Why Do The Labels Continue To Insist That 'Your Money Is No Good Here?'

from the the-internet-has-no-'regions' dept

You’d think that an industry so concerned about piracy would at least get its own house in order before carelessly chucking stones at people who make unavailable music more readily available, usually, without a price tag. This screenshot came across my Facebook feed recently, the frustrated result of Daniel Barassi’s (a.k.a. BRAT Productions) attempt to purchase music.

In case you can’t see the text the arrow’s pointing to, it reads: “Due to copyright restrictions you cannot buy this product in your country.”

This rant was attached:

I am so fucking sick of this shit! I am a music lover! I love to buy, and own, music. If I can not buy an actual CD, I buy WAV format, so I can have the best possible quality (fuck mp3/aac). More often than not, when I want to buy something legally, I get this shit. You want illegal downloads to stop? STOP FUCKING PUTTING REGION RESTRICTIONS! Figure out a way to talk to your labels in other regions, make a FUCKING DEAL, AND GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER! There is a globe full of people who want the opportunity to hear new music. Stop selling to only one region! Fix this, and watch. You will you see less piracy. GET YOUR HEADS OUT OF YOUR COLLECTIVE ASSES!

Yes. Seriously. W.T.F.

Tell me (and Barassi) why this sort of thing happens. If your answer includes words like “licensing,” “rights” or any other explanation of the convoluted system that the labels themselves set up to prevent people from purchasing their music, your answer, while “technically correct,” is completely wrong.

What I want you to explain is why, in this day and age, with the internet handling a large quantity of the sales, are labels still attempting to pretend that the purchaser’s country makes any difference. Because it just doesn’t. The only people who would find this sort of thing acceptable are the legal teams, administrators and royalty-collecting intermediaries who need this sort of relentlessly stupid convolution to maintain their positions.

Let’s use a physical analogy because that’s just the sort of thing everyone likes to do when dealing with a digital product: If you’re a German citizen visiting or living in the US and you stop in at Best Buy to pick up a CD or movie, no one checks your passport to see if you’re legally entitled to make this purchase. Or, for that matter, anyone can order a physical CD from anywhere in the world and get it shipped to them. Obviously, it’s more expensive but no one stops them from doing it. If it already makes no sense in the physical world, how in all hell do you expect it to work in a world where anyone from anywhere at any time can at least attempt to purchase music or movies?

(If your answer contains anything like “they’re purchasing licenses, not songs,” go ahead and give yourself an F-.)

You’ve got so many entities vying over every last digital nickel that they’ve conspired to keep BRAT from shelling out $6.99 for an EP. That works out to zeroes across the board, much like piracy does, except in this case, you’ve got someone throwing money at the screen and receiving asinine statements in response. Do you seriously think that telling people “no” repeatedly is a great way to build a business? And what if these people are so determined to purchase your music that they jump through a few hoops in order to appear to be purchasing this album from an “approved” region? How does that play into your tangled web of royalty payouts? Or does it even matter? Is this just some obtuse attempt at control?

Explain. I’m all ears.

(Oh, BTW: before you critics start writing off BRAT as just some “nobody” from the internet who gasp occasionally cranks out mashups when not espousing freedtardist views, check out his FAQ. BRAT is also the official webmaster for Depeche Mode, a position he’s held since 1998. He also manages their Youtube presence, which includes issuing takedowns on infringing content. So, he’s not some Google shill or whatever it is that you imagine those of us that refer to piracy as a “customer service issue” are. And by all means, go and listen to his stuff, which includes official remixes for Depeche Mode, some “mixtapes” and a fine selection of quality mashups. I recommend the Echo & the Bunnymen vs. UNKLE track “Follow Me Down to the Killing Moon,” which I hold is actually superior to the originals.)

 

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Comments on “Why Do The Labels Continue To Insist That 'Your Money Is No Good Here?'”

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249 Comments
BreadGodsays:

That’s what I’ve been saying countless times before. The main driver of piracy is the lack of legitimate options. Where I come from, the closest thing we have to a record store is Wal-Mart, and their metal section is almost non-existent. The entertainment industry keeps limiting the legitimate options, yet they act surprised when piracy becomes so rampant? How stupid are these suits?

Traveller800says:

Re: Re:

agreed…and its not just music…its shows…I’M LOOKING AT YOU, ITUNES!!!

They can;t even be arsed to tell me WHEN they’ll be come available…what they told me…for solutions…and I swear this is true…I had to either ‘Buy a US credit card’ (serious…wtf, man…I live in the UK and will likely NEVER go to the US) or find a US citizen willing to buy a gift card on my behalf and send me the code…

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THESE GUYS!!?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

“Where I come from, the closest thing we have to a record store is Wal-Mart, and their metal section is almost non-existent. “

Do you know why there are no record stores?

Hint: piracy.

Basically, the money has been taken OUT of selling music, so the convenience of having all of that inventory close at hand, having the knowledgeable staff… that’s all gone in a race to compete with free.

I remember having more than one record store in my area that did nothing but metal. You wanted the latest death metal releases from Sweden… they had them!

Now, it’s enjoy the website and figure it out yourself.

Keroberossays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Do you know why there are no record stores?

Hint: piracy.

Not even close. What killed the record stores was big box retailers (Wal Mart, Best Buy, et all) pricing the popular new releases at below cost to get people into their stores taking away the most profitable part of the record stores sales.

ComputerAddictsays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Ahh man, Blaming the failing of an entire industry on one college kid, that happened to meander back into a record store… who was probably looking to buy something. Now I see your logic…fail.

In My Opinion, all of the record stores in my area that have closed (and we still have 3-4 around) provided nothing more than the box stores, or amazon (was around in 2004, and sold CDs, btw). they hired the cheapest high school help that knew nothing about music outside their own interest and basically ran register and stocked things… If you were lucky they would actually know where a CD was that you were looking for, but often not. Same level of service as box stores and the internet.

As far as kids illegally downloading music, yea it happened, a lot. But the number of legal sites to download from were extremely limited. Failure of the industry to provide service, so innovative kids did instead.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

It also is largely related to the fact that college kids are meeting new people and hearing about awesome new music but are completely broke. So they get music the only way they can, for free.

This is not new to the internet though, my mom still has the boxes of cassette tapes my brother brought home from college in the basement. Two decently large boxes of mix tapes and copies. They sit next to my milk crates full of burned cds. My little brother’s music is not down there taking up space though its all on his HDD.

But college kids grow up and get jobs and then buy things because they finally have both money and beer. My brother buys a small fortune in blue rays and cds every year. Most of my non-essential money goes to video games.

Ophelia Millaissays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

I, too, used to work at a college-town record store in the ’90s, and I occasionally chat with the owner. When I talked to him around 2003, he said they were now just breaking even or losing money in the store, and that the college kids were all showrooming, just browsing and using the listening stations, and then going back to their dorms and downloading and/or burning CD-Rs; at least, this is what they told him. They still came in to buy the more obscure stuff, but the store was increasingly relying on eBay sales. This meant that most of the “good stuff” wasn’t on the sales floor anymore, it was being sold online and shipped overseas for gobs more than anyone local would pay. This led to a downward spiral: people quickly learned there was a good chance they wouldn’t find much worth buying in the shop, so they came in less often. And the owner was no dummy, he knew there was other stuff going on; new CDs were still too expensive, kids didn’t even own CD players anymore (just computers and iPods), record companies were offering less interesting music, distributors were cutting back on returns, kids were spending more on videos and games…so he didn’t blame the decline in business strictly on piracy. But every college kid knew how to get free music via the Internet; it’s ridiculous to say it had no effect whatsoever on sales. Of course it did. It just wasn’t the only thing.

