Jean Michel Jarre: “Our Battle About Intellectual Property Is Not Defending The Rights Of Rich Artists”

jean-michel-jarreIn a new interview, electronic music pioneer and president of the International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies (CISAC) Jean Michel Jarre shared his thoughts on the Internet, intellectual property and how they relate to the future of music.

“Our fight and our battle about intellectual property is not defending the rights of rich artists…sitting on their pot of gold. It’s something far beyond this,” argues Jarre. “It’s questioning the future of creation, the future of our identity, whoever we are…”

“Intellectual property is one of the main elements of our democracy, it’s part of our human rights – our basic human rights! No country can develop its identity without painting, without film, without literature.”

“Stop thinking that the big actors of the internet are our enemies,” he continues. “These people who created Google, Facebook and all these great tools – they are music lovers, they are film lovers. They love artists. They are closer to music and film and arts than a lot of politicians are.”

“These guys were geeks 15 or 20 years ago, dreaming about creating something extraordinary, and they did it, without realizing the collateral damages they were creating, by exciting this kind of constant greed for free content.”

And what Jarre’s perspective on the way forward for musicians and music?

Musicians need to look for new ways to partner with technology companies.

“We made a big mistake on focusing on the consumers, and pointing out the consumers [for piracy}. That is history, that’s the past. How can we cope with the new challenges? The answer is again to think about business partnerships, and this is not begging ‘can we have a few percent of this or that?’.”

What do you think of Jarre’s take on the way forward for musicians in an age of free content? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

97 thoughts on “Jean Michel Jarre: “Our Battle About Intellectual Property Is Not Defending The Rights Of Rich Artists”

  1. I hope more and more artists like him, who represent a smaller slice of us than say thom yorke, keep coming out on the side of intellectual property rights.

    1. The problem I have with Thom Yorke and Trent Reznor’s free music experiments is that the experiments worked for them because a) they were already famous; and b) they got a ton of free publicity out of the deal.

      Both artists have gone back to traditional music business models, which tells you something.

      1. Exactly. It’s easy for Trent to give away his music when knows he can sell out a 10,000 seat arena. But those of us who can’t sell out a 10,000 arena might like to make a couple of bucks. And by giving away recorded music it sends the message that recorded music has no value.

        As far as the ‘real artists make their money playing live’ argument. That is complete and utter nonsense. Getting 20 people out for a free show is hard enough, let alone 200 paying people. And not all music is meant to be presented live, just like not all movies need to work as a play. Terminator 2, great movie, would be lousy in person.

    2. I think it is disingenuous to characterise this debate as ‘lazy dinosaurs who expect to get rich from a redundant model’. If Artist A chooses to make their music available for free and build an audience that way, great. If Artist B chooses to go the traditional route and ASK for payment in return for their service, also great. So, if I want Artist B’s product, I have to decide if it’s worth paying for or not – if I think it is, then I pay and I get the product. If I don’t, Artist B can’t make me pay. But I don’t get the product either.
      If I decide that I Do want Artist B’s product but I’d rather not pay for it, then (IMHO) I am violating their rights. They have decided they are not giving away their music for free, I am taking it without their consent – that’s theft, surely? We can talk all day about whether it is smart business to charge or not to charge, but that’s beside the point.

    1. Fair use has never changed – it’s a playground for academics and lawyers and risky for everyone else.

      ‘Stealing’ a kick drum by sampling is completely different than sampling the hook of a classic song and rapping over it. The latter is lame and the original artists deserve to get paid.

      And if you think there’s a ”gray area’ between sampling a beat and sampling four measures, the lawyers will love sorting it out for you!

  2. lol, this is a lot of bullshit
    oh, if we dont have copyrights and drm – we cant make a living and there wont be new music anymore, rofl

    well music is around for a few 1000 years and there was a short span in time were publishers took publishing music in their hands and fucked it up, who cares noone needs them anymore it is youtube time – brodcast yourself and play live to make a living, if u cant maybe your music isnt as good as you thought

    1. ““Intellectual property is one of the main elements of our democracy, it’s part of our human rights – our basic human rights! No country can develop its identity without painting, without film, without literature.”

      i love how he twisted that one
      ah so protecting intellectual property is about democracy and human right, well these are big words
      so tell me again why do i have to pay someone who isnt the creator of happy birthday to play happy birthday?
      why does someone do have the copyrights to some bible translation? because its so democratic? because its his human right?
      no, not at all, dear old man – all you think about is money and how you can get it and not the noble reasons you name – shame on you

      1. The premise by which you define greed is terribly broad and reckless it is hard to respond to you in a meaningful manner without resorting to profanity. By your definition, no one would be protected nor compensated for their work.

        I can only assume you are purely a “user” whom has never created nor completed anything of value, commercial or otherwise.

        1. pff, try me
          so whats is my definition of greed?

          u dont understand a word of what im saying
          and no, im f***ing creative and i give it away for free
          a few of the things i did had 10.000 downloads or something
          amuse me with your preconceptions

          1. You’re a joker who clearly doesn’t rely on making music full time for a living. Giving your music away for free when you rely on it as your primary income is nonsensical and only a hobbyist (or short-sighted musician) would do so as they make their money through other means.

