Neil Gaiman on Copyright Piracy And The Web

Submitted by: DickenMcHunt 6 years ago

Neil Gaiman (Author of: Coraline, American Gods- etc...) discusses his experience with piracy and the internet.
There are 44 comments:
Male 3,076
uhmmmm...yeah I`m discorevering 5TB of movie and music, and I`m also discoreving windows 7
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Male 3,915
great point....actually yeah...come to think of it....the stuff that i may or may not have illegal acquired....i would never have bought them if i couldn`t have gotten them for free....

wow...that`s crazy
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Male 441
If Matt Stone and Trey Parker saw this, they would say "I`ve been saying that poo for years."
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Male 6,694
I did like Coraline.
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Male 650
The public: a great sh*t filter

If your work is genuinely good, people would want you to produce more and thus give you royalties

If your work is terrible, then no1 will give a crap
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Male 319
Wow, Neil Gaiman is getting ~old.~ Which means I`m also getting old.
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Male 2,850
Regarding musicians losing out, perhaps it`s just a sign that we are reaching the end of the superstar musician?

The idea that you hit the top of the charts, become a millionaire, and surround yourself with cars, mansions and boobs isn`t an idea that`s all that old. In fact, it`s an idea that`s only been around for about one generation; pre 1950s, musicians weren`t our gods at all (certainly not to the extent they are today).

Fair enough, the idea of "celebrity" in general is only about that old too, but who is saying that musicians by default belong in the wealthy/celebrity world?

After all, game developers don`t end up in that world, and they arguably provide just as much, if not more, entertainment to us.
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Male 1,399
There`s a difference between giving your product away to publicize it, and having it taken without your knowledge.

If an artist CHOOSES to give his work for free, great. Otherwise, it`s still theft.
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Male 604
Actually the NIN downloads made them a lot of money... It`s considered a success. But moreso was radiohead`s experiment. Both of them are still doing this method of distribution for future albums so I don`t see the problem?

The NIN thing still had more pirateers because it was quite difficult to get to the download link on their site. People pirate because of BOTH price and CONVENIENCE.
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Female 1,236
Very interesting.
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Male 2,402
Somebody has finally gotten the idea of what true marketing is.
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Male 1,299
"People who read books, tend to have a higher respect level then people who don`t I`ve noticed."
I doubt it..

"NIN did this little experiment with music, and it failed miserably. 85 percent of the people pirated the stuff and never paid for anything."

So did Radiohead and Girl Talk... it worked out for them. Vampire Weekend, The Black Keys and Ok Go are three of the biggest up and coming artists and they all have an open stance to media sharing. The movie industry CONTINUES to produce record financial figures.

Evidence in the Pirate Bay trial showed two things:
A.) The Music industry is NOT losing money- nor has piracy had an apparent impact.
B.) Musicians are getting paid more NOW than before digital downloading became commonplace.
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Female 3,562
It`s true. I pirated Sandman because people on 4chan showed me it. Later I eventually bought a lot of his comics that I never would have bought otherwise. Also, I took out American Gods from the library. Heck, for that matter, I`ve also pirated Coraline, after having paid $12 a ticket to see it in a 3D theater.
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Male 15
@chrn368 That experiment with NIN failed miserably because that album was uninspired and awful in every way. Most of it sounded like rejected music from a Guy Ritchie flick. Make a solid album and yeah; people are going to buy, especially serious collectors such as myself. Make garbage? Well, let`s just say that music fans are some of the most fickle there are when it comes to the arts.
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Male 1,299
..."software companies suffer heavy losses because of the money they put into it, and the sheer amount of people who probably pirate it. I mean, popular games lose millions, like Modern Warfare..."

The Modern Warfare series has been the most profitable video game franchise of the last 10 years- outshining even Halo.

"Metallica had reason to bitch."
One of the arguments made against them was that there was no proof they were losing money...
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Male 64
Damian Kulash of the band Ok Go has similar sentiments on the subject of music pirating- the artists make their profit by having an audience, which requires being heard. If you have a little bit of time, I would recommend reading some of his New York Times articles.

The problem is basically that the record industry is important to the music industry- most bands can`t afford most of the startup costs to become successful, which is where the labels come in. Successful artists bankroll the unknowns, of which there are many. But at the same time, the industry is so obsessed with profit that they are choking themselves.
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Male 1,222
@chrn368
Same thing with Radiohead, they asked for donations instead... It went so badly for them, they had to tour down here to south america, and charge the ticket in euros.
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Male 1,744
he`s essentially talking about previews. when something is fairly expensive, i want to preview it to make sure it`s worth my money and then i`ll pay full for it. I hate throwing down $20 or more on something, and turns out it`s a piece of crap.
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Male 174
He makes good points but that doesn`t work with every media. People who read books, tend to have a higher respect level then people who don`t I`ve noticed. NIN did this little experiment with music, and it failed miserably. 85 percent of the people pirated the stuff and never paid for anything. Which is sad, because musicians are the lowest paid of all the entertainment brackets and they get ripped off the most, by everyone. Including their fans it seems.
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Male 10,339
It`s been almost 10 years since I bought a CD. Just sayin`.
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Male 152
He drives a really good point, but what of the companies that DO lose money from piracy. As I remember it, software companies suffer heavy losses because of the money they put into it, and the sheer amount of people who probably pirate it. I mean, popular games lose millions, like Modern Warfare and such, and obviously Metallica had reason to bitch. Still. I didn`t buy my copy of Need for Speed. The internet lent it to me.
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Female 136
Neil Gaimon talks most sense! plus, what a brilliant Author!
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Male 25,416
Wow, thats good!
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Male 5,094
I love TV series, movies and music, but my problem is this: I don`t want the physical copies cluttering up my already messy apartment. Ergo, I download.

