Teens of the 80's...were we always music thiefs?

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skruggie

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I've been thinking about the whole issue of what is considered pirating music.

What's interseting to me is tha the only reason this subject gets this much attention is because of the internet. In the 80's - before cd's - we had dual cassette boom boxes. We thought nothing of making mix tapes and sharing music with out friends.

So were we always pirating music? I have a habit now of checking out about 30 cd's a week from the library, transferring them to my ipod and returning them. Is that any different than what we did as kids?

I do stay away from p2p for the most part - I do not share my library on the internet at all and I almost never download unless it is something I absolutely cannot find anywhere else. The whole idea of p2p makes me uncomfortable, in a way that using the library or sharing music with friends does not.

So my question is, why are things all of a sudden different than they were before the internet? Is it because all of a sudden music is so accessible to complete strangers?

I think most of us that are a little bit older, who are not doing p2p, are really following the same habits that we grew up with. Only now, there are all these "moral implications" that I never heard anyone whisper a word of prior to Napster.

Just some thoughts that I was pondering on the way back from the library today.....
 

urbanlegend

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I don't think it's any different except for volume and quality. You can now find a much greater volume of music on P2P etc for the taking. The quality is also better with digital rips as opposed to recording onto casette which was always an inferior copy of the original.

Do you remember the "home taping is killing music" media campaigns and skull and crossbones logo? All the same arguments apply today as they did 20 years ago...

John
 

GadgetGuru72

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skruggie said:
Is it because all of a sudden music is so accessible to complete strangers?
I think that is the main reason. With dual cassette decks (or even burning copies of a CD) and giving copies to friends and family, the distribution is limited. If you buy a new album, you might make a total of 5 or so copies and distribute them. This is very different from sharing an album on a P2P client and allowing hundreds of thousands of people to download them. Unless you have hundreds of thousands of friends (and the spare time to copy a CD hundreds of thousands of times), the problem is no where near the size it is now.
 

thundergroove

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yeah, what they said.

The quality is a huge difference, I have some bootleg tapes that were made from copies that were made from copies and the quality degrades profoundly. Same thing with VHS movies.
 

dharmabum420

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Back in the late 80's I used to trade cassette tapes with people online found through local BBSes and pre-internet networks like FidoNET... that's really not much different, although it was less convenient.

It's worth noting that the advent of cassette tapes was greeted by the RIAA with as much anger and concern over music "theft" as the advent of P2P, and the MPAA screamed about movie piracy when VHS tapes were introduced as much as they're screaming today about BitTorrent.

I expect the movie and music businesses will go as spectacularily broke today as they did back in the early 80's. :rolleyes:
 
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FidoNet... Now that brings back memories <nostalgic sigh>

The fact is that it's simply getting more media attention these days partly because the media is more actively interested in anything having to do with the Internet or the world online. As has been said, the RIAA and MPAA made many of the same noises back in the 80's, they just didn't get any real media attention while doing it....

In fact, the MPAA tried to kill the VCR outright back in 1982, portraying it as the greatest threat to modern capitalism that the world had ever seen (as Joe McCarthy turned in his grave). They actually almost succeeded until lower court rulings were overturned by new legislation passed by the U.S. Congress.

In fact, Jack Valenti, then-President of the MPAA, said to congress in the 1982 hearings:

"I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone."

(see http://cryptome.org/hrcw-hear.htm for the complete transcript of the hearings)

So very little has actually changed, except that the media seems to be paying more attention now as this whole issue has somehow become more mainstream and trendy.
 

skruggie

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Personally, my habits haven't changed and they won't change. I don't do the p2p thing, but I do share music with my friends, and I do borrow music from the library,......pretty much the same as it always had been for me, only replacing cassettes with cd's.

And oh my gosh I did not know that Valenti said that...pathetic much?
 

melsmusic

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To the best of my knowledge (and I say that because I don't keep up the laws in this area) I think in Australia it is technically still illegal to tape a free to air TV show on VCR or now that's it's available, DVD.

I remember when Voxson released a double VCR recorder which was quickly discontinued from sale due to it's ability to tape movies onto another VCR tape without any effort (similar to dual tape players).

