the teams themselves instead of the localities. And stadiums get funded by taxpayers because they, and the teams they house, bring a lot of money into local economies. Having pro sports teams has a lot of benefits for a city, and they make up the money they put into the stadiums in the long run, and then some.

It's still BS. Hell, Paul Allen (a billionaire) moved the Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City after Seattle refused to fund the bill for a new stadium. There are pro sports teams who make very little money (or even lose money), and don't really help their city.

It may be a dick move, but if you have the choice between coughing up millions of dollars of your own money or taking the team to a city that will pay it for you I can see the appeal of the latter. And teams that make little or no money (though teams that lose money don't do so for very long, either changing ownership or moving to fix it) still contribute a lot to the area. In most cases, when the city funds the stadium it retains ownership, signing a long term lease to the team(s) that use it, which brings in a constant stream of revenue in addition to other benefits. In almost every case, the local area is the long term winner of the deal; if it weren't, cities would stop doing it.

EDIT: Don't take this as me defending owners moving teams willy-nilly. I understand some of the reasoning behind it, but that doesn't stop me from referring to Art Modell as history's greatest monster to this day.

rlse9January 10, 2012

Every time I've heard the issue of public funding for stadiums come up, the majority of economic studies done seem to show that the economic benefits are far overstated and that the public isn't necessarily getting value for the taxes put in from a purely economic standpoint.  Cities/states don't continue to do it for economic reasons, it's because of pressure from the public that doesn't want to lose the sports team that they cheer for.  And with how popular the NFL in particular is, the teams have a huge amount of leverage in that area.

Chozo GhostJanuary 11, 2012

I'm sure there is an economic benefit to public funding of stadiums. Its just not an economic benefit that benefits the public. You'd think since your tax dollars are funding it you should be at least entitled to view it for free, but no on top of funding it through taxes you also have to buy your ticket too. And is it fair for people who have zero interest in sports have their taxes go to this when there is so many better things that could be done with that money instead?

There is an economic benefit though, but that economic benefit goes to the already rich professional sports industry. It doesn't benefit the poor at all. Does funding professional sports help feed and cloth the homeless? No. Does it cure the sick? No. All it does is make the rich richer at taxpayer expense, and the taxpayers have to wait in line and buy their ticket anyway.

Got a news tip? Send it in!
Advertisement
Advertisement