The store is still limping along in 2012, sticking to its tradition of low prices to keep people coming back, but the volume just isn’t there like it used to be; they’re still only profitable because of eBay.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

TechDrirt posts stories all the time of how SOMEONE bought a song because they downloaded an illegal comment. You are giving this guy a hard time because of HIS experience (he worked for the record store jackass), just because you feel guilty about pirating content and causing a record store to close doesn’t give you any right to mock him.

ComputerAddictsays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

“TechDrirt posts stories all the time of how SOMEONE bought a song because they downloaded an illegal comment”

This is not english, and google translate didn’t help when I plugged it in… can anyone translate this into something that makes sense?

What is an illegal comment? Is that like an libelous comment? and what does that have to do about a music sale?

Head Explodes

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

You are giving this guy a hard time because of HIS experience (he worked for the record store jackass), just because you feel guilty about pirating content and causing a record store to close doesn’t give you any right to mock him.

Point one: at no point did I disparage the record store owner, as you just have by calling him/her a “jackass.”

Point two: Yes. I am calling out anecdotal evidence. Thanks for submitting your personal experience but it doesn’t really prove anything.

Point three: Thanks for the piracy accusations and attributed guilt. I’ll stack that with the rest of the obnoxious crap that various detractors have laid at my internet doorstep. Maybe someday I’ll compile it into a book entitled “Shit My Detractors Say” and make a few bucks before I spin it into a horrendous sitcom that sucks the souls out of unfortunate viewers while simultaneously taking a few years off the end of their lives.

Point four: His anecdote doesn’t give me the right to mock him, but it sure makes it easy to do exactly that. When someone enters a heated discussion armed with nothing more than “stuff I overheard”, they shouldn’t expect anything less.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

“spin it into a horrendous sitcom that sucks the souls out of unfortunate viewers while simultaneously taking a few years off the end of their lives”

I actually quite like William Shatner even in stuff that isn’t that great, I’d rather not hear him sing though also I may not have had a soul to lose.

techflaws.orgsays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

You are giving this guy a hard time because of HIS experience (he worked for the record store jackass)

First of all, I don’t feel guilty AT ALL cause I don’t pirate. Second of all, just because some anon can claim anything in the comments doesn’t make it true. Especially when it’s not even his comment but that of his former employer who might as well just have been a terrible businessman and/or wasted his money on blow and hookers and then blamed someone else for his failings (sound familiar?).

BTW, if you really consider being sceptical about someone’s postings ‘giving him a hard time’, how are people to feel about your inane comments, jackass?

AdamRsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

“nah, I worked in a record store in the 90s. It went out of business in 2004. The owner was quite upfront about it being because of piracy.”

So, your saying that Wal Mart ability to out advertise and have a lager selection and deeper inventory as well as selling said products below his cost was not the reason for his business failing?

How’s his new job shilling for the RIAA going

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

In this case, I call BS.. There are many reasons that a store will close. A drop off in some sales simply means, at best, he could not think of ways to promote the cool stuff he had to offer.

Read the story here and get the crux of what everyone here is trying so very hard to tell you.
They want to PAY for media!

There are failures all over the world. Quit focusing on the situations that died do to many reasons, which you are not part of and learn how to succeed for you and your partners.

Really pretty simple.

Gwizsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

nah, I worked in a record store in the 90s. It went out of business in 2004. The owner was quite upfront about it being because of piracy.

Yeah, I read about that in the National Enquirer…

They stormed the shop with cannons and cutlasses, raped all the women and pillaged all the records and cassettes before they scuttled the the shop to the bottom of the briny mall. It was pretty scary.

Gwizsays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Wow. Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bridge this morning?

Anyways, since there is so much wrong with your one sentence I need to break it down:

Hey Gwiz, why dont you go back to your torrent downloads…

Not downloading anything at the moment, but now you’ve got me thinking and I really should fire up my qBittorent client and seed the latest Planeshift update some more and do my fair share.

…and put some more people out of business…

Wait. A communications protocol is putting people out of business? Interesting. I would have guessed that failing to adapt to an ever changing world would kill more businesses than anything else.

…and let the adults have a discussion here.

Heh. That’s kind of funny, really. As a father and grandfather I would say the odds are pretty good that I am older than you are. Odds are also somewhat fair that I have been sitting at the grownups table longer than you have been alive.

Lokisays:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Due to the fairly new, and occasionally hazardous, invention of the contraption hailed by all the papers as the horseless carriage, travel times should be reduced in visiting other towns and cities within radius to gaze and peruse the wonder and awe of the eighth wonder of the world: Walmart.
Oh, wait that would imply that more than one person in this city of “no big box retailers” would never think of leaving the safety of their gated commune to venture into the wild unknown. What was I thinking, we have the internet now and no use for cars to get our music fix.

aethercowboysays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

I saw a record store go out of business once during the heyday of Napster. The owner was an alcoholic (Jack below the counter next to his gun), but I’m sure the store got shuttered because everybody was downloading tunes instead of buying overpriced, gin-and-cig-scented CDs from a wino with a shotgun.

But in all seriousness (though the story above is completely true), record stores went by the wayside because of things like Amazon. No longer did you have to brave the haze of cigarette smoke and incense (and other odors) to get the latest import or rare Operation Ivy concert. You could then get it off of Amazon, and usually for much cheaper, because you had more freedom to pick your shipping prices (whereas with record stores, they’d add on shipping charges if it was a special order), you could get your tracks for cheaper, and didn’t have to worry about some guy in Buddy Holly glasses telling you that your favorite band (a) is too commercial, (b) is way overhyped, and (c) was much better before they had a label.

Fortunately, Amazon need not worry about shuttering its physical sales branch, as the digital file regioning has pretty much made sure that these technologies from the 80s and beyond will last several more decades.

To answer the question Tim proposed:

The reason is simple. Digital music stores, by the fact that they’re on the Internet, are equally accessible to all countries (barring any special government-sanctioned firewalls). That means that if I live in an economically fair country, $0.99 is a good deal for a song. However, if I live in an economically poor country, $0.99 is a good deal for a week of food.

Much like how you can get cheaper textbooks in some other countries, if the digital music stores wanted to actually sell their products in other countries, they would have to make them fair for the economic climate of the country. However, they stay awake at night with fear that if they did this, if they made it so that if you were living in a poor country, you could buy your MP3s at a reasonable price for what you can afford (after all, your money, while less in USD, will still spend once it’s converted to USD), then they’d want to ensure that only people in YOUR country were doing that, and not people from richer countries who can afford higher costs for the same virtually worthless product. Once they can ensure that only people from Country X are paying Country X prices, and that if you move to Country Y, your tracks won’t work anymore unless you buy them all again at full Country Y price, they’ll start making an effort to make these tracks available to everybody.

So, not, it’s not just licensing or rights that’s stopping them, it’s ensuring that you’re paying the right fee for your music proportional to the economic status of your respective locale.

I don’t think, though, that that excuses the matter…

rukiddingsays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

I completely agree with your assessment about the economic differences. Its called arbitrage – where the same product is obtained for different prices. In this case, the price of the product is the highest in the highest income economies and correspondingly lower in economies where the average income is lower. Firms want to maximize their profit so they charge the highest price possible in each economy. If they were to make the product available in all economies at the same time then arbitrage would force down the price to that of the economy with the lowest income, which means the firms would not be able to maximize their profit anymore.

