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  • Henry Grimes wrote on January 14, 2011 report

    This is Margaret Grimes, wife of the great jazz bassist / violinist / poet, writing to thank you most deeply for this article. I don't understand it yet, but I'm going to look into it and try to work with the knowledge you've given us here.

  • Chris Rich wrote on January 14, 2011 report

    Hi Margaret,

    I can send you and any other verifiable musician or label person my growing list of piracy blogs. One important facet of this is to never ever give out their url in an article because, perversely, it is just free publicity for them.

    I'm already working on a follow up to describe how this problem impacts jazz, specifically.

  • Giacomo Bruzzo & RareNoiseRecords wrote on January 17, 2011 report

    Dear Sir,

    Giacomo Bruzzo here of RareNoiseRecords. Thank you very much for posting an article which is as useful for individual artists as it is for very small artist-driven labels such as ours.

    Kind regards, Giacomo

  • Bill Coleman wrote on January 18, 2011 report

    Let me start by saying that I certainly understand and sympathise with your frustrations and those of any professional musician or would be beneficiary of the hard work that goes into creating recorded music. I get it. Also, for the record, I do not pirate music personally...
    Having said that, I think there is a counter point of view that artists will need to embrace if they are going to carry forward successful careers into the new digital age. In the history of music, paid distribution of recorded music via industry 3rd parties is a recent (100 year or so) blip on the radar. And it's all but over.

    I'm an IT professional and an amateur musician, so I know my way around digital music distribution channels, legal and otherwise. The thief blogs you speak of are nothing - the real damage happens on P2P networks and usenet - where you physically can't take down content even if you try. And it is more prolific then is commonly believed.

    Recorded music should now be regarded as a promotional tool to attract audiences. The playing field has been leveled and it is as easy for me to publish my work as it is for Scofield! That's not to say the quality is the same, but you get the picture... The old business model is on its death bed and there is nothing we can do about that.

    ...but it's not all bleak - in fact, quite the opposite! Audiences are paying more for live music then ever before. New media distribution channels allows artists to create massive fan bases far easier then ever before. Professional quality recording is more accessible then ever with computers. Artists no longer need to be robbed blind by loan sharks masquerading as record labels in order to be heard. This is a good time to know what you are doing as a professional artist. We are back to the era of the travelling bard... but the bard never had it so good!

  • Chris Rich wrote on January 19, 2011 report

    The P2Ps have a greater impact on the song based model. Album based music like Jazz and Classical has smaller levels of sales in the first place so losing that business hits them harder.

    I don't believe for a second in the model floated regarding recorded music solely as a promotional tool. You have to look at it from a musicology point and not the sloppy assignment of genres made up by people running warehouses. Checking RIAA stats on precentages of sales is useful too. Jazz and Classical are tiny and Jazz got worse after Ken Burns convinced lots of people that his version was all you need. Deceased artists don't put much new work out and the stuff in vaults will eventually all be accounted for.

    And there hasn't been much done to test interdiction and suppression methods. The IT arguments haven't been too impressive. It's only a matter of time before copyright encryption tagging and search tech combine to enable more efficient detection and changes in price structure make using the things less appealing.

    As for live music payment. I don't see much of it here in Boston nor in NYC it is intermittent door gigs for the people I try to help and an occasional plum. Dozens of venues have closed here in the last 2 years.

    The loan shark argument sound like standard apologist boiler plate. Try to find Jazz musicians who fully support themselves for a living like Matthew Shipp who don't have the option of billing out for IT work.

    Then ask them about labels and other related matters.

  • Bill Coleman wrote on January 19, 2011 report

    I think you may have mis-understood my point... essentially what I'm trying to say is that fighting music piracy in the digital age is like sitting in a rocking chair - it gives you something to do but it won't get you far. I don't believe that encryption tagging etc will really make a difference. In the cat and mouse game of copy protection, history tells us that when people want to get around DRM, they will. No matter how low the price point goes for legal downloading, you can't compete with free.

    My point is that we need to be taking a constructive approach to finding revenue streams outside of the recorded music distribution model, rather then investing in fighting a battle against the pirates that can't be won. Especially for "minority" music interests like jazz. We need to look at ways to make the technology work FOR the artists. Rather then focusing on the negatives of digital music piracy we need to learn how to use new media to promote all these amazing musicians who toil away in obscurity and grab peoples attention. Jazz started as a crazy mix of people and cultures turning convention on it's head. If it is to flourish again, it needs go back to these revolutionary roots.

