Re: [rumori] the big problem with lists

From: GASK (
Date: Sun Jan 28 2001 - 16:36:11 PST

This thread is so old that perhaps i shouldn't bring it back up -- but, in
the same way as lloyd, i have been having trouble keeping up with rumori
posts of late. (the delete key is now helping me with this problem)

Lloyd -- indeed, the point i made [included at end of mail] was a
generalisation (a wild one, you might say).
I understand that some companies have more "taste" than others (bear in
mind, we were talking about major corporations, not independent labels
here). however, if their numbers are as great as you imply, then we should
contact these purveyors of "intelligent, inspiring" music immediately and
appeal to their intelligence & good taste!

I think there was a grain of truth in my generalisation. As for your idea
that the latest cd by britney spears might be used to subsidise more
adventurous releases by lesser (experimental?) artists, that seems
optimistic to say the least (and frankly the phrase "cloud cuckoo land"
springs to mind). These huge megacorps are surely only interested in the
profit margin and ways of increasing it.

As i see it, there are very few things that would persuade the Sonys of this
world to change their stance on copyright/I.P.:
1. If they will make more profit the other way [so they voluntarily change]
2. Legislation [i.e. change is enforced from the top down]
3. Groundswell of opinion/popular support forces them to change [i.e. change
enforced from the bottom up]

I believe that option 1 is ruled out. 2 is always possible but must be very
difficult to achieve, unless we also have 3. Option 3 must involve support
from artists, labels, consumers, media commentators etc.

So, how to create this magical groundswell of support?
As your post suggests, there are a range of record labels out there, with a
range of responses on the copyright/I.P. issue. Some small, independent
labels are totally on "our" side (imagining that we have a united front
here). There are probably many labels who are less strongly favourable to
our position, but who would give us the time of day; many more who are
neutral on the issue; and so on, before we get to the major corporations who
are dedicated against our viewpoint.

As psychologists (and common sense) will tell you, it is much easier to
persuade those whose opinion is closer to your own -- you'll never persuade,
by argument, someone whose opinion is diametrically opposed to yours. So we
must seek to persuade friends/neutrals before confronting those who are more
hostile. Once the group of supporters gets bigger, we will find it easier
to get our voice heard and thus persuade others.

Personally, i don't think this can be done, and we are therefore condemned
to be forever on the wrong side of the law, but the right side of the moral
argument. it may be more fun that way, too.

Lloyd Dunn posted as follows:
>GASK (12/22) makes this claim:
>>Corporations that sell music are interested in dumbing people down, not
>>heightening their artistic awareness. That way, they can sell more copies
>>of their latest mega-million offering.
>i think this is self-evidently false. i think there are record labels that
>make recordings that are intelligent, inspiring and don't pander to bad
>taste. some of them are even big corporations. true, a great deal of trash
>is recorded and sold in huge numbers, but we lose credibility if we get so
>wrapped up in our opinions (even if they are justified) that we lose sight
>of a more balanced truth. someone might argue, for example, that a piece of
>musical crap that sells millions actually subsidizes the more adventuresome
>(and less profitable) releases by other artists on the label. a good way of
>getting more flowers to grow in your flower bed is to add manure. you can
>think of it as a necessary part of the economy/ecosystem of the record
>industry. after all, the consuming public is entitled to have bad taste if
>they want to.
>and then steev wrote (12/22):
>>what I keep thinking is, what really needs to be done is to
>>"de-normalize" (to be what i'd call Barthesian for a moment)
>>Intellectual Property. Our culture, and more importantly,
>>the Culture Industry, has tried its best to teach people
>>that i.p. is natural and commonsense, when it isn't.
>this is a great idea. and i would ask the list to offer some ideas as to
>how to go about doing this. because i really haven't a clue.

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