Jaysays:

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Here’s what’s constantly ignored about CD sales.

People tote them as if it’s a great thing. But the market was artificially factored to what made the music industry (I believe at the time, the Big Five) money, not the consumers.

Personally, I have a HUGE love for video game music as well as niche music like Alestorm. I could NEVER find that at any place that I wanted. There were two key factors here:

1) Pricing on foreign CDs are quite expensive for foreign music. the price could be $30 for 10 songs. That’s a ridiculous amount to be paying for songs that aren’t available in the US in the first place.

2) As a teenager, my disposable income was quite low. Sure, I had a job and could pay the $30, but my money could stretch a lot further without paying so much for CDs that weren’t as expensive outside of the military base I lived on. (Note: I wasn’t in the US)

So when people talk about record stores, I have to look at them cross eyed. I never got to see them as a child and it seemed weird to have a CD store, by itself without anything else to attract people into the store. No books, no extra materials to make up for the added value, no bundles of say.. Music and drumsticks at a discounted price. No, people complained talked about the profit margins on a CD, but artists never recouped money spent on advertising CDs anyway (I believe Lessig’s books helped me realize this a long time ago but that’s another point)

In short, CDs were overpriced for my specific niche. While I could support my foreign love, it was too expensive. Thank goodness for the internet and music from OCRemix and Jamendo, where the music is free and you can support the artist with your money as you see fit.

Otherwise, I would never listen to music that I preferred while the recording industry figured out even more ways to say my market didn’t exist.

jupiterkansassays:

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That doesn’t explain why they can’t determine which country you’re in and change the price accordingly. The point is they’re not making the music available at all. Perhaps they’re worried Americans will figure out how to pay Nigerian prices for music, but they’re already figured out how to pay nothing.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

While piracy might have helped, maybe it was the fact that they could finally obtain just the few tracks they actually wanted and not have to pay a premium price for the crap filler on the discs.

Maybe it was that they could listen to the whole CD and decide it was all crap, rather than buy a shrink wrapped disc based only on pretty cover art and the hope the band was still good.

$20 for a college student is a lot of money, and throwing the dice and it coming up snake eyes enough time and they will find a way to get exactly what they want and not what the label wants to force on them.

Re: Re: Re: Re:

[note: I am responding with my real name because I don’t need to hide my opinion behind anonymity]

CD stores have gone out of business because people who used to buy CDs now purchase their music online (when it’s possible to do so). I taught a class last year at USF Business School and surveyed the students about their music buying habits. Fewer than 10% had bought CDs, 90%+ bought music online and 60% downloaded stuff illegally. That’s why CD stores have gone out of business.

Record stores, on the other hand, are thriving. There are four within a 5-min walk of my house. That’s because DJs and other creative types find records more useful than CDs or digital media.

CDs, as a medium, are over. The only people I see with portable CD players are homeless, everyone else has some sort of digital music player (typically an iPod).

Records and digital music, however, are doing great. I know you don’t really follow music news or you would have seen this: http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/05/technology/digital_music_sales/index.htm

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

[note: I’m responding without my real name because my opinions speak for themselves.]

And what an opinion it was!

Why, I was almost swayed by Chris Maresca’s rational and relevant arguments, backed up by personal experience and links to sources. But now that I know he’s a “sanctimonious jackass about anonymity online?” Wow! My eyes are opened!

silverscarcatsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Do you know why there are no record stores?

Hint: piracy.”

sigh I must sing that song again, huh?

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrooooong! Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrooooong! You’re wrong! You’re wrong! You’re wrooooooooooong!

You think piracy is the reason music stores shut down? Let me tell you this, most of the music stores in my area have shut down, not because of piracy, but because they belonged to a chain of stores that were bought out by another company, then shut down.

I’ve talked to people who ran music stores, movie rentals (Hollywood Video), video game stores (Gamecrazy) and in my area, with less than 50,000 people, we were among the top 5 sellers for EACH CATEGORY in the WHOLE United States. Top 5.

Why did they all close down if they were doing so well?

Here’s a hint: Stupid marketing decisions from the managers.

Let me tell you this, when stores that sold various movies and TV series started to disappear in the area (again, chain stores), I started to download more, due to a lack of options in my area.

Piracy only happened when options disappeared.

Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

Facts usually consist of you know… facts.

“Because I say so.” or “Because my friend told me so, thus it must be true.” ARE NOT FACTS.

You’re really grasping at straws. Locally, a record store has seen a huge boom. The owner says it’s because the interest created by people committing copyright infringement online. They then walk in, show him their mp3 players and smartphones and the album they downloaded and then purchase ALL the albums by said band right then and there.

You can’t disprove this. And I know the guy, he wouldn’t lie. Thus, it must be factual and completely true. (You trolls are really getting quite sad and pathetic as far as your “facts” and “truth” goes.)

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Exactly! The closing of small record stores selling CDs has absolutely nothing to do with Amazon, Apple, Wal-Mart, or other competitors. Look at the thriving brick and mortar speciality stores with knowledgeable staff. Like the booming computer component stores… or the booming business with TV Stores… or the ever increasing number of local tool stores… oh no wait. Most highly specialized stores are an endangered breed.

Well, I am sure that physical music is special in such a way that natural forces would never have touched it. (Of course, since you can have music without any physical component, such stores should be at more risk then… but no, no, Piracy!)

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

In the 80’s the music industry directly shuttered the doors of many music stores…

$18 for a CD… that’s what they asked for a while. That’s in 80’s/90’s money, kids.

These days Best Buy, Wal Mart and Target kill(ed) many small music stores owing to the favorable deals the industry can cut in bulk, and the ubiquitousness of these chains. Well, that and iTunes.

Endersays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

This is kind of a chicken and egg thing though. Why are there no more record stores? Because they are obsolete. Seriously, would anyone go to a record store to buy music if you can just pay and download it? CD’s are dead and DVD’s are soon to follow. Physical media is a dinosaur these days.

Every company pushes MP3 players including almost every phone manufacturer. Unfortunately getting your hands on the media is another matter entirely. If something is exclusive to say the iTunes store for example you can be sure I’ll illegally download it as I can’t get it.

And region locked is another joke. People are too impatient to wait 2 years for a song or show to come to their country. If an artist signs an exclusivity agreement with a region then it’s their own fault they lose money to piracy. People want it now and don’t want to wait.

silverscarcatsays:

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It’s sad that DVDs are going to disappear one day.

I don’t like streaming videos, gotta wait for it to buffer, and if my net cuts out… Ugh.

Really, as long as they keep a supply of DVDs on hand at all times, people will still buy it.

After all, you don’t always have connection to the net.

ComputerAddictsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

Just because DVDs are on their way out doesn’t mean streaming is going to be the only option, Downloading a movie and storing it for playing later is an option.