Now, I only wish there was some way for me to donate cash to the artist/author/production company, but when I`ve written to them in the past asking about how I would go about doing that, the most common answer I`ve gotten by far are threats from lawyers.

Why can`t the distribution companies just realize that they`re obsolete, and why do politicians keep listening to them instead of us?
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Male 288
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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Male 2,440
Neil Gaiman is so boss.
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Male 1,289
Neil Gaimon just got awesomer
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Male 36,335
Gaiman`s getting smart in his old age :-) wisdom gained through life experience, eh?
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Male 2,850
@duffytoler

"I`m one of these guys who hears a song on YouTube and then buys the entire album online."

Seconded. Also with TV shows and films. Half of what I have on my shelves in disk form I first encountered via download/streaming.

When you pirate it, if you don`t like it, or just think "meh", then you would never have bought it in the first place (or would buy, regret, and never buy from that artist again), so it isn`t a lost sale.

But if you pirate it and like it, then that artist is going to be right there in the front of your mind when you have some spare cash and feel like owning something properly...and there you go, a sale.

There`s always going to be a hardcore seperate from all this, who are going to pirate and never pay a penny regardless. But for the rest of us, generally, if we can afford it, we`ll buy legitimate to replace the knockoff, if we like it.
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Male 204
Piracy is super rampant and the entertainment industry still exists. As Gaiman pointed out, having access to some of the material for free is like getting free advertising - You can download a CD for free but you can`t do the same with a T-Shirt or your attending of a concert. With respect to books, a hard copy will always be superior to a digital copy, e-readers be damned.
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Male 1,240
Good Omens was brilliant, and I`ve heard good things about American gods.

I`ve always seen torrenting books sorta like lending a book from the library. It works along the same sort of principals. And I always buy my favourite authors new books
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Female 25
"I`m one of these guys who hears a song on YouTube and then buys the entire album online."

Me too. I`ve bought a few CDs this way. I`ve discovered new artists/songs I`ve never heard of through Youtube and went on to buy their CDs afterwards.
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Female 2,509
can`t recommend "Neverwhere" enough.... worth every penny to purchase the book.
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Male 417
As a photographer, I don`t mind my photos being shared and used in non-commercial, as long as proper credit and source is given.

I have a *MAJOR* problem with people swiping my images, airbrushing out my logo and URL and/or using them in a corporate or commercial aspect.
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Male 1,548
@srwilde
Music is different because artists get very little from CD sales (even less for legal downloads). Most of the profit goes to the companies. The RIAA runs like a cartel, it screws over both the artists and the customers. "Illegal" music downloads do, however, have the effect that Gaiman describes on things that the artists actually get money off of, like concerts and merchandise. If it wasn`t for piracy, I would not have even heard of the bands I currently follow.

Of course, all logic goes out the window when you start talking about pop music. That is the only thing that is actually threatened by piracy because it depends on people being ignorant of anything besides what they define as "in".
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Male 5,194
I`m one of these guys who hears a song on YouTube and then buys the entire album online. So long as there`s enough of us, things will be ok with books, music, movies, games, etc.
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Male 60
I agree with Neil for books. Music is different. I don`t believe people will buy CDs if they can get it for free. BTW, I`m NOT a musician nor do I have any vested interest in CD sales.
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Male 120
ok, first off, American Gods, fantastic book. i highly highly highly recommend it to everyone. now. go and get it. your all ready on the internet just order it from amazon. also, neil gaiman write one with terry pratchett called "good omens". just some amazing books.

but anyhow, i found this very interesting and a very refreshing point of view from what we normally hear. good to see that someplace besides 4-chan is spreading awareness of keeping the internet open.
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Male 3,314
I think that the new e-book trend will change a lot of stuff. But when the price of a book drops to $3 or $4 for the ebook copy, I think his theory will prove itself correct on a grander scale.
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Male 880
His premise is true for me.
I torrent most of my new books as ebooks. Mostly because I hate buying a new book only to find its complete rubbish. But once I have found an author who I fancy, I buy all their next books... Sometimes even that book again, because there is something aesthetically pleasing about books.
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Male 7,585
makes sense, and i hope it works like this more than it doesnt.
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Male 15,510
I think it doesnt works in all cases
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Male 2,549
I only recognized this guys name because of Amanda Palmer...suddenly I have an urge to rush out and buy some books now.
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Male 1,299
Link: Neil Gaiman on Copyright Piracy And The Web [Rate Link] - Neil Gaiman (Author of: Coraline, American Gods- etc...) discusses his experience with piracy and the internet.
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