    BTW I'm really sad if what you say about the declining live scene in Boston and NYC is true... I'm glad to report the opposite in Sydney - it's not big, but it is growing.

  • atg1234 wrote on January 21, 2011 report

    Chris Rich, I have to come out and say that I think you are way outdated and are quite arrogant to the fact that the websites and such that you have talked about are killing the Jazz music scene. I think it is quite sad that many Jazz musicians have the same view as you, and don't realize the essential benefits. You do realize that most musicians do not make that much revenue off of record sells. It is a very small percent, atleast the musicians I have talked to. They make most of their money off of concerts and merchandise sales.

    I am a young cat who happens to love Jazz. However, to be honest if it weren't for websites like the ones your trying to shut down, then I would have NEVER have gotten into Jazz music. You showed the percentage of people that use these websites are 16-24 in the U.S. There are thousands of kids who are coming across this content for the first time, and probably the only time. Basically it is FREE advertisement. Young people use these websites to discover new music, and then we will go onto their website and find out when they are coming to town. For example, my friend gave me some Charlie Hunter albums, and I started to like his music. You wanna know what we did a few months back? We spent money and bought tickets to his show when we discovered that he was coming to town. Both of us would have never have discovered his music if it weren't for finding these albums on the websites you listed. Oh and btw because I wanted his autograph I bought his new album and had him sign it. I think he made more money off our tickets sales than he would have made off of record sales. I think in the world of business that is called a PROFIT not a loss.

    Oh and don't get me started on how these websites have spread Jazz across the world. I don't think a Jazz record will reach Achmed in a Tibetan cafe any other way than through these websites. Oh and you do realize the same complaint that you are making right now was the same complaint that musicians made when the radio first came out? I bet you didn't know that.

    Now there is a even better solution to these so called revenue problems that you think there are due to these websites.
    https://www.eff.org/wp/better-way-forward-voluntary-collective-licensing-music-file-sharing They provide the best solution to satisfy everyone. Well except the greedy fat cats, which if that is who is paying you to write this article then well I am talking to a lost cause.

    Oh and you complain about ticket sales going down in NYC and Boston. Well you do realize we are in a RECESSION which started 2 years ago. Of course ticket sales are going to be down. Also Jazz is a "minority" genre now. There are not as many avid Jazz fans as before. I know there are more young Jazz fans than would have without these websites, but there are still more fans dying off than coming to love the music. The same goes for Classical music.
    Ok I am done ranting and raving now, I think Lee Morgan playing "Whisper Not" is helping stop raving more than anything. I think you should listen to Bill and I about embracing the digital music world. Oh and it isn't that hard to do this stuff on the internet and there really is no overhead charge. Most of these websites can be run the same way you run a Facebook or an email account, which I don't know many people who do not know how to use them. I mean it is as easy as posting this comment. Well I know you probably won't like what I have to say, but seriously think about what I am saying. You might discover that the system we use for music now is hugely out of date, much like the U.S. health care system.

  • John Kelman wrote on January 21, 2011 report

    atg1234,
    It's one thing to advertize for free - it's another to give away the store. We struggle with artists who are uncertain about giving away a single free track as AAJ's daily download feature - a free and, most important, legal way for getting the music out there. Do you think these musicians are happy with the idea that the music they have spent long and hard hours and money to make is being stolen unilaterally by folks who feel it's OK because they're entitled to it?

    Nobody is suggesting that piracy is the sole reason for the demise of CD sales; but equally, it's one thing to have musicians put the music out there the way they want, and another (I repeat) for folks unrelated to these artists to unilaterally decide to steal it and make it available, in its entirety, for free.

    There are plenty of places that you can hear free music on the web, without resorting to flat out theft of intellectual property. AAJ's Daily Download being one - you can get a brand new, free, full MP3 track from this site each and every day, which is plenty good enough to expose you to a ton of new music.

    So, I'm afraid, I cannot agree with you that Chris is being arrogant; he's being protective. Musicians make most of their living off live shows, to be sure; but they also make the majority of their CD sales off those very same stages. With the music out there for free, why would anyone buy it? And if that's so, do you not think this is hurting the artists in any way?

    Also, if you knew anything about the jazz industry (such as it is; that's a pretty antiquated term), you'd know there are very few "fat cats" making a lot of money. The majors have largely deserted the jazz world, leaving indies who aren't exactly millionaires. Like us folks who run this site, like the writers who write for it, like the musicians who make the music that give AAJ a reason to exist - nobody is getting rich here; for most, they do it because it's a passion. But they also feel that they should receive some compensation for their efforts, and these sites you refer to are simply taking what is not theirs to take

    I agree that using free music as a form of advertizing is a good thing. But is it necessary to give it all away? Is it not reasonable, say, to consider giving one or two tracks away, as kind of a loss leader, makes more sense than suggestion artists should simply let it all out there, given the $$ it costs them to make even the barest bones of a project?