For Example, They could develop a service that lets you pre-order a new release movie, have it download to you in the week before it releases, and send you a code that unlocks it. Obviously, I’d prefer that the unlock code gives you a completely DRM free version. But they would only do that if they were actually trying to compete with piracy instead of whine about it.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

OMG…. knowledgeable staff? You mean those face pierced multicolored hair emo fucks who look at you in derision and scatter when you move towards them for help? When you corner them they say something like, “Man, I totally don’t keep track of that lame shit, you will have to find that sell out music on your own man”. Fuck tower. I am glad those shit box stores are gone. Also those god damn book stores, they make minimum wage and have the balls to act like educated snobs when they are high school drop outs. Its a fucking riot. Brick and Mortar stores can suck me with their undertrained and underpaid staff that don’t give a fuck about service. You are a fucking moron and someone needs to shit in your mouth.

disgracefu1says:

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Piracy could have something to do with it, however I think that idea is mostly wrong. It is that they can sell music (via iTunes and other online sources) for cheaper because there is no need to pay for shipping or the people selling them. Also you can’t go to the store and buy one song, you can only buy a whole album.

I have heard the same thing is happening with companies like Best Buy/Futureshop because people will go there and demo the product, then buy it off Amazon for less. People like being able to play around with a tablet or the likes, but because the online is often considered the “better service” people buy from amazon.

There actually are still record stores around here, but those aren’t so much for the people who want the latest song, they are for the record/physical copy lovers.

I mean the exact same thing is going to happen soon with books, eBook sales are already soaring as physical sales are dwindling because they are cheaper and in my opinion the service is better. I have 25ish eBooks on my ereader, which sure beats carrying around 25 books.

John Nemeshsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Hint: piracy”

I call complete and total bullshit on that! The record stores were dying YEARS before internet piracy was even an issue! Wal-Mart is one reason. Sam Goody, Musicland and the other mall stores were another! Why don’t you go back and READ about what happened with the retail music business before making STUPID comments like the one above!

Togashisays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I remember having more than one record store in my area that did nothing but metal. You wanted the latest death metal releases from Sweden… they had them!

Now, it’s enjoy the website and figure it out yourself.

That, or it’s “enjoy the website and figu– OH WAIT YOU’RE IN THE WRONG COUNTRY. NO MUSIC FOR YOU.”

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Do you know why there are no record stores?

Because the major labels deliberately stopped dealing with them, in order to focus on “big box stores” like Wal-Mart or Best Buy?

Because they pushed “hit-friendly” artists, while raising CD prices to $18-$19 and deliberately killing singles?

By the way – which record store did you work at during the 90’s? I worked at Tower Records myself.

Anonymoussays:

Tim, how hard is it to understand?

The artist has the copyright, has either signed a limited distribution deal for Austria, or has assigned rights to another distributor who isn’t offering the product in the US yet.

As note, I did a test using the label’s own site, and they were more than willing to sell me the EP for just under 3 euros (via paypal processing).

I am not seeing the issue here, except perhaps for someone too stupid to go directly to the source – or too busy trying to justify piracy.

Traveller800says:

Re: Re:

Ok, mr F-…how does that apply to TV shows? Should we go straight to the company that makes the show cause I sure as hell tried that…after being shunted from the US office to the UK office…where I was told nothing…nothing at all…

so don;t use a single experience to sum up the entire situation cause thats what the MPAA and RIAA love to do…

Josef Anvilsays:

Re: Re:

Ok maybe Im just stupid.

There is some sort of limited distribution deal in place, so the songs are region restricted….. but you can go to the label’s site and anyone can buy from there.

So that begs the question, why limit the distribution if the label will just ignore that and distribute to the world? Because if I am the one that has PURCHASED these limited region rights, aren’t I getting royally shafted by the label?

pixelpusher220says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“limited distribution deal in place”

Also know as, ‘artificial scarcity’, or ‘censorship’.

Which according to an astute commenter, “the internet interprets as damage and routes around it”.

There is no ‘limit’ to online distribution except those put in place by the record labels and whoever they sign deals with. Those people are to blame if I am not able to purchase the music when/how I want. I’m the customer remember?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Okay, let’s try to explain it (I was going to answer Josh, but he is just angry and feels very entitled, so he can wait).

Basically, the artist makes the EP. Their record label then has distribution deals for it. Now, most distributors are by country or somethings by region. That is for a lot of reasons, getting back to various restrictions that may exist in different countries, local packaging requirements, etc.

Sometimes they will sign a “global” distribution deal, usually with one of the very large companies, which will in turn “sub” it in various countries to their local distributors.

Now, what often happens is that with specialty product, or very narrow market product, the only distribution deal that will get signed will be for the area around the artist. This guy is from Austria, I suspect he has a “euro” distribution deal at most for this EP. That distributor cannot (under the terms of the contract) sell outside of that area. That allows the label / artist to sign other distribution agreements in other places, as they see fit.

So as an example, if the artist plans to do a US tour in, say, September, they might want to delay the release until near then, so that he can get the most “hit” in the media with it, being available for local interviews on radio, TV, music channels, etc. Releasing the album far ahead of the potential publicity might limit sales.

It might also be that distributors don’t want to take the risk to distribute an album with few potential sales in the market. Preparing it for market, packaging, and actual distribution have some costs (even if you want to sell it digital, placement / shelving fees still do exist), and if the potential sales don’t live up to those costs, there is no reason to sign a distribution deal.

So you have an album that has limited distribution, under a country limited contract.

Now, the label, because they hold ALL the rights, can sell anywhere they like. They are not going to self-restrict. The risk would be that the product you buy would be either Austrian Market version, a fast knock off with english information, or just a download only version.

The issues for movies is even more significant, because you have all those issues of rating boards, permits to sell, language, translations, “voice over integral” versions, subtitles, and all that sort of stuff. It’s just not as easy to do it legally. Very easy to do when you don’t care about the law.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

Umm, your issue for a show isn’t translation – it’s the cost of rights.

If the US company sells directly into the UK, they hurt the value of the rights to that show to be sold to a network to run in the UK. If everyone is buying TV shows online and not waiting to see them broadcast, then the broadcasters pay a lot less (because their viewership goes down). Whatever income is gained by the sales that would happen likely doesn’t make up for what is lost by not getting the rigths fee from the network.

Follow the money, you will understand.

As for translation, I have a couple of Scottish movies here in English with subtitles in English so that this UK citizen can understand them. A translation from time to time might be appreciated!

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

“If everyone is buying TV shows online and not waiting to see them broadcast, then the broadcasters pay a lot less (because their viewership goes down).”

You know what happens if they dont buy them online though? Do they wait or do they pirate it?

So what is the solution? Fight a war against piracy that will be about as successful as the war against drugs or make it available to buy? Which way gets more money?

Sorry they don’t get to act like the internet doesn’t exist and it makes sense to region lock things just to make more money. People know it makes no sense and do not respect it.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Yes, and this convoluted bullshit which you have just explained is exactly why a significant portion of piracy happens. When I’ve got the choice between waiting for the broadcast to happen (date unknown) and downloading it NOW, I sure as hell am going do download it now.

Follow consumer demand and you will understand.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

so you’re saying that the media companies have figured out a way to get the content to the end user for free and making more money because the content is free rather than charging the end user directly for it?

How long did it take them to figure this out. Did this business model appear the instant television was invented or did it manifest over time?

The next big thing in content production and distribution is here and it the demand for viewers is definitely growing. Learn to figure out a way to turn that demand into money while taking advantage of the lower cost of production and distribution. If you have to cut ties with long time distribution partners then do so. Do what it takes to keep your business alive, just don’t ask for handouts from the government and don’t trash the bill of rights. Businesses do not have a right to exist, they have the privilege to serve customers.

fiestachickenssays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

I get the legal issues, but think about it like this. The **AAs are spending inordinate amounts of money right now on new legislation (SOPA, PIPA, TPP, etc.).

