G+ Song Lounge #4, with discussion of turning pirates into fans

Recently I was honored by being invited to attend Google Plus Song Lounge with Tim Behrens and James Olmos. Among other things we talked about Safe-Xchange and turning pirates into fans. You can view the event at:

Song Lounge #4

There was an interruption early on that lasts from about 7:07 to 9:35- just skip past it. It’s too bad that so much of James’ singing got lost, he’s a wonderful singer and songwriter. Make sure you listen to Tim Behren’s song, which comes in at the end. Another wonderful singer/songwriter.

It was a fascinating conversation. One of the questions that kept coming up was the whole intellectual property issue, and that’s no small question. We have, on one side, the RIAA and MPAA, who make their money from intellectual property (of which they are almost never the actual creators). On the other side, the people who advocate file sharing, the “pirates”, saying that copying is their absolute right. Rick Falkvinge, founder of the Swedish Pirate Party, recently published this article, which offers a point of view that is at least as extreme as that given by those on the other side:


What both sides ignore is the fact that the person who is doing the creating, whether it is writing a song, performing music, creating a film, writing some software that makes people’s lives easier, needs to see some reward for their efforts. The US Constitution has, what seems to me, to be a reasonable approach:

“The Congress shall have the power […] to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”

Note that it says, “Authors and Inventors”- not corporations, lawyers, or file sharers.

The legal fight is going to continue. Unfortunately it carries with it the risk, if the RIAA and MPAA get their way, of totalitarian control over the internet, and I do encourage people to be aware of that risk and encourage our plutocratic government to back away from laws like SOPA.

But my main concern is to find ways that artists get paid for their creativity. That’s what Safe-Xchange is all about. We can’t do much about the RIAA or MPAA, but we can help turn file sharers- pirates- into fans. There was some great discussion about this in Song Lounge, and I encourage all of you to comment if you have ideas about how this can be done. They don’t have to be related to Safe-Xchange, although if somebody comes up with a great suggestion that we can incorporate into our app, we’ll be more than happy to do it!

By the way, I just deleted about 450 spam comments to my first blog entry, if I deleted one of yours please let me know.

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