            Good art takes time and skill to develop regardless of whether you think it’s just another track that’s heavily inspired by something else and therefore ‘not original’. Nothing is original, and even doing cover versions of tracks like Happy Birthday that resonate with people can take a lifetime of learning your craft properly.

            I agree that Intellectual Property law is outdated in some ways, but there are tools out there now to let the artist benefit from their art directly that enforce IP such as ContentID. Of course it’s not popular as too many people still think Internet = Free, something that will take a generation or two to sort out (and is necessary).

            1. no, i dont have to live from the music
              but there are creatives out there who do live from their art and give it away for free @ the same time
              if u believe it or not

              look how cory doctorow is doing it, he is doing fine
              stop whining about how bad the internet is and figure something out that works for you.

      2. You say he twisted things but you use his words out of context of the full article:
        Jarre said: ““Intellectual property is one of the main elements of our democracy, it’s part of our
        human rights – our basic human rights! No country can develop its identity without painting, without film, without literature.”

        To that you wrote: “so tell me again why do i have to pay someone who isn’t the creator of happy birthday to play happy birthday?” —Jarre’s talking about intellectual property just as you are, not the pseudo-property that lawyers cause you to have to pay for happy birthday from the non-creator that purchased the rights.

        To somewhat prove this I highlight his other quote:

        “Our fight and our battle about intellectual property is not defending the rights of rich artists…sitting on their pot of gold. It’s something far beyond this,” argues Jarre. “It’s questioning the future of creation, the future of our identity, whoever we are…”

        Okay, let’s assume Jarre is lying and is defending the rights of rich artists only. Now if we challenge that assumption, the fact that he crosses creation with identity is strong content for a man that believes in a full and just reward for any creator. To regard creation with identity is to imagine that all rewards of magnitude or lack there of, should be deservedly part of the creator’s identity because it took who they were to create it in the first place. Money grubbers don’t like intellectual property; they call it things like “denying my right to use a similar idea”— Your birthday song comment say’s you agree with him, so perhaps a little semantic twist because he is rich and famous fueled your comments?


      1. if you are a composer it shouldnt be hard to write something you could perform in some way
        if not u can always go on stage and just press play on the laptop and make some dramatic gestures
        – lol, ppl are going to hate me for this

  3. I like free music. And, thanks to the internet, I will now always be able to have it. I’m talking about music that people give away for free here by the way. And there are thousands upon thousands of artists who do and there always will be. They will never be famous but it doesn’t matter,; they don’t need to be.

    And as for those will want to SELL the same product, well, the people giving it away are YOUR competition.

    1. Art is important and we need to value that. Museums are full of historical art; it is one of humanities ways of connecting with the past, present, and future. Creating good art takes time. As a culture we need to value a way to have this be sustainable for artists we love otherwise we are leaving the voice and the power of art in the hands of the rich whom have the luxury of spare time and money. In an era when the divide between the rich and the middle class is growing, this is an important conversation.

        1. Record labels are the reason for most of those sales in the first place so it’s fair the get the biggest cut. A record label is essentially just a big marketing department. If you think you can sell without their help, don’t sign to them. I was reading that Trent Reznor issue of Fader from last month or whatever and he talked about this. He went on a tour of Eastern Europe without any label to promote his tour and there was just no hype for it at all, but while he was out touring it turned out Thom Yorke, who was working with a major label for promotion, was touring in the same region and Yorke’s shit was being promoted with tons of hype so Reznor decided next tour he would be with a major label again…because he realized the value it provided to him and it was worth it! The major labels are the ones who make people into stars. Even these so called “indie blogs” will post what the major labels want them to post. If you want to be a star don’t whine about the major that made you.

          1. damn it i tried to find the quote just now and exactly what thom yorke thing he was talking about but it’s not in there and damn what a shitty magazine fader is i don’t recommend it. hmm, maybe the interview i’m thinking of was posted here, who knows…anyways, point is, Trent Reznor can’t succeed with a major label to promote his stuff and he knows it, hence why he went to Columbia for help.

    2. Did you read the article? He explicitly said that all content on the internet is effectively free by default, and that going after consumers was a mistake. He also said that the solution is not going after individuals for piracy, but by negotiating deals with Google, Amazon, et. al.

      As for paid artists competing with free artists: given that producing a quality “product” is still of value (sort of), that’s only competitive if the people giving away their work have the same level of skills and talent as paid artists, as a rule. Generally speaking, seeking pay isn’t greed, it’s remuneration for years of investment and hard work, as well as the time it takes to create something of value. Slapping together tracks with loops and putting them up on Soundcloud may garner you attention, but it’s a different game. Your point isn’t valid.

      1. Your reply is right on the ball. And thumbs up for JMJ for not only being a great musician but also a humanist.

        Besides, I would be ready to pay for a track I really like. So those who disagree mean to say that they do not even have one dollar/euro to spare for a song they like? Well if so, shame on those people.

        As far as free music is concerned, it is a choice an artist is willing to make for promotional reasons.

        No one should have his/her art stollen. The same goes with music software piracy! I am proud to have bought (never pirated) my software from hard working developers, some of which are small companies with great ideas.