Why don’t they spend that money on fixing the current broken system that would allow them to better meet their customers’ demands?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

And everyone loses, sooner or later.
The *AA’s maintain the rep of being the Evil Empire, Governments are seen without an honest body in them, and potential customers are labeled as criminals.

Everyone loses.

Just wait until the kids of media industry types are caught, publicly as a pirate. It would be sad if thats what it took to change these stupid laws.

Marksays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

So, artificial limitations that have been created by the various distributions companies and various local laws (which were probably lobbied for by the distribution companies to keep the local monopolies). It is these artificial limitations that are the problem.

Going to the example from the article, the files and costs associated with offering it digitally have already been paid to make it available in the home country. To make it available to OP all they need to do is add a buy now button and accept the credit card.

In this situation, everyone is happy. the artist gets their music heard, the distribution company (amazon, itunes)
get paid, the record company gets paid, the artist gets paid (depending on the contract), the music listener gets their music. This all that is wanted.

I/We/The Internet* do not care about these artificial regional limitations. I understand where they come from (a physical world) and why they impact the ability to buy music from one region to another, but I/We/The Internet* DON’T CARE. The record labels/distribution companies should be doing everything in their power to remove these artificial restrictions (renegotiate contracts, lobby for changes to laws) for transferring digital files.

This also has the added benefit to the record labels and distribution companies. All these different restrictions create more work/bureaucracy/overhead. Remove some of these layers and offering digital works online at cheaper price points could actually increase revenue/profits since you have less overhead costs that need to be recouped.

*These are my opinions as I do not speak for everyone or the internet as a whole.

weneedhelpsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

I am going to stop you right here:
Now, what often happens is that with specialty product, or very narrow market product, the only distribution deal that will get signed will be for the area around the artist.

Made sense when you had to print/ship a physical product. But our little 1’s and 0’s dont have such requirements. So it makes no sense anymore, then anything after this based on this concept is outdated.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

There’s the people who make the music. There’s the people who listen to the music.

NO ONE who listens to music gives a rats patootie about anything else in the middle.

Figure out a way for those who listen to music to do so easily, immediately, and at a fair price and don’t tell those people what goes into the sausage.

NO ONE who listens to music gives a rats patootie about anything else in the middle.

Don’t make excuses, don’t try to explain contracts or blame outside forces. Just get it done. People want to just listen to music.

NO ONE who listens to music gives a rats patootie about anything else in the middle.

Is that clear enough?

Vincent Clementsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Their record label then has distribution deals for it.”

An artificial scarcity created by the record companies.

“Now, most distributors are by country or somethings by region.”

Again, an artificial scarcity created by the record companies.

That is for a lot of reasons, getting back to various restrictions that may exist in different countries, local packaging requirements, etc. “

No, it’s mostly to exert control over the music ecosystem. Besides, we are talking about digital files not physical products. There are no “local packaging requirements” for an mp3 file.

I live in Canada, and can buy almost any physical good I want from anywhere in the world. I bought a garage door opener replacement gear from an outfit in the US. There were no “regional restrictions” on the gear. I’ve bought plenty of cables from Monoprice.com. Again, no regional restrictions.

Now, some companies may choose to not ship internationally. That’s their choice. And I can understand that they may not want to deal with the potential headache of shipping a PHYSICAL good internationally.

But even that restriction can be overcome by shipping to a business that is located in the US near the US-Canada border. I travel over the border and pickup my package and bring it back to Canada. Customs fees may be payable depending on the dollar amount and motivation of the Custom’s Officer.

The thing I don’t understand about regional restrictions is why don’t companies at least direct you to a local source for that digital file? If they can figure out I’m not Australian or American, then they can figure out I’m Canadian and direct me to the Canadian retailer of that song or movie.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Again, an artificial scarcity created by the record companies.”

You make it sound like they don’t want to sell stuff to you, which is the furthest from the truth. They would love to sell it, but you would be unwilling to pay the price for getting it in your country.

Distributors don’t want to pick up and try to distribute everything in the universe. Labels don’t want to quickly sign away all the rights and lose money (and market share in other countries) by assigning those rights to a single distributor in Austria.

It’s a shocking thing called business, you know, supply and demand and all that.

Think past the end of your nose, you might see it!

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Distributors don’t want to pick up and try to distribute everything in the universe. Labels don’t want to quickly sign away all the rights and lose money (and market share in other countries) by assigning those rights to a single distributor in Austria.

While I can understand why the labels wouldn’t want to sign away the rights, it still puts them in the position of leaving money on the table. As for the distributors, if they’re dealing with only digital goods, why wouldn’t they want to try to distribute everything in the universe? It’s not as if they’ve got to buy physical stock and hope it sells. With digital distribution, supply can vastly outweigh demand and still turn a profit. (Or not, depending on the demands of the label/distributor/etc. But it has the potential to be profitable.)

Ed C.says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

So, in other words, WILL SOMEONE PLEASE…FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE THINK OF THE MIDDLEMEN!

Seriously, it’s you who’s mindset is so entangled in the legacy business models of networks and distributors that you can’t think past the end of your nose. You keep arguing that we must pay the cost of these middleman, otherwise, the middlemen will go out of business. But, what’s the point of paying the high cost all of these middlemen when we can just do the same things online ourselves? So what if the per “unit” profit is lower, you get massive cut in expenses by leaving out all those legacy middlemen.

Say that a singer sells his songs, where his genre has a national market base of about 20 million, and he sells them directly though a web service for $1 per song. After the service takes their cut, he gets 50?. At that price, the singer could get 2 million in national sales, or 10% of the market–earning him $1 million. However, the web service is open to the whole world, where the base for his genre is about 200 million. The singer could get 10 million in sales, or 5% of the market–earning him another $5 million.

Now say that same singer instead goes though middlemen and sells them on CDs for $10. After all of the middlemen get their cut, he’s owed ~$1 per unit. Even if he’s good enough, he’d be lucky to get 1 million in national sales, or 5% of the market. His million however goes into paying off the advance and other miscellaneous fees. In the end, the advance is all he gets. Assuming he can even convince the middlemen to push the CD for global distribution, the they would likely go for $15 each, of which he still only gets ~$1 on the ledger. Even if he manages to hit 5 million units worldwide, the middlemen are likely to take even more cuts and fees. He isn’t likely to see more than $1 million.

I’m sure that you’d still say he’s better off with the middlemen, right?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

?”Again, an artificial scarcity created by the record companies.”

You make it sound like they don’t want to sell stuff to you, which is the furthest from the truth. They would love to sell it, but you would be unwilling to pay the price for getting it in your country.

Distributors don’t want to pick up and try to distribute everything in the universe. Labels don’t want to quickly sign away all the rights and lose money (and market share in other countries) by assigning those rights to a single distributor in Austria.

It’s a shocking thing called business, you know, supply and demand and all that.

Think past the end of your nose, you might see it!?

Business hmm? So that means they have two options, sell it everywhere at once and obtain all the customers or sell it region by region and risk losing customers who do not want to wait. Now obviously one of those is more profitable that the other. If it is in fact the second choice, which includes losing customers to piracy, than why complain if it is more profitable than by selling to everyone at the same time?

Maybe they should focus on making it more profitable to offer it to everyone at the same time by getting their own houses in order.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Distributors don’t want to pick up and try to distribute everything in the universe. Labels don’t want to quickly sign away all the rights and lose money (and market share in other countries) by assigning those rights to a single distributor in Austria.