  • atg1234 wrote on January 21, 2011 report

    That is one reason why I support what the EFF is doing. They have a solution for making it so that people who want to have large amounts of music for almost nothing, and the musician makes money.
    There are a couple of people who are signed to big name labels, but then again they tend to cross into the pop world as well. Even though I most of my stuff I have received free. I will purchase it, knowing that the person is on a good label were the musician gets the cut. I just can't afford to buy as much as I normally can. Anyway for Jazz I tend to listen to it on things such as your awesome radio stations that you have provided and Pandora. The times I listen to the stuff on my ipod is if I want to repeat a song that I just heard, or I am in a place that has no internet.
    Now one thing I can't do is support a record label that tries to make money off of a dead person's music. The only time I can support that is if majority of the proceeds go to a worthy cause.
    For the third time, this is why I want what the EFF has proposed, which in my honest opinion would be the greatest thing for everyone involved. It is coming to a point were it is way to hard to stop people distributing music on the internet and they need to progressively move towards a solution and prosecuting these people is not going to stop it. One reason why you can't prosecute this is that, my whole generation would be put in jail, and I don't just don't think that will go over very well.

  • atg1234 wrote on January 21, 2011 report

    Oh and btw there is nothing wrong with libertarianism.

  • atg1234 wrote on January 21, 2011 report

    Another thing that I left out before, and actually you left out of your article which is the what a lot of people do. Every album that has had a link posted to it, you can go get a copy at the library and copy it that way. I mean it is crazy how many ways you can get albums without purchasing.
    Gosh here I go again advocating Voluntary Collective Licensing. However, with people like Chris who are trying to shut down this new frontier and keep the old system is just adding to the problem. Please Chris and John read that the stuff in that link I posted. Also go and check out some of the things that the Post Rock genre community is doing, They actually used the filesharing websites and the blogs you bashed, and would allow free downloading. Well Post Rock, which is mostly a European scene and very small in America, took off real quick and I don't think bands such as Sigor Ros had much problem selling albums even though they offered full albums for free. If anything by embracing this approach the genre became more successful.
    Now with internet radio evolving and al the technology with mobile phones, filesharing might be in the back burner. I mean there are websites which stream music for free so thats a whole new frontier of piracy that well technically in current law are not necessarily illegal. I wish every musician was educated on Voluntary Collective Licenses because it would solve the solution for everyone. Except for well those retards in Hollywood who make millions while musicians still starve.

  • atg1234 wrote on January 21, 2011 report

    Crap one more thing. To be honest most of the small time artists that you find on here, you will not find a good link. It is not because the links have been destroyed, but simply most people post music that is more popular. I would go as far to say that atleast 75% of the artists that are on this website, you could not find a link for anyway. Most of the things you will find links for is the really popular musicians such as Diana Krall and Buble. You will also mostly find the old classic albums by Morgan, Davis and such, and half the time they are older editions than what the current labels are selling. I hope I can't think of anything else. Maybe I should stop listening to your guys Pandora station. The music is geting my Neuron's firing.

  • Nathan Rabe wrote on January 22, 2011 report

    I am a huge fan of music. I buy, borrow, download ( legal and non) music of all genres. I agree with Coleman and agt: good luck trying to stop it. I find the blogs very helpful to find new music, introduce new labels as well as learn a lot about artists history of music etc. I'm no egghead so don 't k ow how jazz musicians can com into the 21st century but that's the answer not rants like chris's. FYI I just bought - an 18 cd box set on African music after downloading some old vinyl from the net. Stop being paranoid and look for ways to spread the great news of jazz! I would assume people who love music get it from a multiplicity of sources not just CDs out of a shop or legal downloads

  • John Kelman wrote on January 22, 2011 report

    First, atg: borrowing a cd from a library and then copying it is also stealing; they're meant to be borrowed, not copied. Do you photocopy entire books that you take out of the library also?

    Trust me, you can find downloads of just about anything, anywhere, if you look hard enough.


    nathan: just because it would be difficult to stop piracy, do you think it's ok to just lay back and accept it? Hey, it's next to impossible to solve wars, but should we just sit back and accept?