        Bottom line, shame on you if you think it is OK to steal someone’s work!

  4. I’m a musician. And, I still believe in private property, especially my own.

    Music used to be a viable way of making a living for journeymen such as me. Now? I’m not so sure. A decade or so of widespread theft has turned art into a hobby. Artistic types, such as myself, have learned new creative ways to make a living. Not much point in creating “intellectual property” in 2014 for most folks.


    1. David,
      I too am a working musician. The difference these days, is the WAY money is made. You used to invest thousands into a vinyl dub plate, then get your album pressed, or copied to cassette. You spent a bit of cash to get some good artwork done.
      Now music is the attention getter. In retail, they call it a loss leader. WHERE you make your money is live shows, merchandise etc. it’s quite simple really. You need to adapt to trends in music sale & promotion.

      Don’t blame your ‘life’ becoming a hobby on music piracy. Blame yourself for being too caught up in trying to sell sub-par music. YOU missed the boat. YOU were too short sighted.

      Big ups to JEAN MICHELE JARRE!!

      1. I’ve not missed the boat. I’m a prosperous musician. Hardly a hobbyist. Still in the game at 55. I may not have been clear enough.

        Now I accept fully that music and life is about change. The music I used to play has gone out of fashion, this I accept.and I’ve moved on.

        I’m thinking about property rights. Who has benefited from this? Not many artists Jarre says.

        And, I accept your apology for the put down.

        Have a great day.


      2. So if you don’t spend “big cash” for good artwork who produce the design for your merchandising? your flyers? etc…?

        When you are an artist you want to do your art not sell t-shirts and stickers because if you do you are just a t-shirt seller who makes music to promote your t-shirts and merchandising.

        Can we just think about long terme solution ? and not some tricks for to escape the problem for a short time.

    2. “A decade or so of widespread theft has turned art into a hobby.”
      Boulderdash! I have tryed working as a painter for 15 years. And I do have talent. But paintings can only be sold once. Art is a wide field, and not everything can be pirated. For some types of art your statement might hold some water. But not for all.
      That said. What about the looking at this a different way? Through free spreading of my music though torrenting and other media, I am able to reach thousends of potential fans, which if I use it right, might give me an opportunity to earn my money though live work, getting jobs on movies and so on.
      I think the important thing for everyone these days is to think: How can piracy benefit me as an artist?

      1. I agree not all art can be pirated, just digital media.

        One of the big changes in the last number of years, reflected in these postings, is the low expectation young artists have today. Or worse the inflated expectations.

        Another big change, reflected in these postings as well, is that the consumer became the producer. To quote Seth Godin, in order to be competitive today we have to be better than free.

        Lastly, why should Google, Facebook, YouTube, and others make money from our free product? It is like playing a club for free, when everyone else is being paid. Why be a chump?

  5. Pop music is popular because that’s what sells. If we want to encourage more GOOD music, then we have to provide musicians with the incentive to put it out there. I’m talking about money. Or groupies. And the latter gets old really fast, because once one of them has been knocked up it’s going to cost a musician even more.

  6. It really is about his pot of gold, and it is a shame he can’t admit he deserves to be rich and swell with pride. Instead he comes off as sniveling or concept switching. The thieves of his intellectual property be damned to hell he should say.

  7. “These guys were geeks 15 or 20 years ago dreaming about creating something extraordinary, and they did it, without realising the collateral damages they were creating, by exciting this kind of constant greed for free content.”

    Has Mr. Jarre forgotten that home taping was already “killing the music industry” back in the 1980s?

    Undoubtedly the Sony Betamax was also responsible for “constant greed for free content” and the demise of movies and television.

    Just as player pianos incited the “constant greed for free content” that put so many honest piano players out of a job (though presumably some piano players were paid once for the initial roll recordings.)

    1. To be fair, tape recording of the 80s where you had to physically visit your friends house to borrow their copy of X album is no where near the same as today where any kid can rip a cd and upload to pretty much the entire planet in 30 seconds!

    1. Copyright is to determine when how and where the work is going to be published for the consumer.
      It’s meant for defending your work against living creatures with bad intentions.

      1. “Copyright is to determine when how and where the work is going to be published for the consumer.”

        Yes currently that’s how copyrights are perceived and used, but a long time ago copyrights were used to protect musicians to make sure their music wouldn’t get stolen by other musician.

  8. Completely agreed! forward thinkers like Moby, Daft Punk, Deadmau5, Depeche Mode
    still on the verge of having big labels & collaborate with big technology companies & doing it much better than before!

  9. It is a serious debate to have. I recall Coppola talking about the artist and their right to earn money a few years back – stating that an artist’s right to earn on a free market is a modern contrived invention of a few hundred years old. Before that you had a patron or nothing. And it isn’t a right, they have been lucky for years in how the market worked – but nobody gets to demand that untruth into the future. I currently give my creative work away, I ain’t gigging and making nothing on my creative work – that may change into the future – but I see my future audience as being something real and organic. If people are listening to a song you give away free then you have the potential to capitalise on that free music in other ways – radio play, touring, media circuit, sponsors, patrons, ads – it is vast and endless, not a issue for me if you have listeners – unless the greed sets in. The real issue for me is that I am a creative person that strives to do the best I can, money or no money that concept will be a constant for me. Their ain’t no retiring to a beach house for an artist – you will be doing this until you can’t – money and other trappings aren’t required for me to continue to work – in fact technology is enabling me to do so much more for less year in and year out. If I wanted money and retirement I would have sold out like some 9-5er some 20 years ago – I only look back then shielding my eyes from the brightness of the future.