I think that a lot of laws are quite outdated and need to be addressed.

Obviously, once you purchase a CD or DVD now and you see the disclaimer you know where you stand so there is no beating around the bush in that department.

I'm not a teen of the 80's - late 60's so it's not really a generation thing, it's just technology has made it much easier to distribute it on a mass scale which obviously has much greater ramifications to the industries involved.
 

gyix

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teen of the 80'

i am a teen of the 90's and befor napster i used to tape songs from the radio and i use to hold a radio up to the tv and tape song from the music video shows on tv then i moved on to ftp sites then to napster now i just have to buy cd's


if it was not for larz metallica p00f
the riaa and there F@gs would not be on our back sides for free music
i mean i still get it from the radio but it has moved up to internet radio
 
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drleephd

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<--- born in 1984--

I taped alot back in the 80's and then bought CD's in the early to mid 90s. once CD burners and mp3s came out I got most of my stuff online or from friends. I'll still buy a CD now and then if I'm at a show or buy online off amazon.com if I can't find it on P2P (alot of french stuff I listen to that just isn't in stores, on ITMS, or on P2P so I have to buy the physical CD online) but I've still been surprised how much I have been able to find online and how much new (especially foreign) music I've been able to discover stuff that just isn't offered on pay services.
(artists like Billy Ze Kick, Noir Dèsir, Zebda, Doc Gyneco, etc.)
I've only purchased maybe 3 cd's in the last 12 months and all have been online.
anything that's mass market popular music is just too easy to get free online. It would literally be more trouble to go to the store and buy the new ludacris album than it would be to just download a rar file of the whole album off p2p.

I never liked the idea of rights management in purchased files, If I pay for a digital copy of an album it needs to be 256k or better MP3s, with no rights management telling me how many times I can burn something to a CD. If I buy an album there's a 100% chance if a friend asks me for a copy I'll make a copy.

Oh well I guess it's how I was raised.
 

Stuart_AUST

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Re: teen of the 80'

gyix said:
i am a teen of the 90's and befor napster i used to tape songs from the radio and i use to hold a radio up to the tv and tape song from the music video shows on tv then i moved on to ftp sites then to napster now i just have to buy cd's


if it was not for larz metallica p00f
the riaa and there F@gs would not be on our back sides for free music
i mean i still get it from the radio but it has moved up to internet radio

Can you Honestly say that if you were a big time band like Metallica you wouldn't stand up against pirating?
I know I probably would. And so would most people.

On a related topic, does finding a CD on the front lawn of your house classify as stealing music?
 

funnyperson1

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In Middle School/Early High school I used to tape songs off the radio and listen to them on my Walkman.

My friends also swapped new cds with each other when cd burners came out.
 

melsmusic

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The more people steal it the dearer it gets for the honest people who buy it.
 

skruggie

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Stuart and Melsmusic you're getting a bit of track of my original question....

the question here is that if something we did in the 80's was so common and not really made into a big issue, why is it all of a sudden such a life and death issue for the RIAA?

I am not talking about p2p file swapping, that has obvious ramifications. I'm talking about things like borrowing cd's from the library, sharing with in person friends, the kind of thing we did growing up for those of us who are old enough to remember records and cassette tapes.
 

Stuart_AUST

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Ok, sorry, I just wanted to reply to his metallica bashing.

I do believe 'we' have always been music thiefs, but not to the extent we are today which was all started by napster.

I also want to add I can't see it changing much anytime because of the amount of people who continue to use the programs. That is until the governments outlaw them and start getting smart.
 

melsmusic

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I agree with Stuart_AUST. We didn't change the topic but responded to the poster.

I have responded earlier in this thread explaining my opinion of the original topic.

I still think borrowing a CD off a friend or from a library is OK. I do believe the mass file sharing of today compared to the 80's has has created the mess and in turn profits slump & prices rise.............(yeah everyone jump in a tell me how much the RIAA are making).

I know, I don't like the high priced CD's either but the artists usually have to go with the Sony/BMG or similar to get their music played. It's been the topic over here .. if you are not signed with a giant who pays off the radio stations you basically are screwed.

It's the artists I feel sorry for. Not the RIAA.
 
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