    Obviously, a little hyperbole, as we're just talkin' music here: but what is "just" music to some, is the livelihoods of others. Jazz musicians are not unlike any other musicians in any genre; most of them don't want their music stolen and distributed; they want control over how it gets out there, and for some that includes providing a single free track off a new album, so folks can get a good idea of what the music is, without getting the whole store given to them. This seems reasonable to me, what is it about that idea you find insufficient?

    Nobody is being paranoid, Nathan; we're just in touch with the musicians who make this music, and I assure you, they're not all luddites struggling with their first PC - many are web-savvy and are trying to adopt new ways to get their music heard, using advances in technology. But very few of them want to actually give away all their music for free, or worse, have it taken from them.

    Will articles like Chris' stop piracy? Not a hope. But if it gets some folks thinking about it, who didn't before; if it gets some folks to stop doing it, then he's accomplished a good thing.

    Understand, please, that using the web to help spread the word is absolutely a great thing - hey, it's what All About Jazz is about. But surely there has to be some middle ground, that allows enthusiastic folks like yourself and atg to hear new music without actually taking entire albums out of the hands of the musicians who make it. Again, I repeat: AAJ's daily download provides a brand new download track each and every day. That's 365 downloads/year - a lot of new music and new artists to get hipped to.

    Last thing: is that African box you bought the one that Chris May reviewed at the site: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=37306 - if so, great box, eh?

  • Nathan Rabe wrote on January 23, 2011 report

    john, yes it is. Fantastic box set.

    Yes, we are impassioned in this debate and no offence is intended to anyone. However, there are some strong counter arguments to the 'priacy is wrong, period' argument.

    As some musicians have repeatedly said, if free downloanding helps get them bigger audience great.
    Most of the revenue from albums goes to those other than the musicians who get most of their $$ from live shows.
    If I have never heard of jazz artist X you can't really say, I would have spent $20 for his/her CD. But if I get to hear him off a download I'm probably more likely to perk my ears up when I hear him on the radio, see a review and buy it is a gift for someone or even myself. Net result is probably neutral and possibly positive for artist and record industry. if I don't like what I hear i've turned that artist off and he's not getting my money in any case.

    Of course, these days you can download the entire discogrpahy (life work!) of some artists. And that is troublesome.

    But on the blogs I read most ot the work is by artists long dead or albums no longer available in any format.

    Anyway, my point was, Chris's argument was pretty narrowly argued.

    Cheers

  • atg1234 wrote on January 23, 2011 report

    John,
    It still sounds like you have not looked at that article I sent a link of in my first comment. I would really like to hear your opinion on what you think of that business model they have created.

  • John Kelman wrote on January 23, 2011 report

    Sorry, atg, things been a little hectic today; will look at it tomorrow morning and let you know; sorry! not ignoring, it's just a question of so much to do..so little time! :)

    Til tomorrow.
    John

  • Bill Coleman wrote on January 23, 2011 report

    Just to clarify following the line of conversation that ensued from my original post: I'm not pro-piracy. I understand the work it takes to create a beautiful recording in any genre - to have that distributed free of charge against your will must be beyond frustrating. Nor do I consider people who feel so aggravated by this IP theft to be Luddites.

    What I'm trying to convey, in a forum where it might help to colour peoples perceptions away from the black and white demands of strict justice, is that justice will not be served by any technological or judicial developments and as we progress into the digital age we will see a deepening of the "problem".

    The solution lies not in a frustrating and ultimately fruitless battle with the inevitable, but rather in a considered, logical approach to using the technology to create beneficial outcomes. I'm not saying "you must give away all your music" (although some bands have had great success with that approach - for example, google arctic monkeys). I'm saying find ways to (a) add value to traditional music distribution that can't be illegally syndicated and (b) use the inevitable illegal syndication as a tool in your publicity arsenal.

    Example: rather then bringing a stack of CDs to a gig to sell afterwards, why not sell autographed USB keys with recordings of that nights session. This will have a personal meaning to buyer beyond what can be downloaded from a link on pirate bay.

    Example: Why not offer discounted tickets, fan club membership, competition entries (jam with band or something) etc to people who buy through sanctioned channels... hence providing added value that cannot be distributed illegally.

    Example: use torrent distribution networks to share high fidelity good quality (yet cut down) versions of albums, seeded with promotions and encouragement to support the artist by buying the full version.

    It is all about the up-sell... and if you consider pirates to be the bottom rung in your verticaly integrated business model then you have turned a negative into a positive. This is where your energies need to go!