Sir?

Take your distributors and labels and go play with them somewhere else. Get the hell out of the way between me and the artist, so I can give the artist my money, and the artist can give me (a copy of) his/her stuff.

I bet the artist would appreciate that. I know I would.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

This argument largely boils down to blaming the consumers for living in countries not privileged to be the same as the labels, and being unsatisfied that the only way to get the content is to move overseas. It’s never the labels’ fault.

Seriously, continue to attribute the blame to the rest of the world; it’ll make your demise all the quicker.

Rekrulsays:

Re: Re:

The artist has the copyright, has either signed a limited distribution deal for Austria, or has assigned rights to another distributor who isn’t offering the product in the US yet.

And how does that make any sense?

If you have something that people are going to want to buy, how does it make any sense whatsoever, to limit who can buy it?

Please explain to me how it’s a good business plan to turn away paying customers based on what region they’re in. NOTE: Don’t explain about how it’s required by licensing, I want an explanation of how those licensing requirements make any sense.

Traveller800says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Dear MAFIAA/morons,

The purpose of a business is usually, on planet earth where we live, TO…MAKE…MONEEEEY…by convincing us to give you said money.

Telling us ‘your money is no good, dirty euro-peasent…go buy a US credit card then we’ll talk’ is what is known as ‘counter-productive’.

Removing region blocks will MAKE YOU MORE MONEY!!!

From

Humanity

Re: Re:

The artist has the copyright, has either signed a limited distribution deal for Austria, or has assigned rights to another distributor who isn’t offering the product in the US yet.

Oh, I understand HOW this sort of thing happens. What I still don’t understand is WHY. Your answer doesn’t really clear that part of it up. If you’re going to sell music on the internet, which is not a physical part of any nation or locality, why do labels and distributors continue to pretend it is, dragging willing customers into the middle of their territorial pissing.

All that happens is the money remains unspent and the soaking wet customers head to other sources.

rubberpantssays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

This is a classic case of technology disruption. They’re just hanging on for as long as they can, to get as much out of the old system as possible before they fade into history with the switchboard operators, blacksmiths, and newspapers boys.

Of course in their death throes, they’ll do some collateral damage to the Internet and to society, much like a drowning person will drag their would-be rescuer under with them.

Chris-Mousesays:

Re: Re:

The artist has the copyright, has either signed a limited distribution deal for Austria, or has assigned rights to another distributor who isn’t offering the product in the US yet.

As note, I did a test using the label’s own site, and they were more than willing to sell me the EP for just under 3 euros (via paypal processing).

If the artist has signed an exclusive distribution deal with a company in Austria, isn’t selling directly to the customer a violation of that deal? If it’s not, or there is no exclusive deal, why are they refusing to sell the product in the first place?

Lowestofthekeyssays:

Re: Re:

“I am not seeing the issue here, except perhaps for someone too stupid to go directly to the source – or too busy trying to justify piracy.”

If I was a business and I was attempting to branch out to my consumer base, I would make it easier for them to get my product.

The client sort of has a right to be lazy about where they find the product and spend their money because well, it’s their money. The company can avoid taking the responsibility of tailoring to the client’s needs (thereby losing the sale) or not, but it’s up to them to get the sale.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re:

Like this is the only time this has happened in the history of the internet?

I have tried to buy an album on the american iTunes store and the american Amazon store, and I was unable to because I was in Brazil and I didn’t have an american credit card number.

I asked the actual artists – an independent musical production company that recorded their stuff on their own – and they had not idea how to solve it at the time. A friend suggested I bought an american itunes gift card on eBay, and then made the purchase – something that would not only be a hell of trouble, because I don’t even use eBay, but whose legitimacy I’m also not entirely sure of.

I ended up getting a Megaupload (RIP) download link from a fellow internet user, and later I made a donation to the artists via paypal, because I actually cared about giving them money.

(They later made their stuff available on Bandcamp, where anyone from any country can download their shit without getting bothered by country restrictions. An actual solution! Though I don’t think it involves the big labels. Bohoo)

Robert the Truckersays:

Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 20th, 2012 @ 9:35am

Piracy is Fun! And, in today’s world it’s a must. Due to foreign trade agreements and the US thinking they’re God and can do what ever they please, we need some extraction from the financial toll just living in this make believe country. I used to love America till I researched the truth. I don’t just speak English either. So I love music from artist like Bushido, Sido, Xavier Naidoo, die ?rzte, die Prinzen, Knorkator, Megaherz, und Stahlgewitter (Aufrag Deutches Reich is the best album of theirs). Try getting that in the US. Not going to happen. Or how about the movie Der Untergang? Won’t find that here either. BTW, awesome movie!

This is why I love piracy. Besides, why pay for something when you can get it for free!

Re: Re:

The artist has the copyright, has either signed a limited distribution deal for Austria, or has assigned rights to another distributor who isn’t offering the product in the US yet.

Probably true.

Which does not negate the fact that these situations are one of the driving forces behind consumer piracy.

So, the distributor has a choice. Either they can offer the product in that region, or they can accept piracy of their product in that region. Can’t have it both ways.

too busy trying to justify piracy.

If you mean file sharing, there is no need to justify it, because it is inherently moral. You are creating abundance from scarcity, the same way Jesus did with the loaves and fishes. You are also helping to spread culture, which is definitely a public good (unless you’re someone who believes libraries are evil incarnate).

The only way file sharing could be wrong, is if it causes the copyright holder to lose income. Here, there is no loss of income, even theoretically, because income is not even possible.

I’d also like to point out something. The entire reason copyright exists is to make art available to the general public; it exists solely for the public’s benefit.

It is more than a little ironic that copyright is the only reason that this art is completely unavailable to the public.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re:

“The artist has the copyright, has either signed a limited distribution deal for Austria, or has assigned rights to another distributor who isn’t offering the product in the US yet.”

Which is an artificial construct of the industry, not necessary for any reason other than that’s how they decided to operate and exactly what’s being criticised.

Reality is hard for you isn’t it?

Anonymoussays:

The labels often resort to claims of needing to comply with national laws when trying to rationalize the need for regional restrictions. However, the IP industry does nothing to fix the problem. They obvious have (or perhaps had) the power to get national laws changed and international agreements created to shape the international legal system as evidenced by decades of IP expansion and anti-consumer initiatives around the world.

The bottom line is that the IP industry could have overcome any problems caused by national laws or international agreements if they had wanted to. But they love their windowing system, and have only been working to try to strengthen it.

TtfnJohnsays:

Re: Re:

The incredibly stupid thing about the windowing and agreements they make is that often, in places near or virtually on the US border up here in Canada can pick up broadcasts we’re NOT allowed to see on line because of some agreement with a Canadian cable network.

It’s as if the “content” industry hasn’t figured out that the Web changed regional markets to global ones. Not just for English speakers but for just about any major linguistic group you can think of.

Punjabi speakers want Bollywood in North America and the UK. Chinese speakers pretty much globally. The same applies to Spanish and Russian speakers. And that’s just the beginning of the list.

National laws have little bearing when the market is global unless you want to sell shiny plastic disks. Windowing is old school marketing and was starting to die in the motion picture industry before the Web became what it is. Hollywood would launch movies in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver first but the first, even before the Web, was often less than a fortnight and I doubt the difference was any different in the States. So the so-called secondary markets like Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Halifax etc got the hit films very quickly after the big three.