    1. Never retiring != never getting paid. Also, getting paid is not uniformly encapsulated by greed, and the future can and will change, in any one of a number of ways, by definition. This is not always an easy road — don’t get things twisted, you’ll last longer, trust me.

      That all said, stay true to your spirit, and keep on creating!

  10. lol, so say respect and idiot with the same breath, how very convincing

    jmj was talking about the values of society and how societies are falling apart if they dont share those values
    so happy birthday and the bible are very good examples of copyright nonsense, sweatheart

  11. This whole argument always makes me think of Folk Music – by that, I don’t mean acoustic ‘folksy style’ music- to quote Wikipedia: “Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers” . Traditional music – music that has been passed down over hundreds of years some of it…try to find a folk standard now that you could cover…it’s not going to happen, because the rights have all been ‘obtained’ by greedy bastards. Other parts of US copyright law are also suspect- due to the age of ‘Steamboat Willie’, Mickey Mouse should have entered the public domain. Try writing a song about Mickey Mouse, or use his likeness on your album art and see what kind of lawsuit you get hit with. In the field of intellectual property the wealthy (powerful) are the ones to make the rules.

    I think Negativland’s view on it is the artistically sound perspective – in a nutshell: all of this media surrounds us constantly, it becomes part of our environment yet the nature of copyright means that you are restricted from reflecting the things in your environment into your own creative work.

    As a musician and a visual artist (both for over 20 years) I would be happy to have inspired others. But then again I don’t do any of this for money. I suppose I could respect any ‘famous’ artist crying about ‘intellectual property’ if when viewing their creative output I didn’t immediately recognize their influences.

  12. The private property it is the theft !
    The remunerations on private copies are pensions for lazy artists .hey have to work , make live performances !
    and not to rest on any past or supposed glory !
    musicians are plagiarists by essence cause there are only twelves notes !
    you cant be original and unique all the time !
    abandon intellectual property is growing adult : When an idea is good it belongs to nobody !
    i would prefer broadcast than pension , 2 billions times watched gangman style rather $2 billions earning with the help of corporates lawyers and stingy heirs !
    when Philips invented CDrom they sold Music Branch , logic and intellectually honest ,but when sony keeps rights of rolling stone or beatle’s mc cartney still earn money with 50 years old discs it s a shame !
    To stay on past works it is like anal retention : you cant last indefinetely !

    1. Until you realise if you put music on youtube, they(google) might make money because of your content.
      And so what? because your an artist you have to accept others make money with your art while you don’t????
      Sure you can use the side effects for getting gigs and stuff, but that’s beyond and an other story.
      I use to think the same as you, that copyrights are more a problem than a solution but it just doesn’t work like that, we have to move on from where we are and cannot erase where we coming from. We have to accept that greedy bastards are part of the equation, and if they don’t get somehow what they want they will steal it from us and even legally. So in order for them to get it and us to be happy we need to get part of the revenue somehow.
      It will never be perfect but as someone will always try to make money on content, you can’t say the creator should not have part of the revenue when every other actor in chain make some money out of him.

  13. The private property it is the theft !
    The remunerations on private copies are pensions for lazy artists .hey have to work , make live performances !
    and not to rest on any past or supposed glory !
    musicians are plagiarists by essence cause there are only twelves notes !
    you cant be original and unique all the time !
    abandon intellectual property is growing adult : When an idea is good it belongs to nobody !
    i would prefer broadcast than pension , 2 billions times watched gangman style rather $2 billions earning with the help of corporates lawyers and stingy heirs !
    when Philips invented CDrom they sold Music Branch , logic and intellectually honest ,but when sony keeps rights of rolling stone or beatle’s mc cartney still earn money with 50 years old discs it s a shame !
    To stay on past works it is like anal retention : you cant last indefinetely !

    1. its not greedy if you try to make money out of something.

      its just fantastic when people blame others just because its not possible the way it was probably 50 years ago.

      oh my god i just finished building my guttenberg book press and all the guys are getting news via the internet … blaaaame the internet

      no ! blame yourself, you invested in the wrong technology to earn a living. if you just wanted to build an original guttenberg book press with hand carved wooden letters to release your own newspaper or bible or whatever then you shouldn’t care where people get their news from

      its greedy if you started making music just because of eventually earn money with it.
      and if you didn’t start because of that then it doesn’t have to bother you anyway …

      1. “its greedy if you started making music just because of eventually earn money with it.”

        What kind of bullcrap is this??! Is it greed now to want to make a living of what you love to do? Cheeezuz…

        1. just because you love to do it doesn’t mean anyone owes you any money, a lot of people in the world love to play basketball, if we don’t pay them to play are we stealing from them?

    1. How many of those 10,000 freeloaders buy your self-produced album if it were only available from your web site and not on YouTube?

