[PLUG-TALK] SOPA, PIPA, "Piracy", Incentives

Keith Lofstrom keithl at kl-ic.com
Thu Jan 19 11:22:30 PST 2012

On Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 10:25:48AM -0800, Paul Heinlein wrote:
> An example: there are lots of folks making really good music these 
> days. The difference between them and folks on terrestrial radio 
> stations is (IMO) more often due to marketing than quality.
> So an artist and her production team put some money into music 
> production and a lot more into marketing, distribution, personal 
> appearances, etc. When the music is pirated, it's those latter costs 
> that cannot be made up.

In the internet age, marketing and distribution are almost free. 
Personal appearances are paid gigs - not very much, usually,
because there is so much competition for the audiences.  The
Grateful Dead did very well on this model, long before the
Internet.  The Dead accomplished more with loyalty and love
than their competitors did with lawyers.

Plugger Denis Heidtmann is proud poppa of banjo player Evan,
whose Austin band "Whiskey Shivers" made this viral video:


They keep most of their modest earnings, compared to the big music
industry stars who keep something like 3% of retail sales.  In the
internet world, millions of us can do this - and keep our day jobs,
and see our families at night.  Compared to the frantic, lonely,
sex-and-drug-addled megaband tour culture, this is a /good thing/.

Long before the internet, I did some tech work for Herbie Hancock.
One of the well known jazz musicians working with him asked me:

   "What is the difference between a professional musician
    and a large Domino's Pizza"?

A large Domino's Pizza /can/ feed a family of four. 

The Big Stars and their managers and marketers and technicians and
accountants are a tiny part of a mostly impoverished landscape.  
It was ever thus - before technology produced the railroad and the
radio and the record player, musicians worked for the folks within
earshot, and most lived in financial poverty.  But then, so did
99% of their potential audience, who mostly made their own music
if they were to have any music at all.  They sang while they
worked and worshipped.  Perhaps we need more of that now;  any
software startups encouraging groups to sing in their cubicles?

> Just to muddy the waters a bit...

Not muddied at all.  You did an excellent job of preparing an
apple for me to shoot at, and stood bravely underneath.  I hope
I pierced it cleanly, and you weren't spattered ...


Keith Lofstrom          keithl at keithl.com         Voice (503)-520-1993
KLIC --- Keith Lofstrom Integrated Circuits --- "Your Ideas in Silicon"
Design Contracting in Bipolar and CMOS - Analog, Digital, and Scan ICs

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