  • Dave Sumner wrote on January 25, 2011 report

    The solution lies not in a frustrating and ultimately fruitless battle with the inevitable, but rather in a considered, logical approach to using the technology to create beneficial outcomes. I'm not saying "you must give away all your music" (although some bands have had great success with that approach - for example, google arctic monkeys). I'm saying find ways to (a) add value to traditional music distribution that can't be illegally syndicated and (b) use the inevitable illegal syndication as a tool in your publicity arsenal.

    Bill, thank you for that last post, synthesized down with the above quoted section. I think this subject so often gets broken down vapidly and unproductively into two sides: piracy is theft vs. piracy is inevitable (and not theft). The chasm that needs to be addressed is the jazz community's unwillingness to embrace the internet age we're now in.

    My listening tastes pretty much run the whole gamut and I listen to A LOT of music. But jazz is my favorite, and I find it infuriating at how many jazz musicians don't have their own site, whether it be their own address or myspace or facebook or bandcamp, etc. And if they do, they're not updated. There are times I learn about a new release on AAJ then go to the artist site and they're still promoting an album they released years ago. And then there's the song preview issue... why have your own site and only post thirty second samples? Why even bother? To not stream the entire album (or at least most of it) is entirely contradictory to the idea of self-promotion (which is the whole point of creating your own site). I know I'm not alone that the more I'm introduced to a musician/band's music, the more likely I am to buy it. The best introduction is to let me hear it, all of it. I'm sure as hell not going to risk my cash on an hour long album based on a couple minutes of "previews".

    In the meantime, while I'm on the artist site listening to the streaming album, they can get my email address, they can tell me about tour dates, they can promote other albums, they can offer a free download of a song from a concert performance, they can offer premium memberships, and most importantly, they can build listener loyalty. There are music fans out there creating blogs and sites (some of them considered pirate sites) or they're posting on music forums, all of which are created only because of their love of music... they're practically begging to become de facto street-team members. And the more that listener/loyalty base is built, the greater the opportunities to sell the music.

    Sometimes I feel like the jazz community's reaction to piracy is to become even more reclusive. When I read John's comments above that it's a struggle to get some jazz musicians to offer just one song as a free download, it really drives it home just how disappointingly poor the shape of jazz in the digital age is in. I mean, these free downloads aren't even costing them money since most digital albums come as album priced; if you want to buy the whole album, you're effectively buying that free track, too. And not to pile on the musicians, but some of these labels are just as bad with it. There are a couple labels (which I won't name) who make it damn hard to hear the music they're selling and supposedly promoting, and who uncoincidentally don't get any of my money.

    Is it because jazz has become marginalized in society that makes musicians more reluctant to cede even the slightest bit of ground? It seems short-sighted to me. When I find jazz musicians with no (or practically no) artist site or read comments how they wish mp3s had never been created, it's just so depressingly counterproductive. Maybe jazz has become a niche music market, but niche markets thrive in other industries and they can thrive here, too.

    Some musicians get it. Bill Frisell, Dave Douglass, Darcy James Argue just to name a few off the top of my head. They seem to be ahead of the curve insofar as Bill's suggestions above. I have no doubt that there are plenty of other examples. Using the phrase 'jazz community' is a generalization that leaves me open to all types of counter-examples; good, I want to hear them.

    The internet has opened up so many new avenues for musicians to reach listeners than ever before. I now live in the middle of nowhere, yet I'm buying albums by jazz musicians from all over the world without having to leave my house, seeing concert footage streamed on youtube, exchanging emails with them on all kinds of subjects, etc. There are so many tools for musicians (and labels) to use; some of those can be used to turn the music black market to their advantage and others tools to neutralize and/or mitigate it. Ignoring it just makes it worse.

    Okay, rant over. A very long way of saying "yeah, that" to Bill's post.

  • Dave Sumner wrote on January 25, 2011 report

    Oh, I just saw the top post...

    Hi, Margaret. I would like to thank you and Henry for the nice holiday e-card you sent me. I hope your holidays were enjoyable and that your new year is off to a good start. From what I've seen lately, it would appear that Henry (and, thus, you as well) have been pretty busy.
    I wish you both and your family well.

  • Dave Sumner wrote on January 25, 2011 report

    Oh, and another thing (since I still have plenty of coffee to burn off), blaming google for any of this is just ludicrous. I can't believe people are still pointing fingers in their direction. I thought we'd moved past that part of the discussion. It's the equivalent of holding phone book companies liable because they list addresses and phone numbers for people who might be criminals. Ridiculous, lol.