      How many who bought your album would have greatly preferred to buy the one good song on it for 99 cents on iTunes?

  14. Another past artist that keeps hanging on past conservative capitalist values and references…

    People that are defending “Intellectual Property” should better look first on the shift on values and references coming in the next decades and the inevitable fall of capitalism and the “music industry”. Therefor they’ll understand this battle for “IP” is just useless…

    Music did exist before the Industry and will exist after the Industry. The industry is only a way to make money of it and try to squeeze more and more creative people until the last dollar. But as soon as the industry won’t make any money from it, they will be the first ones to claim it should fall in the “public domain”.

    Unfortunately, to understand those words, one needs some level of conscious and enlightenment that goes far beyond the “Intellectual Property”, “Music Industry” and “Technologies”… or even beyond the whole monetary system.

    But here are some points:

    – Currently, there’s millions of artists in the world, only few are making a living from it and only very very few ones are rich. Just like any industry, it’s all about wealth distribution:

    And for the “creative” part, it’s even worst because the main motivation doesn’t come from money:

    – Due to technologies, with smartphones/tablets, almost anyone can have access to a computer that is easy to use, portable and with a lot of creative tools. Therefore, more and more people will have access to “Art Creation”, not necessary to make money from it, but only because it’s fun.

    – Tools are more and more powerful to the point to become “good enough” to get a “professional result”. No need for $1M analog console and tape recorder, we can use DAW. Less and less need for analog outboard gear to mix, we can use plugins… and sooner or later, we will also be able to use “virtual” version of any “tools” we need to make music (I know, analog fans will dislike this comment, but it’s true and it’s already the case).

    – With Internet (Youtube, Facebook, SoundCloud, etc…) we live in an “instant” world now. Whatever happens thousands miles from us, we can know it immediately and have access directly from our the computer we carry with us all the time.

    – Therefore, life trends are changing way way faster than before. By the time now something reach the mass market, there’s already a new one in the queue (whatever if it’s someone singing a song about chocolate, a dog skating, a Korean guy doing a stupid dance, etc…).

    – Even big “pop” artists (with large medias, ads, etc…) aren’t selling much anymore (i.e. the last Katy Perry album), because young generation are listening the song in loop for few days and then switch to something or someone else…

    – Current serious study announces that half of jobs will disappear by 2030 (which is only a decade & half from now):

    – Tomorrow, with more powerful smartphones/tablets computers, with IA, virtualisation, faster bandwidth, internet collaboration, sharing, etc… this trend will speed up even more, including for “Creative” stuff, and just like for any other job:

    If it doesn’t become an obsolete job and/or done by IA and robots, it will still be done by passionate amateur that don’t seek for money. Most of “Artist” aware of that, are already living from live music/concerts, not from selling recorded music.

    PS: I want to mention that I am a professional musician/producer, living quite decently from it. I do own a lot of old gear (such real 808/909/303, Moog Voyager, DIY Analog stuff, Large Format Analog British Console, Original Neve Preamps, LA2A, Tape Recorder, etc…). So before you start accusing me to not “know” what I’m talking about, please, do your homework…

    1. You might be right but still, as I stated on an other post, if people make money out of your work I don’t see why you shouldn’t get a share of it.
      Sure for me it doesn’t change a thing and I would be perfectly satisfied with no copyright at all, but it’s not a solution because if there is money to be made someone will make it and then the system(the people involved) need to organise themselves to cope with it.

      I don’t know what it’s gonna be like, don’t know how it should be but it’s interesting.
      We might end up having lots of metadata so that we get cross references all over the place, for music that is performed by…. written by… samples from… and so on embedded in the digital file. So publishers can flood you with even more info and charge you more if want to know more!!!And then it would get to the point where it’s such a mess that we need to redefine again the situation 😀

      1. It’s actually a right thing to ask when based on a monetary system…

        However, few decades from now, this whole concept will be obsolete. It would be like trying to taxes people for air they’re breathing (I know some people would love that), but if there’s no scarcity, there’s no point to sell anything.

        With the increasing choice and diversity in music, increasing number of musicians connected to people around the world, the whole “music” is becoming more and more a market of abundance. New generation people are not buying music anymore, they’re listening online from services such soundcloud, youtube, pandora, etc… And if they want to provide support for the artist they like, they go to his/her concert, or send a donation over paypal or so. It’s already the case for indy artists anyway…

        And we’re just at the beginning of the Digital Revolution, because few decades from now, anyone could have his/her music just like he/she wants and thinks about. The IA computers will generate music by reading thoughts and feelings of people, and therefore, a “unique” music shared by millions might not exist anymore, anyone will have his/her own version of the music he/she likes. Productions, melodies, chord progressions, mixes, everything will change in realtime depending of the listener.

        I know it sounds crazy right now, but that’s just an idea of things that could happen in future and could disrupt completely the whole “music industry” and make the whole “intellectual property” completely useless and obsolete…

        Just some food for thoughts 😉

        1. Ahah nice!
          There are already primitive algorithmic stuff that create music based on mood or what your playing, and when I was at uni some people of the research on digital sounds doing feature extraction were in this kind of stuff also.
          It will get bigger for how crazy it seems now, but still you’re a bit of an extremist 😉 I’m not sure musician will disappear totally for that. For video games and immersive stuff, or even meditation, websites it might be worth it.
          First thing we’ll see this year if streaming music start making money, apparently the problem is licensing and it’s not the musicians that are taking all that money.
          We’ll see maybe big fishes will be bypassed by faster fishes, you never know when something happen that make everything turn around, and all the previsions look like an idiot made them.

