Music Wars

Friday, September 12, on TechTV we’re devoting two and a half hours to the music industry and file sharing. The special, called Music Wars, will begin after the Screen Savers at 8p Eastern with an hour long documentary on the RIAA, record companies, and file sharing, and then Michaela and I will host a live ninety minute Town Hall from 9-10:30p Eastern featuring your calls plus guests from the RIAA, EFF, record labels, recording artists, ethicists, and real people who are being sued, who download music, and who refuse to download music.
Scheduled guests include:

  • John Perry Barlow, EFF

  • Ted Cohen, Director New Media, EMI Records
  • Jeremy Wertz, VP New Media, Maverick Records
  • Chuck D, artist
  • Ira Dean, member of Trick Pony, artist
  • Sean Ryan, Rhapsody
  • Derek Broes, Altnet
  • Michael Weiss, Morpheus
  • and many more

I’m very excited about this show. We’ve been working really hard on it for weeks now, and I think it’s going to be one of the most important things we’ve ever aired on TechTV. I hope you’ll watch.

31 Replies to “Music Wars”

  1. Leo, you mentioned last week something about Michelle Branch. Was that during the live part, or the recorded special?

  2. I am looking very forward to this show. You haven’t had a call-in/debate kind of show since Silicon Spin was canned a year and a half ago. I hope this is the beginning of some very good things at TechTV.

  3. We are looking forward this, I think it is a great idea. I have had two questions that I hope might be answered on the show:
    1. If I only download songs for which I have a legal copy (songs that I have on tape cassettes or LP’s) am I really breaking any copyright laws? It seems to me that since the court’s ruling in the Diamond Rio case allows for “space shifting”.
    and
    2. If I rip all my CD’s and only make available these .mp3’s from CD’s I own on a file sharing system, is that actually illegal? If I have only legal songs out there shouldn’t that be legal?
    Looking forward to the show!

  4. Here is my question (for Leo, TechTV, or anyone who has an answer!):
    How can the RIAA sue individuals for copyright infringement? The copyright legally belongs to the record labels (generally speaking), since the employer of an individual or group of individuals that creates an audio recording holds the copyright to that material. From the U.S. Copyright Office website:
    “WHO CAN CLAIM COPYRIGHT
    Copyright protection subsists from the time the work is created in fixed form. The copyright in the work of authorship immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work. Only the author or those deriving their rights through the author can rightfully claim copyright.
    In the case of works made for hire, the employer and not the employee is considered to be the author. Section 101 of the copyright law defines a “work made for hire” as:
    (1) a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment; or
    (2) a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as:
    a contribution to a collective work
    a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work
    a translation
    a supplementary work
    a compilation
    an instructional text
    a test
    answer material for a test
    an atlas
    if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire….
    The authors of a joint work are co-owners of the copyright in the work, unless there is an agreement to the contrary.”
    I’m failing to see how the RIAA has the legal ability to sue music downloaders.

  5. I’m also kicking myself for not having cable anymore. I’d love to see these shows. I haven’t download much, but those songs I did downloaded are songs that I can’t find any place else. After listening to them for a while I do delete them.
    I’d also love to know why people are getting sued for copyright infringement when they download files, but the RIAA doesn’t go after people who tape or burn songs to cassette tape or regular CDs? That sounds a bit hypacritical to me.

  6. To addressed to the proper representative:
    Why does a recently released CD fluctuate in price between $13 and $20? Personally, my limitation is about $13 for a single CD of music.
    I’d like to know how the money paid at the record store for an average CD is divided up between artist, record label, distributor, etc.
    Is the RIAA putting their ‘file sharer amnesty’ participants at risk of further legal action by prodding people to publicly admit their guilt? If not, how do they guarantee the information they collect on the “guilty” parties won’t be shared or sold willingly, or released unwillingly via a court order from another individual or business wishing to file a lawsuit against the file sharer?
    What type of in-house and independent verification is made by the RIAA legal department to verify what they label as pirated music is indeed copyrighted music? How is this proven to the court?
    How is the RIAA able to determine a monetary settlement amount fair to all individuals, unless they are given access to the financial records of all people being sued?

  7. I’m looking forward to this show. Even though I don’t download it is such a confusing topic with the frightening possibilities of establishing serious precedents in other areas I can’t help get caught up in wanting answers. I’m glad to see that TTV is taking a giant step in pulling so many representatives from different areas with so many points of view to try and thrash this out. With you and Michaela at the helm Leo, I know it will be a well conducted and spirited debate. Good luck!

  8. The RIAA’s real goal is keep the record label industry viable. They are scared to death that the artists will wake up and realize they no longer need the record labels. When the RIAA says “We want to make sure the artists get paid” read that to mean they want to make sure the record industry can keep its hands in the artist’s pockets. I doubt that even top artists get even .05 cents on the dollar from record sales. Imagine if they went online sold the songs for .99 cents and
    got to keep .99 cents!

  9. “Why does a recently released CD fluctuate in price between $13 and $20? Personally, my limitation is about $13 for a single CD of music.”
    here’s my question along the same lines:
    i don’t download music so i haven’t got a clue here, but are international songs covered under this? i’m just wondering because i can go to a music store and get a bootlegged copy of a japanese cd from taiwan legally. the original japanese copy runs about forty dollars and the bootlegged taiwanese copy runs about twenty bucks. is buying a bootleg through a music store still legal because it’s still costing me an arm and a leg?
    ******
    have i mentioned this before? i can’t remember! my pop watches leo on tv now and gives me a daily report on what’s been up on techtv just to make up for me not having cable. my pop rocks! (and he wants to know if leo is related to norm abraham…)

  10. My question is why has the RIAA waited so long to take legal action? First they sue Napster, not us then they wait 4-5 years to get us? How is that? We are poor compared to these rich ass music artists. They make their mega millions in music videos, and concerts. What are they wining about? They have the money to buy their $60k SUV’s, and their 6000+ square foot houses while we almost can’t pay our rent or morgage! HOW JACKED UP IS THAT? I’m just pissed that they waited so long and have the odasidy to sue people.

