[TypicalGirls] FW: You Can Download Dolly Mixture Stuff Here...

Daniel Selzer danselzer at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 5 13:21:56 EDT 2005


--- pascale amzallou <pascaleamz at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Well, two different things.  Bootlegging is actually
> pretty
> rare and totally different to what Mike was talking
> about.
> An important point that no one seems to really think
> about is that there is substantially more indie
> postpunk
> material from say 1978 to 1983 available RIGHT NOW
> then there was at the time.  By "available" I mean,
> that a
> person have/had a credible chance of finding it.

Part of my point is that this is a relatively recent
thing that largely wouldn't exist if there wasn't a
market for it. I don't know that LTM would keep
putting out CDs if James wasn't making any money on
the releases, so we can't ignore the economic
realities.

> In fact, I think it's pretty unusual for the a
> postpunk
> artist/band from that time period *not* to have at
> least
> the majority of their output available, and often to
> have
> lots of extra things out now too - unreleased tunes,
> 
> live albums, radio sessions, and so on.  Sometimes 
> things fall out of print (Fire Engines, This Heat),
> but
> I reckon they'll be back in print at some point.

Well, speaking from experiance, there's many many many
great things still out of print, and many reasons why.
But speaking as a small label, I know I couldn't
afford to release something if it ever had wide
illegal exposure. I know Mike was talking about
filesharing and not bootlegging, but in the desp bikes
thread I conflate the 2, perhaps in a silly way. But I
still think entire catalogs of bands' music shouldn't
be shared in that manner.

> Pretty much any artist with any credibility from the
> 
> past can have a selection of labels from which to 
> choose to issue their old stuff.  Labels are
> generally
> pretty HUNGRY for reissue material.  This is not
> unique
> to postpunk either - folk stuff, reggae, dub, soul
> and much more is all readily gobbled up.

Again, it's not that easy. Sure, when I started it
seemed like an open field, there was LTM and Cherry
Red focusing on the period. There were thing's like
Douglas's Family Fodder release and Marina and Rev-Ola
with a few releases, but not many more. Now for
certain releases there's an element of competition, in
some cases this is actually holding up the release of
material. Without getting into details, this is why
there's no US domestic release of the Nightingales
releases as of yet. Then there's all the issues of who
owns the rights, bands who want their stuff reissued
but their labels won't allow. But that's neither here
nor there, just pointing out that the road to getting
a reissue out isn't so simple. And lets admit this is
very much a fad. Now I hope the post-punk era reissue
scene/market stays vibrant untill every last wonderful
band gets reissued (restricted code! the grow up!
happy refugees!) and maybe it will be a constant
thing, but I fear the moment when Acute puts out a cd
of "really cool post-punk" and the kids and music fans
go "oh that's soooo 2002". I don't mean this to read
like I'm cashing in on the fad, of course, but simply
the ability to sell many copies, even if those "many"
copies is a 1/10th of what the music and artist
deserves, helps make enough money back so we can keep
on putting out CDs. We've got some releases that may
sell well coming up, and I hope they do, because I've
got some releases I want to put out that aren't gonna
sell at all!

> If they were to release a CD today, it would
> get
> better press and sell more than any point all the
> way back to their working days.  So how can one say
> that they've really been "hurt" - except for lost
> royalties?

My point on that thread at least was that the music
had been bootlegged. It never got beyond a few people
selling it on eBay, but if it had, it may have killed
the ability to release a legitimate CD. Despite that,
I believe nobody has a right to make profit of music
that is not theres, it just strikes me as inherently
wrong, and I say that as someone who goes through the
effort to try to make money and support the artists he
works with.

> Relate this to the Desperate Bicycles and the idea
> of 
> copyrights expiring so the work can contribute to
> the
> overall cultural wealth of the planet.  My idea is
> this -
> the artist (or assigned owner, such as a label) that
> 
> releases a work to the public also creates an
> obligation.
> That work becomes part of shared culture.  In
> essence,
> the genie's out of the bottle, you can't stuff him
> back
> in.  I believe that the artist or assignee should
> have
> 
> full control of the copyright as the law allows,
> with
> one
> caveat - if a work has been out of print for a
> period
> of
> more than seven years, it becomes public a domain
> work.
> (There would be specifications for what "in print"
> means
> in relation to availability to the average
> consumer.)

Well, they're are public domain laws but the term is
longer then 7 year. While these laws still exist and
while the artist themselves are fine with that, I
definately can't justify bootlegging, and am not sure
about file sharing. There's lots of gray areas. mp3
blogs that feature one song get me interested in an
artist, for instance, but an entire catalog strikes me
as wrong.

> What's my rationale?
> 
> 1) It forces labels and artists to assess the
> artistic
> and
> commercial value of their work and to DO something 
> about it.  No more sitting on those Fire Engines
> masters,
> or whatever.  Use it or lose it.  (Get up and use
> it!)

Trust me, the Fire Engines are not sitting on their
masters. The Fire Engines do not own their masters,
and the last company who had their music in print let
it go out of print because there was no demand. Acute
has been trying to rectify this for some time, I just
dont like to make promises when it can still fall
through. At this point, it's looking likely, so cross
your fingers.
 
> 3) Labels who keep stuff out of print will see the
> rights
> to it revert to the artist, who have a year to
> figure
> out
> what to do with it.

Personally, I think that's fine. And many contracts
reflect that now, but didn't 20 or 30 years ago. 

> In real terms, this process is sort of already
> happening,
> what with the advent of the CD burner and cheap
> CD-Rs.
> How many copies of This Heat or the Left Banke or
> Raincoats CDs have people asked me to make for
> them, as they are out of print?  I am always happy
> to
> oblige them, because unlike the copyright holders, I
> consider these artists to have artistic and cultural
> value
> that ought to be shared, and if the right people
> won't
> do it, well . . .

As mentioned before, I have no problem with copying
out of print music, and have done it many many many
times. But how would you feel if someone you gave a
copy of a This Heat CD to pressed 1,000 copies and put
it in the stores. Is that fine because it's out of
print, even if it's only out of print for a year or
two? There are some issues as to why it's gone out of
print and I know they are working on putting it out
again. They deserve that right.
 
> I don't feel sorry for Dolly Mixture or the
> Desperate
> Bicycles, they've made the choice to turn their
> backs
> on
> their own material and people just want to hear the
> damned stuff, so what do they expect.  They may lose
> royalties in the short run, but should they ever
> decide
> to reissue their material, they should thank those
> who
> passed around their recordings for keeping their
> name
> and (relative) marketability alive.  

to a degree, I degree, but by the end of that thread I
was mostly arguing not with people who supported the
idea of just hearing the damn stuff, but with people
who supported the idea that they deserve to be
bootlegged, that it'd be cool for someone else to
plainly bootleg it.

dan



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