          1. Yes, I might sound like an extremist today. It’s OK to say it, I have no problem with that.

            But I don’t base my opinion on what could happen to people, it’s a thinking about technologies. Yes, current IA and automatic music generator are really primitive, no doubt about it. But that’s just because IA is only starting now…

            By 2020, 2030 or even 2050, IA will be much more improved and it won’t be only for facial recognition, gesture, speech, writing, etc… it’s gonna be for everything, including people emotions and wishes. What is “Pop”? (beside a way to make money). It’s some “standard” that a majority of people like (we could say, it’s the “average” wish).

            By analysing all music, all chord progressions, melodies, tones, mixes, lyrics, etc… with future IA we could easily determinate what someone wants to listen, and change the music in real time to adapt it to those wishes. The whole procedure wouldn’t be much different from what current artist do, beside they do it by following their feelings and emotions, instead to have those emotions “coded” in a database…

            Musiciens will probably still exist in future, but the whole relation about “making a business about recorded music” might not… because the whole “recorded music industry” might surely disappear. Note that I’m not saying the music will disappear, but only the “music industry”. To me, the music did exist well before the industry (we discovered the oldest flute sculpted in 60,000 years old bones), and the music will still exist when the industry will be long gone. (We actually might get back to the purest music, the ones that isn’t done for business and money, but made by emotions we want to share with others).

            Again, just some food for thought. I don’t ask anyone to believe me, the future will already tell us if I will be wrong or right about it. (but by then, everyone will forget this message anyway, so we don’t care :)).


            1. Still you’re clear and are not trowing ideas just to shock. Ideas that are more challenging are worth to me, if they’re right or wrong its not the whole point but where they lead you probably more.
              Rereading I see more what you mean about the business and not just musicianship, as communication technology literally implodes converging in super flexible handheld devices the proposal is changing to a more personal flow of infos(musical or whatever). But being the money now in informations created about users activity/interest and stocking it/rearranging it the business is more likely to shift than disappear. And rights will be encoded in metadata even more, this is what mpeg 21 is being developed for.
              In the mean time in europe they’re changing copyright on music for allowing company doing streaming to get easily license across all european countries and musician to get payed faster. They want this to work, so 2014 will probably be the years of success of streaming music, even more in the news blogosphere than in reality.
              As for 2040 I just hope to be there 🙂

              1. We might have a transition phase with dematerialised products (already the case with electronic purchases), but also with streaming. And one could easily speculate that we could also have another phase later when we will pay by the bits (isn’t the purpose of bitcoin?).

                I have no doubt that people that currently make money from any business, will always try to do anything they can to stay in place. A doctor would have no interest to have no sick patient anymore, otherwise he wouldn’t have any job anymore. There’s no interest in world peace for a weapon manufacturer. It’s not a big secret.

                So yeah, I’m sure the “business” around the music will shift in the next years (I have no doubt about it), and they will try everything they can to get money from it, until the very last dollar they can get from it. But for how long?

                By 2020-2030, a single mass market computer (under today’s 1,000 USD) will have the same power of the human brain… by 2050, it will have the same computation power of all human beings brain together… We progress, we can easily imagine have this kind of power in handheld/wearable devices. I know, power isn’t everything and surely not “creative” stuff… And I do agree with this that… today.

                But without even going in the “science fiction” territory, we can easily imagine that one day, all this computing power could lead for computer to get a conscious, and therefor have a notion of what we call “emotions”. I don’t know if this will happen by 2020, 2030, 2050, or even 2100 (or later), but a lot of scientific person (way more qualified than I am in this domain) do agree that we can deny it… it will happen sooner or later.

                So even if it’s 100 years from now, on the scale of music existence (apparently over 60,000 years) or from the “modern” music existence (few hundred years), we can consider it as “soon”… maybe soon enough for some of us to actually see it.

                Of course, it won’t happen overnight and it’s gonna mostly be based on small improvements here and there… but that’s probably where we’re leading to.

                Of course, metadata will have a very important role. Because with so much power and information data, we need a way to easily find what we’re looking for. That’s the whole business of some of the biggest company (Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, etc…). It’s all about data, and mainly “personal data”.

                In any way, I’m very curious to observe this phenomena over the coming years. It’s something very interesting that I try to follow and I like to share with others (such here).


    2. Yup, I think your predictions are right and well funded. And to be honest, I love the notion of the speeding technology that only makes the world smaller and smaller 😀

      1. I don’t know if I’m right. Predictions are difficult, specially the ones about the future 😉

        I’m only sharing some thoughts I have by trying to educate myself about some subject such music and technologies. I’m a thinker about future and science… and I try to imagine what my two passions (music and technologies) could become in future.