  11. Leo, I’m watching the show as I type. Some of the “facts” that some of the guys on the show are stating are mostly WRONG. One of them said that a legal site such as Rhapsody or iTunes provides the user with “a better experience.” I TOTALLY disagree. I don’t want to see a picture of the album cover or a history of the artist. I want to listen to music because I love music, not the picture on the front of their cd. I want to download my music quickly and easily. Kazaa provides the means to do that and Rhapsody does not. Point made.

  12. If the artists would all put up web sites so fans could “buy direct” then none of this would be a problem. It’s all the artist’s fault for being lazy and not learning html in all their spare time… they can put a pay pal thingey on there and “whammo” no more problem.
    :^)
    Actually, I think technology outpaced morality on this one, it was too easy to steal free music, so people went rampant… no one realized it would be so easy, that’s all. “But musicians are starving!”
    “Oh, then Ok, I’ll pay .99 cents.”
    Besides most people listen to music as a disposable commodity, it’s on, it’s gone. It’s not like a bicycle, that if you stole it, you could ride for 20 years, a lot of downloaded music is replaced by new songs a week later… right? or so I’ve been told by some “young people” I know.
    Who wants to keep music that is “so last week.”
    Sorry I missed the show, I hope it repeats. Someone post the repeat schedule please.
    (I am sorry my comments are so silly, it’s been a long week for me and I needed to crack myself up…. please continue the serious discussion… to end on a personal note the ONLY mp3 I have is the theme to “Iron Chef”, and THAT show stole it from the movie “Backdraft” … so I probably am going to jail soon.)

  13. I watched Music Wars and was very angry the whole time. So, good job, Leo et al.
    I was angry about this: Though I know this idea is still being fought, if I buy a CD, I can make a copy without penalty and give it to a friend. In fact, I could burn a couple copies, and as long I wasn’t selling them, I wouldn’t be breaking the law.
    Now look at Kazaa: everytime a new song is uploaded for searching it was either a) made legally available by the band, the record label, the promoter, etc. or b) ripped from a presumably legally purchased CD.
    It would seem to me that these labels making the most noise over compensating the artist, paying for their marketing and promotions, etc. just want to gouge the consumers again for something that was already paid for.
    And, I don’t buy that “compensation of the artist” bull, either, especially when less than 5% of CD sales are ever given to an artist. As it was pointed out, the artist makes the bulk of their money on tour.
    Great show.

  14. More fuel for the fire:
    How is downloading shared music illegal, and yet, re-selling used CDs is not?
    There are shops in every city that specialize in just that, used CD sales. Yet record labels and artists receive no royalties for used CD sales. If copyright infringement is such a big issue for the RIAA, why don’t they prosecute stores that sell used CDs, or even used records for that matter? As David Bowie said “We are starting down a slippery slope…”

  15. I think that The RIAA is just out to make money and make the common man suffer. I also believe they have NO legal basis on which to sue people. I also know for a FACT that the artists are not suffering from this “illegal” downloading of music. In fact its actually helping them. What the RIAA is so worried about is Themselves recieving a cut. Well, I for one dont think they deserve anything for the way they have treated their own Consumers!
    I also think its really crappy to have sites that Half assed offer music in bits and pieces and say that “legitimate” is better. I also dont see on these “legit” sites alternative versions of songs or songs that arent made anymore by certain artists or hard to find material! Down with the RIAA! God Bless Kazaa!

  16. Friday nights are bad nights to watch TV for me. My life keeps me too busy. I forgot to set the VCR too. Hopefully it will rerun. I see they have a 30 minute verson playing this evening. But, will they re-air the whole 2.5 hours?

  17. Yes, the industry the RIAA represents is out to make money. That’s why they are a business. But how do they make the ‘common man’ suffer? You and I have a choice to buy their product or not. If we think they are trying to ‘gouge’ us or cheat us or they put one good song with 12 ‘filler’ songs on a cd then don’t buy their product!
    As to the assertion that the artists are not ‘suffering’ from the file ‘sharing’: if you go down to the music store and walk out with a cd without paying for it, nobody may ‘suffer’ for it. But that doesn’t make it right, does it?
    Yes, the RIAA is looking to get a ‘cut’ because they are the copyright holders, like it or not. They are not going after their consumers. Their consumers are those who legally pay for a product. They are going after those who take without paying for it.
    If someone can’t access any ‘hard to find material’ that is because you haven’t looked hard enough or the copyright holder has made a choice not to make it available. Tough luck. But that doesn’t give anyone the right to take it…

  18. This show was great. Please do more like this. You kept the show moving so it never lost my interest, excellent.
    Thanks,
    Frank

  19. I agree with Frank – excellent work! As noted above, I have some strong opinions on this subject and I was pleased to see that all sides (and there are more than two!) were given a fair amount of time and that the discussions were intelligent and nobody got out of hand. TechTV rules!

  20. Too bad that I missed it I am sure
    Leo gave them big record guys what
    for about file sharing and so did
    everybodyelse.I am wondering if
    techTV will repeat this specail
    over the weekend our something.Because I love too see
    leo on his soapbox about file sharing………….

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