They’re hanging on to relics of the past, a past that will never, ever return. The more they hang onto those relics the more they, the “content” business itself, encourages piracy because the market will get what the market wants. One way or another.

Robsays:

“Let’s use a physical analogy because that’s just the sort of thing everyone likes to do when dealing with a digital product: If you’re a German citizen visiting or living in the US and you stop in at Best Buy to pick up a CD or movie, no one checks your passport to see if you’re legally entitled to make this purchase”

Right, but as soon as you bring that DVD to Germany, it’s not going to work. Ain’t region encoding fun?

Not an Electronic Rodentsays:

Re: Re:

Ain’t region encoding fun?

Uh… you do know that from about 5 minutes after region coding was invented, just about every DVD player (with the possible exception of Sony ones for which there was a hardware mod) came with an easily findable handset code to change regions, don’t you? Region coding is irrelevant and always has been.

Re: Re:

Yup, BTDT, more than once. I actually looked into getting a credit card specifically for this, but it’s just more trouble than torrents.

Funny enough, if you do the math on popular shows like Top Gear, the potential revenues from very low fees (aka $1/episode) and very low conversion rates (e.g. 10% of downloaders) are staggering. In the hundreds of millions, perhaps even billions per year…

One wonders how an industry could be so stupid to leave all that money on the table and then complain about loss of revenue.

Anonymoussays:

Good Rant

Rant on, my friend. What you say is true. However, the labels/MPAA/RIAA/Most of Hollywood have a “See nothing I don’t like, hear nothing I don’t like” attitude. Is there some way to place what you just said in a location/medium that the aforementioned parties CANNOT ignore? It would be funny to hear their response–especially if it was immediately rebuked with hard facts, once again, in a location/medium they cannot ignore.

I’m not faulting you, but I would like some of these articles to be shoved in the faces of the aforementioned parties and Congress.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

You realize that ‘license fees’ are just a made up thing with no actual value right? Nothing says worldwide rights are inherently valuable or expensive. In an increasingly connected world they’re worth less and less but that’s why you’re fighting hard to keep the world as disconnected as possible isn’t it?

Anonymoussays:

Ask your fucking government, dumba**.

You know what I’m sick of? People from ass-backwards countries like Canada- where their idiot government imposes all sorts of restrictions on any non-Canadian content- pretending it’s the creators that are doing something wrong when it comes to the availability of their content.

Vincent Clementsays:

Re: Re:

Huh?

If you are talking about simulcasting on TV, where the Canadian feed of Big Bang Theory is played over the CBS channel, then blame the cable companies and Canadian TV networks.

Oddly enough, if you subscribe to the HD channels, more often than not, the Canadian feed is not played over the US feed. I usually know more about the top stories and the weather in the Seattle than I the top stories and the weather in my area.

TtfnJohnsays:

Re: Re:

The restrictions on non-Canadian content came about in the late 60s and early 70s and even then, for radio, it amounts to radio stations playing something like a minimum of 25% Cancon, as we call it here. Canadian musicians are doing so well globally now that while it was hard to fill that quota when Cancon started now it’s hard not to or keep down to the minimum. TV does the same and while the private networks still complain about how much it costs them to produce shows the CBC is 100% Cancon now. Well, supposed to be by their own PR statements. The private networks are getting much better at the programs they produce now and while it’s still expensive, they’re no longer pale imitations of American shows and sell well overseas.

If what you’re complaining about is the imposition of the Canadian channel over the American one on cable when they’re on at the same time that’s always been boneheaded and stupid. About they only thing different we see are the ads and only some of those.

Anyway, it’s not that non-Canadian material is never heard on broadcast and cable, it doesn’t even have to be the majority of what’s broadcast. In music it’s really not needed now and for television, well, who knows when we’ll grow up enough to make good English tv programming because we do make excellent French tv programming that sells world wide.

And no, it’s not the creators of American. French or British TV, music and radio who are doing something wrong. For English Canada it’s our deep seated inferiority complex that leads us to say we can’t do as well and the Yanks, Brits, and Aussies. In French Canada which isn’t just Quebec, they don’t seem to have that in comparison with France and they’ve done wonderfully.

Anonymoussays:

Nonsense, if you REALLY want to purchase that music legally you could always move. If you want music from multiple regions you can always buy multiple houses, one in each region.

Sure it’s an inconvenience, but the expense of a few extra homes, and the hassle of getting citizenship or immigration cards is a long and frustrating process in a lot of countries. But hey, that’s what you’ve got to do if you’re a music lover!

We can’t have Americans listening to Japanese music and Japanese listening to American music, think of the damage it’ll do to both cultures if they start trying to rip each other off!

Rekrulsays:

If you’re a German citizen visiting or living in the US and you stop in at Best Buy to pick up a CD or movie, no one checks your passport to see if you’re legally entitled to make this purchase. Or, for that matter, anyone can order a physical CD from anywhere in the world and get it shipped to them.

If the music industry had thought of it at the time, CDs would have region codes, just like DVDs.

Anonymoussays:

regional restrictions

“If you’re a German citizen visiting or living in the US and you stop in at Best Buy to pick up a CD or movie, no one checks your passport to see if you’re legally entitled to make this purchase.”

This is true, but we shouldn’t forget about our beloved region codes on DVDs (and maybe on bluray discs, I don’t know, because I never had a bluray disc or player). These region codes were designed to fuck with the consumers. Even it is legal to buy a DVD in the US as European/Chinese/Russian etc. citizen, standard dvd players sold in those countries are not able to play these dvds.

It seems to me that the entertainment industry execs’ tainted minds (with region codes, release windows, DRM, etc.) are not capable of understanding the level of stupidity they are demonstrating.

Anecdotal Evidence

Here’s my own personal story from recent experience:

There is an incredibly brilliant (and incredibly profane) political satire called “The Thick of It” which aired on the BBC a few years back (and spun out as “In the Loop”). Unfortunately, there is no Region-1 version of this show available on DVD.

On the plus side, the entire run of the show is available on everyone’s favorite rogue site, Youtube. [NSFW unless your employers are cool with profanities raining down like cluster (f)bombs in a “shock and awe” demonstration of sweary military might. Also, the phrase “useless as a marzipan dildo” makes an appearance less than one minute in, so there’s also that. The show has its own “swearing consultant” to keep it from lapsing into post-Tarantino laziness.]

However, I’d like the real deal so I can be verbally assaulted in surround-sound and at full 1080i. But no go. I have plenty of options to make my little dream come true, but, seeing as this is some of the most brilliant TV I’ve seen in awhile, I’d really like to throw some money the creators’ way. So, I watch the ‘Tube and wait.

But why? I don’t know how much work it takes to flip a switch from Region 1 to Region 2, but I can’t imagine it’s a multi-million dollar effort that would never be repaid by the show’s limited Region 1 audience.

BBC – I have money. It’s right there on the table. Stop leaving it there. Make this happen.