        There’s a tons of ideas we can already find here and there. Ideas that can be transposed easily in music which is a domain that is actually limited… limited by human being hearing. The whole music has to progress in the range of things we can hear: 20Hz-20kHz, no more than 140db, from our left and right ears. This is our “action box” and we can’t extend it any further (unless we get some cyber-prosthesis).

        So by definition, everything that will happen in future, will happen inside this box. If this box wouldn’t have any physical limits, I would be more prudent to claim anything about the future. But at this point, the human genome won’t evolve any faster than the technologies. And even if we would (by implementing electronics in our body), would it be interesting to hear some 100 kHz or 1MHz frequencies? Or being able to support more than 140db? I doubt it would bring much to our listener “pleasure”.

        For sure technologies will make the world smaller and smaller, I do completely agree with this statement. And, hopefully, it will help to bring people together (instead to divide them). So also the reason why I’m not pessimist or sad about future, I’m actually very exciting about it. We have so much chance to be able to live that.

        Even here, this simple comment… We can discuss and share opinion (even if we disagree) over a website, even if we live thousand miles away from each other. And tomorrow we could make music together (with system such VST Connect, Ohm Studio, etc…). Anyone can have access to instrument because they are more affordable (regardless if it’s hardware or software). And few decades from now, it will be a complete new world… I have no clue about what it will be, but I can’t wait to see it 😉


        1. Dont really have anything more to add to this. These very much my own thoughts about technology and the future. Sure, there will come, and has been, bad things out of tecnological progress, but I think it will mostly be of good. I can only hope human kind is mature enough for the rapiding progress that is today, and not destroy ourselvs. Course as you say, human evolution will not be able to keep the same pace.
          Maybe if my universal view is wrong, I might even get to watch the whole of human progress and evolution. Though sadly, I doupt that 😉

  15. ‘Intellectual Copyright’ isn’t a thing. It’s right in the title… it’s for people to think about… ie. a shared belief system with no connection to reality, like religion. Sampling is one thing, but musically folks, there’s only 12 notes. When there’s 12 billion people on the planet, it’s ridiculous to say to everybody, ‘if you play these 12 notes in this order, you owe to this one person, (or more likely, this company), money. Why would anyone be agreeing to subjugate the rest of history to the whole fraud of licensing in the first place? I never signed a single document, so does that mean i cannot listen to music? What’s next; legal demands on when where and how you can listen to it? Oh yeah, that’s already the case. It’s a floodgate of legal exemptions, (ie. no connection to reality), for sure, that only an idiot would agree too.

  16. if you don’t want others to “steal” aka listen to your music without paying you, just don’t release it. easy as that

    get a job and get your money from elsewhere

    as someone already said here, we make music for thousands of years, and for the last couple of decades, some people said, ok give write a song, the i will collect some money form my company to release it the , then i will collect money from the customers and then i will give you some money.

    this model doesn’t work anymore. end of story

    time to figure some other method, like release it yourself or whatever.

    its no human right to get money out of your own music.

    stop looking at music as an easy way to earn money, and start make music just because …

  17. getting involved in whatever type of art form just to eventually make money off of it is EXACTLY what musicians, painters, actors etc etc complain about when they try to degrade their competitors.

    so why should it be ok to complain about piracy.
    those guys are no fellow artists anymore, they are companies.
    its like nestle complaining about free drinking water in the alps…

    1. “its like nestle complaining about free drinking water in the alps”
      The president of Nestle himself already complained about free water,and not only in the alps but everywhere on the globe.

  18. I am by far not the first to say (or repeat) this but for better or worse we have entered an era of Excellence: no matter what your craft is there is a glut of it available to the world online – so much so that your problem now is Not people stealing what you make (music / art / ideas) but rather people wanting it in the first place. Now that the diamond-industry type walls have fallen and music is no longer being marketed as a rare commodity we enter the often said ‘Darwinian’ era where only Excellence will stand out. I view this as a Positive despite the growing pains as the old model passes. In short: make sure there’s an actual demand for your work before getting preoccupied about how to protect it.

  19. In a letter to a friend, Frederic Chopin once said “I find my work constantly interrupted by dozens of crapulent intermediaries.” Between the Disneyesque determination to strangle anyone who puts mouse ears on a rat in Photoshop and the maddening, dilettante clamor about music “wanting” to be free, its hard to know where to take the argument. Both sides undermine the real point. If your music is neither fun nor honest because its intent stresses marketing above the notes, it tends to show.

    As to the main clamor, I sidestep it through BUYING MP3s from an artist if I find myself listening to several of their songs. I want to put some money in the plate out of appreciation and here’s a big point, ITS INEXPENSIVE, too. As world politics and economics have stunk more, the dream of becoming a “famous rock star” has become increasingly laughable. The model is now on-demand and piecemeal. That brings it back to whether or not you choose to be a thieving asshole as a casual thing, or if you have enough ethics to do at least your small part to keep that artist healthy. That goes double for things like Bandcamp and Soundcloud. They bypass the weasels and reward the creator’s work directly. That way, you can actively push that legal garbage off the cliff and directly support people like yourself. Its the most honest and elegant option.

  20. Why is it that I can be accused of “breaking the law” or being morally corrupt by downloading a piece of music that I can enjoy with my sense of hearing, but it’s deemed perfectly fine and acceptable to download a piece of art in the form of a picture that I can enjoy with my sense of sight?