  • Dave Sumner wrote on January 25, 2011 report

    By the way, I guess we're supposed to overlook the irony that the same UMG the author references as having its act together for reporting piracy/copyright issues is one of the same companies that is currently getting sued for price fixing on digital downloads and also settled in a lawsuit for price fixing of compact discs.
    Good grief, lol.

  • Chris Rich wrote on January 25, 2011 report

    Mr Sumner, thanks for all the thoughts you've put into this. I'll go over your more lengthy post at some point soon, answer some of what I can, send it to you first and run from there.

    Google is like an elephant and musicians are like ants. It will change over time based on how governments interact with it. Piracy is utterly jumbled in with the rest of the web underworld. The same torrent sites that move music also are used for child porn, data theft, identity theft and a host of other things.

    If it were just entertainment industry problems it would be one thing but the Wikileaks quarrel made most national government security bureaus and much of industry looking at this mess with far more urgency.

    I'm not saying they are all wonderful and such but there are a lot of forces out there gunning for the web underworld. And I'm not even that much of a fan of labels.

    Jazz is a pitiful niche of the total music biz, shrunk to around 3 percent of sales but it is very atypical and more vulnerable. Jazz is about people, big music is about songs.

    We who cherish jazz don't buy an Art Blakey disc because "All the things you are" is on it. We buy that moment in time when Buhaina hit a studio or Eric Dolphy, Betty Carter or Matthew Shipp.

    Jazz is not well set up to be sold by the song anymore than Beethoven's 9th is. Love Supreme is a suite and takes the time t takes for it to unfold. So it is more tied to Album as its basic unit and again, it's about the people, the children and estates of artists who still get checks they probably need. Anyway, that's what I got for now, more later.

  • John Kelman wrote on January 26, 2011 report

    I'm going to step in here, and answer Turaji's comment about a relentless series of posts that have been made in the past two days against this article. These posts have nothing to do with the article and everything to do with a personal vendetta against Chris.

    We're happy to see heated debate here at the site, but personal attacks and clear personal agendas are counterproductive, and best taken offline.

    Let's put this to rest and stop discussing something that has no place here. And also, let's be clear about the term censorship: AAJ, like any site with the ability for its readers to post comments, reserves the right to remove posts that it feels have no value, and are inciting, rather than insightful in nature.

    John Kelman,
    Managing Editor,
    All About Jazz

  • Dave Sumner wrote on January 26, 2011 report

    Hey, Chris.

    I'll wait for your future response. The response you typed above, I find a lot to disagree with in it, but I think I'll withhold responding to it. It reads like it was hastily composed without much coherency to the thought being put into it and that it was more a considerate act on your part to acknowledge having read my posts with a promise to respond later. If, at a later date, you take ownership of that post and state that it reflects your opinion accurately and you would have phrased it in exactly the same way under less rushed circumstances, well, I guess I can rip it apart at that time, lol.
    In the meantime, I look forward to continuing the discussion (and wherever it branches out to) down the road.

  • Dave Sumner wrote on January 26, 2011 report

    Regarding the deleted posts...

    I'm a little torn about it, but I think I have to agree with John that the comments to the article should be about the article itself and not the author. First, we have to assume the AAJ editorial board performs some sort of vetting process on its writers, etc. Second, regardless of a particular author's agenda/background/etc, the soundness of the actual content of the article is either refutable or it isn't... it should be ideas and facts that spur the debate and which would ultimately prevail as the ultimate decider of who holds the stronger position.

    That is not, however, to discount the importance of having a clear understanding of an author's agenda/position/etc as an element of the conversation. I'm just not sure that it's helpful to have a secondary, unmoderated vetting process here in the comments. Perhaps the AAJ forum would be a better place to have that conversation... a respectful conversation. It's a difficult call to make and I don't envy whoever has to make it (I guess, actually, that would be John).

    Anyways, that's my thoughts on it. If this post actually begins an entire series of posts here on whether posts should be deleted or not and whether an author's background should be fair game, I volunteer to have my post removed if that scenario should bear fruit, lol. And like I said, AAJ has a forum.
    Cheers.

  • atg1234 wrote on January 26, 2011 report

    I haven't been on here in a few days and it sounded like the conversation got a little uncivilized. However, as much of a civil libertarian and an advocate of free speech, if the website gives a clear outline on what is considered "unwholesome" and this guy that was deleted violated them, then AAJ has every right to delete his comments. Plus, to debate in a way that purposefully demoralizes another person, I can fully say is infantile and should not have a place in our society. The only time I have made an unwholesome remark to someone on a website, is if it was a personal attack on me or an instance were this guy made a ridiculous remark about Andy McKee on his 40,000,000 play video. In that though, the person I attacked, had drawn the line, because Andy McKee is a huge influence on me (main reason why I started to play acoustic guitar). Anyway I commend your efforts on keeping this discussion as civilized as possible. Now if only we could get the governments to do the samething, instead of pointing fingers at eachother and demoralizing eachother.