Ninjasays:

Re: Re: Anecdotal Evidence

Solution: upgrade your device firmware with a region free version and live happily ever after. Or just visit TPB and still live happily ever after while BBC whines and cries over billion-worth lost sales and you still have your money while being sure it didn’t go to the hands of idiots who refuse to get it. Cheers ๐Ÿ˜‰

Rikuosays:

Re: Re:

But…last I checked, the disc version IS STEAM. As in, you install the game and have to use the supplied CD key to bind it to your Steam account. I’m 99% sure that’s the case. So…what you’re saying is, you can buy the disc version, and bind it your Steam account (and redownload it if you happen to damage/lose the disc), but not buy it through Steam and download the disc-less version…
HEAD EXPLODES

Andrewsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The Disc Version is not STEAM, it links to STEAM but it is in noway STEAM. The point he is trying to make is that the ease of buying from STEAM should not necessarily be stopped cause of the region you are in, the people who made the game are getting your money either way. What is the difference if they bought it through STEAM or through a local game store?

Overcastsays:

This is part of the reason I just buy used CD’s in stores.

It’s FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR less of a hassle than buying on-line.
Buying almost anything on-line is cake-walk – except for the easiest commodity there is on the web to deliver – media.

Buying Media online is a huge hassle, it’s easier to buy just about anything else online.

Yes, driving to the used CD store or pawnshop is much easier than buying music online, plus it’s cheaper – BY FAR.

Overcastsays:

Here’s another such case. The video game Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim cannot be bought through Steam in Estonia and several other East-European countries. They expect you to buy the disc version is you’re unlucky enough to live in those places. Ironically, it’s sold out where I live. Hello, Pirate Bay.

Yep, that’s totally idiotic in this supposed ‘global economy’ – and wake up Media Industry – even if you ARE NOT global – torrent is..

And if you insist on buying LEGIT, your options are even more narrow – E-bay and other online Auction Sites for a used DVD is about it.

It’s just yet one more example of how the media companies have no problems shafting paying customers because of their “omg they are stealing music” paranoia.

Ninjasays:

Geez pirate Mike, you keep talking about working with scarcity but when the industry gives you scarcity you freak out. So much for you piracy apologists. It’s obivous that you are all freetards. But the web wild west days are counted [obligatory editor’s note: I’ve been counting the days to the end for over 10 years now] and you will feel the iron fist of the law upon you.

/troll

Anonymoussays:

Face it, the major labels are happy with things the way they are, if they weren’t things would change.
They know exactly what they are doing, it’s about control not money.
As soon as you realize this you will understand things are NOT going to change until they can figure out how get their illegal monopoly back

I’ve already gone over my story about what it took to buy a (second) copy of a 20-year-old movie that’s only available on VHS or Region 2 DVD. (I also have it on Laserdisc, but my player’s broken.)

I’m still wondering why the **AA think they’re likely to make more money by refusing to sell their products to me?

If their primary goal is to stop so-called piracy, then the answer is simple: don’t make anything available. If their primary goal is to maximize profits, then the answer is more complex, but not making products available is the exact opposite of maximizing profits.

But making things available to some people and not others is the exact opposite of preventing unauthorized copying.

gzostsays:

Regionally different pricing

Way to go with the US/rich world perspective: did it really take 162 comments until somebody pointed out that global availability screws up regional pricing?
One of the advantages of digital goods is that the price can be so elastic. Music as a non-essential good not only can, but should to be sold at local prices. This means that prices can and should vary a lot. Now add unlimited worldwide distribution from any shop, making it a global market, and soon there’s either a race to the bottom as far as prices go, or the cheap pricing disappears, robbing people in low-income countries of the chance to purchase music legally at an affordable price.
Neither outcome is desirable – and regional digital distribution makes sense.
Unfortunately, this means that access to all music from anywhere on the planet will remain a dream, possibly forever. And yes, I do know from experience how crappy it is to live in a country where I didn’t have access to content I wanted to buy.

Dara777says:

I agree

If you think that Brat had problems? Try living in a little country like the Seychelles. I can purchase books and cd’s from Amazon for example BUT try buying no way can I get FIFA2012 on PS3 or microsoft software. Itunes??? Forget it… It hasn’t even heard of this country. My credit card’s no good to them. And if I want to buy a cd or dvd the cost of shipping more than doubles the price which I’m sure is more expensive then if I was to take the item to a post office weigh it and put a stamp on it.

Its all BS. The record and film industry cannot move with the times. How can so much stuff be given away for free on the internet and yet the companies still make money like facebook and google. Advertising. Sell advertising with the music and then give the msic and films away for free then piracy will be dead because it will be legal.

Piracy for the WIN!says:

Who gives a Fu-k what these companies say …. I might download music because there’s much more serious and worthwhile things to spend money on.

Tell me, how the f^&k is making hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars off some random song that you haven’t even really sung (because most singers have shit voices) losing money or being ripped off?

These singers and record labels should consider themselves lucky as fuck to make such large sums of money off such a useless entity as music. I mean, come on, it’s music.

You then tell me, that even though I pay $20 for an album I don’t even own it??

So when I buy a car I don’t own it?
Or when I buy a house outright I don’t own it?
When I buy a pair of underwear I don’t own them? I’m buying the license to use them is that it?

F-U-C-K YOU!

Maybe if these degenerate money hungry whores actually did an honest days work they’d understand why people download music. Because they don’t see why they have to pay so much for it and then some knob job tells them they don’t even own it.

This is MY Story too!

One day, while trying to download the wrong thing, I ended up getting a thoroughly corrupted copy of the latest version of “The Karate Kid”. I don’t remember the name of the file, but it wasn’t what I was looking for in the first place (I was actually looking for something anime for my son since that’s his thing).

I’m in the Philippines and my ISP at the time was Subictel. They received an e-mail message from the MPAA, which they forwarded to me. Along with all the stupid condescending stuff they wrote, they pointed me to places where I could legally buy the movie. Guess what?

I can’t buy anything from even one of 20 places they had on the list. If I really want that movie (and I don’t), I can only get it by 1) scouring every mall in the Philippines, hoping to find a copy (at the US price, by the way) or 2) by illegally downloading it.

So, someone please tell me again that the MPAA wants my money and I’ll let you know when I can breathe again after a very large bout of side-splitting, blood-curling laughter.

Anonymoussays:

uhm....

too many libtard comments as is often the case here but this happens when a label decides to let different companies distribute their music in different territories.

if a record label in germany doesn’t have the connections to do good promotion in the states for example, it may well make sense for them to sell the rights to another company who can do it better.

i agree it’s annoying for the consumer who gets this message on an mp3 store, but it’s not really that hard to get your head around why it happens, and if it makes financial sense for the label to do it that way, i don’t really think you can blame them.

Region Codes

Even our illustrious President was caught up in this crap. He sent the English PM a present last year – a collection of DVDs. Only problem was that good ole Tony could not view them since they had been coded for the US region and cannot be played in Europe.

Region coding is entirely fabricated. There is no issue with playing them on our TVs over here. It is entirely an attempt to divide the market. I can buy a book in the US and read it in London. However, I cannot buy a DVD and do the same.

Andrewsays:

We need to adapt

This whole topic is pretty much been talked about and ignored but **AA people in general.

Most of the comments I have read have covered pretty much everything I would mention but the one driving point I want to point out. This problem happens when you try to put rules from one system onto the rules of a completely different system. What I mean is when you put the rules of the Analog world onto the digital world.

Digital goods are infinite, from now till the end of time there will be copies. While Analog/Physical goods are not and need to be produced. We can’t possibly expect both systems to be ruled by the same laws, its not practical.

Its like if I asked you to add 10 and 11, you may point out its 21 but suppose I tell you it is binary you would actually get 101.

The industry needs to think closely about what is changing in our world and adapt. As this site and many others point out there are so many opportunities if you keep your eyes open and look for them.

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