      1. Visual artists are usually commissioned for each piece, so they’ve already been paid by the time it shows up on the internet for the public. Can you imagine if musicians marketed themselves this way? Like visual art, it would probably result in some work being exclusively owned by individuals. For example, Carlos Slim would have the only copy of Aphex Twin’s next album, and for a whopping $100K both parties would be happy with the deal.

  21. There are ways to make money through playing music if you really really want it and you have an outstanding talent for it.

    If you are a music fan there is so much music out there to suit your unique particular taste from Eclectic experimental Buchla bleeps to Dark dungeon synth to loud commercial club to indie rock. You do have the option to pay the artist direct through Bandcamp or something similar and it can give you a more personal interaction and commitment to the music you like. Just be generous like 10 or 15 dollars for an album that you are passionate about.
    It takes a lot to dedicate your whole life to making music so definitely consider the dedication and passion that has gone into the music you enjoy.

      1. I surely would if there was a CD available but it would probably be fair to say that digital downloads is the current market in 2014.

  22. There’s an old saying “Cream rises to the top.”
    That’s a way of saying that the best will be noticed first and above the others.
    The problem is that many musicians today don’t want to put in the hard work to hone a unique image or sound. Many have no show whatsoever. It’s just them and some machines. They can’t dance, don’t do costume changes, don’t invest or hire lighting or visual special effects. Put simply, there’s nothing to see and the artist is too lazy or untalented to rise above their own limitations.
    Another old saying “If you build it, they will come.”
    The problem today is many are building the same things as everyone else.
    They haven’t produced anything unique enough to stand out.
    The “only 12 notes available” argument is old and worn out.
    It’s all about how you express those 12 notes.
    If that wasn’t so, all covers would sound the same and we’d all appreciate each cover the same.
    Final word: today’s musicians are too undisciplined to study, practice and put on a good show. They hit a button, twist a few knobs and we the audience are basically watching them masturbate. THEY, the artist think they’re wonderful because THEY are enjoying their performance. But it’s not all about YOU when you enter the show business realm. It’s all about the OTHERS. You must entertain them or they will walk.

  23. Pandora makes tens of millions paying the artists a fraction of a cent per play. YouTube makes billions by facilitating copyright violation. Whether an artist is struggling to pay the rent or already has millions they should be paid for their music. Period. Or to put it more poetically:

    “I made this money, you didn’t. Right, Ted?”

    – Bobby Brown, “My Prerogative”

  24. Pandora’s in lousy shape because they have to pay much higher royalties than broadcast radio. Record companies and broadcast radio stations argue that Pandora and Spotify are closer to streaming download services than radio stations.

    What’s also weird is that broadcast radio pays royalties to songwriters while internet radio pays royalties to record companies (radio airplay is considered promotion and record companies used to get in trouble for paying for airplay while now they complain that YouTube is playing their music for free.)

  25. rights are about what should be and should not be, it is a normative discourse. reality is about how people actually behave, on the basis of norms and on the basis of needs. whether or not we make things illegal or not will not change reality since norms are part of a different discourse, what JMJ is talking about is how to bring the normative and the status quo closer together, trying to create momemtum for a win-win situation instead of a zero sum game. it is a constant flux that will need, communication between actors. nothing more and nothing less, good start, jmj. good start.

  26. One thing’s for sure.
    Kiss can hardly play, but put on a great show.
    They’re worth a fortune.

    Many others put out better music, but there’s no hype, no show, no excitement to drive sales.
    They’re worth a dime a dozen.

    Finally, there’s Justin Beiber.
    Find a niche (young girls), exploit it and make a fortune.
    Again, the music sucks, but the image drives the bucks.

    Still.. don’t think for a second that doing what even our media brat Beiber does is easy. Try rehearsing dance moves with twenty others while singing.
    It’s not as easy as it looks.
    It does take some talent, sorry to say.

  27. I like supporting lesser-known artists on Bandcamp. I just discovered several musicians creating exactly the type of electronic music I am in the mood to hear, thanks to their collections feature, and bought several albums online in the last couple days, no more than about 8 dollars each. I can email the artist and comment directly, ask questions, etc. Discovering music online by obscure artists takes a little more time, but is well worth the effort. I want these musicians to create more music, so I give them my money. We’re sort of living in a golden age of music, if you look deeper. Radio and music labels and big-name famous rich stars are for the lazy people.

  28. Why not try the Hans Zimmer method to making $100 million:
    Get a bunch of others to compose your music, pay them a one time fee, then copyright the entire work as “Music by Hans Zimmer” and reap the royalties for ever more. That IS how he does it.

    1. That’s what any big composer, producer and beatmaker already do, indeed!

      It’s just as the same for guys like Timbaland, Lil Jon, Kanye West, David Guetta, etc… But is it any different from any big corporation where the top 1% bosses/investors get all the profit from the 99% bottom workers?

      Today, the music (for the Music Industry guys) is nothing more than a “product” to sell.
      And like any other industry, the only single thing all big guys care now is… money, which means keep pushing for a cheap cost and better profitability.

      Sad but true…

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