  • John Kelman wrote on January 26, 2011 report

    thanks, atg. BTW I haven't forgotten about ya, life has just been beyond crazy and I've not had time to come back and revisit your comments.

  • Bill Coleman wrote on January 27, 2011 report

    We who cherish jazz don't buy an Art Blakey disc because "All the things you are" is on it. We buy that moment in time when Buhaina hit a studio or Eric Dolphy, Betty Carter or Matthew Shipp.

    ...funny you should use that specific example. While trying to get my chops around all the things you are, I hit iTunes and downloaded 10 or 12 different versions of it by various artists I respect. I actually wound up buying several of the complete albums on the strength of the versions of the song. I would not have discovered Metheny's "Question and Answer" were it not for my quest for versions of all the things you are.

    I agree that Jazz albums are often a single flowing structured unit ...take Bitches Brew. You probably wouldn't listen to Spanish Key in isolation, but a budding guitarist may download "John McLoughlin" from the recent re-master just to see what the fuss is about him - and then wind up like the rest of us searching for a good original vinyl copy!

    It goes both ways and you have to be open to that or you will prematurely exclude a vast market segment, and soon that 3% market share will seem like a heyday.

  • Chris Rich wrote on January 28, 2011 report

    There have been some interesting developments. Google agreed to make it's auto search less helpful for torrent searches following a BPI observation.

    The Midem conference should have some interesting outcomes.

    And buried in this pile of words, I did make my original motive for all thiis clear but it was a coincidence.

    Here it is again so you'll know how I ended up wading through this eye glaze.

    "This particular rodeo clown was a stalker and pest at my blog, and getting rid of him was a headache, so I just focused on his music theft blog and cratered it with piracy reports."

    As for singles versus albums. The flexibility to choose either is valuable and Mr. Coleman did a fine job with summarizing why. But I am addressing broad generalities and in that sense Jazz and Classical tend to be Album based while Pop is singles based.

    The majors went from selling peaches, (albums) to blueberries (singles) and they took a hit. With Jazz, especially in the case of these fan blogs, entire albums in FLAC format are handed over purely for self aggrandizement.

    I'll be digging up more stuff for dissection in coming weeks.There is a lot of breaking news so I want to see how it shakes out.

  • Chris Rich wrote on January 28, 2011 report

    And Mr. Sumner. I cited the UMG page mainly as an example of how one label makes it easy to report theft. I don't endorse many aspects of its past conduct.

    AAJ has around 6000 labels in its guide listings and I wanted to give them an example of something to include in their own sites.

    New living free jazz players haven't been hit as much. I do audits for friends on selected titles. Mr. Shipp has been hit the hardest. Most others I've examined have very little, if any, stuff being stolen now.

    Jeff Platz has a small amount of theft going and when I mentioned it to him, his reply was something like "Wow... my stuff is getting significant enough to steal?"

  • Nathan Rabe wrote on March 28, 2011 report

    Dear all, I've not been on this string for a while but this article was published today in The Age, the main broadsheet here in Melbourne, Australia.
    http://www.theage.com.au/technology/technology-news/music-piracy-war-are-the-big-labels-wasting-their-time-20110328-1ccrl.html

    It would seem to me the biggest part of the puzzle is the business model that the big labels insist upon maintaining.

  • cblx wrote on January 26, 2012 report

    I'd like to second atg's original comments. I started listening to jazz in grad school, when I had university library access. After leaving, torrent sites have been my best resource for continuing my research. And it was from a 'vanity blog', as Rich calls them (and I suspect the same one he so detests) that I first heard Albert Ayler, without whose work my life would be, without exaggeration, poorer. I simply don't have the money it would take to buy all the recordings I've been able to download. I did however recently spend my last $10 to see Wadada Leo Smith in concert. I first heard his music thanks to a Russian torrent site.

    Aside from the ethical problem of denying the poor access to music, it's simply impossible to stay ahead of the pirates. The Pirate Bay started reorganizing last February so that a law like SOPA wouldn't impede their operation. Positions like that expressed in this article are reactionary twice over.

  • cblx wrote on January 26, 2012 report

    Just realized this is from last January. I guess it's a credit to the author that it's still relevant.

  • John Kelman wrote on January 26, 2012 report

    It will always be relevant, cblx, and thanks for posting. I do have to take you up on one comment, however: "Aside from the ethical problem of denying the poor access to music.,.." ?

    Sorry, but not to want to sound insensitive, music that people can own on their personal devices is not a human right. Let's not forget that some of the things that many countries in the world DO consider to be so - health care, education - are far from free; they're simply provided to everyone, based on funding that comes from taxes. Living in Canada, I can assure you health care costs me every dollar i earn, but the beauty of it is that the same LEVEL of care is provided to all, and that how much each person pays in taxes is a sliding scale that, while by no mean absolutely equitable, is at least somewhat so.

    Your suggestion frankly trivializes those essential services which countries (well, those that believe in such socialized services) make them available to all in an equitable fashion. Not to say music isn't important (it's one of a very few things in life that, were I to not have it, would make my life a fare less meaningful experience), but it's simply not as important as being treated when you are sick, or being given the same opportunity as the next person to gain the knowledge necessary to have a crack at the life you want.

    Let's not forget that the people who deliver health care are paid to do so. Musicians are not subsidized to by pirates who claim they are entitled to it and for whom, in this case is, to be honest, one of the weirdest justifications for music theft I've now heard.

    There's plenty of music free to be heard; but there's a difference between hearing music and owning a copy of it, and that's what your justification is really talking about - having the music on you device(s), whether they're ipods, ipads, iphones or computers. Not to want to sound flippant, but if you have an ipad, ipod or iphone, then you are not poor the way people are who struggle every day for food, who often never receive the chance of a proper education, or who live in suffering because they cannot afford basic health care.

    If you want music to be made available to all in downloadable form regardless of income, then to be fair we need to create a tax structure that will pay all musician a fair wage for making a record, so that the music can then be made available to all.

    And if musicians' work is to be made available 'for free,' then there needs to be something in place around the world. After all, I cannot avail myself of 'free' medical services in Norway from my perch here in Canada, nor can I study 'for free' in Sweden without living there, but I can download music on some Russian server without cost. We need to ensure that musicians are paid for their work, the same way educators doctors, nurses, administrators and others involved in these professions are....

    Or, those who cannot afford it can take advantage of the various methods of free access that exist now, from libraries to radio - or look for streaming sites where you certainly can hear music, but which you just can't download.

    Nothing is truly free, cblx, and the idea that you think it's ok to steal it based on income level is , imo, just plain wrong, because it does not give musicians the same consideration of a fair day's pay for a fair day's work.


    Best,
    John
    PS: And while we need anti-piracy laws, the draconian SOPA certainly wasn't it, and AAJ joined in the day of protest last week to make its position clear.

  • Ian Davison wrote on February 09, 2012 report

    I would like to think that piracy is less of a problem in the genres of jazz and world music, but such assumptions would be naive. With regards to music piracy and from an ethical standpoint, I believe an artist has every right to be angry and seek legal action when their recordings are unwillingly sold for profit or bootlegged by a shady record label or download site. It's the intellectual property of the artist, who typically writes and composes their own songs. Not to mention, the artist has developed their own way of performing a song, which is documented within the recording.

    In 2011, a judge ruled in favor of singer Paul Collins, whose rock group The Beat lost substantial revenue from a series of unauthorized bootleg recordings released by an underground record label. The recordings were unknowingly engineered during The Beat's tours with The Police, Eddie Money and The Cure. Although the label argued that the recordings were tracked and mixed by an independent investor during the 1970s and 1980s, Collins was unaware of these dealings and was awarded an unspecified amount of damages. Collins was granted permission to digitally re-master and officially release the live recordings. In response to backlash and negative publicity from fans accusing him of being greedy, Collins attempted to make a public statement about piracy. In 2012, Collins made the recordings available to everyone as free MP3 download tracks to fans worldwide.

    Some fans might argue that Metallica was selfish to target Napster for illegally offering their music as MP3s. In all fairness, not everyone victimized by piracy are platinum-selling, wealthy artists in the caliber of Metallica. Paul Collins had just as much right to take legal action, but he turned the negative situation into a positive one by publicly releasing the pirated material as free downloads to his fans. Case in point, not all rock stars are selfish or "only in it for the money." Musicians have a right to be paid for their intellectual property. People who support music piracy only think about themselves. If a musician isn't being paid for their work, how are they supposed to continue recording, writing, performing and touring? Musicians aren't slaves and if they aren't making enough money to function, then they might choose a different career path that doesn't involve making music.