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Author Topic: The entitled generation....Are they right?  (Read 15608 times)
Josh
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« on: April 12, 2009, 01:49:52 PM »

I am making this post after reading various reviews found around the web bad mouthing various aspects of different things such as file sharing, movie and music sharing, and copying of various media formats. Should music/movies be free or are the content creators well within their right to charge? It seems that society today has produced a group of people who feel everything should be free and that they are entitled to the hard work of others without any sort of compensation. What are your thoughts?
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f0dder
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2009, 02:21:55 PM »

Games and movies costs a lot of money to produce... music a lot less so (unless you spend silly dollars on marketing talentless singers), but imho content producers are well within their rights to be paid for their work. Some people will claim that "you can't compare it to theft since no physical product is stolen", which might partly be right - but there's a lot of people who would have spent money on whatever if they couldn't get it for free, so it's still lost profit.

On the other hand, I think RIAA and MAFIAA (what an appropriate name) are slimy scumholes, and I'd like to see them and their lawyers purged from the face of the earth - they're being totally unreasonable in the way they ruin ordinary people's lives, instead of going after the big-time pirates running copy plants. But of course that's somewhat harder targets, and you can cash in some decent dollars by throwing in-country lawsuits. Sickens me.

It also sickens me how countries are bending over and introducing really nasty and freedom-limiting internet regulation. Obviously it's not going to stop the pirates, but only be a minor speed bump, as always. The digital media copy protections will always be defeated, and p2p will simply move away from centralized torrent trackers to heavily encrypted decentralized networks... private trackers are already using SSL encryption for client<>tracker communication and main site browsing, and people are using forced protocol encryption for client<>client communication. The people behind ThePirateBay are launching VPN services now to protect against the (nasty!) swedish iPRED stuff.

Funny thing is, the thing I hear again and again is "if the media companies would just embrace digital distribution, I wouldn't really bother with this". Obviously nobody wants to spend $ludicrous on drm-infested crap, but if I could pay DKK30 (~$5) to stream a movie for, say, 24 hours at a reasonable quality and without requiring crappy drm-infested custom players, that would sound like a pretty sweet deal to me. For music, if the prices were right, I'd definitely buy .FLAC and cover-art in .PDF - but I don't want to pay DKK150 (~$26) when I'm not receiving a physical product. And again: NO DOYC-DAMN DRM!, and definitely lossless format!

But things definitely don't have to be free. And even though I could easily get more or less whatever I want for free, I actually kinda like supporting artists... especially if I can do it without supporting the slimy record labels.
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Eóin
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2009, 02:48:43 PM »

I don't believe there are many out there who feel things should be free, but I do agree that the situation has gone towards that extreme. However I firmly believe that it is being pushed ever further down this extreme road by the greed of the content distributors (much more so than the content creators). Xkcd nicely summed up the current situation properly.

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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2009, 02:54:09 PM »

[EDIT]I was typing this up when Eóin posted that response. I think the xkcd comic goes very well with my point of view here.[/EDIT]

I think people are just getting tired of buying the same thing multiple times for different formats. If they want to treat us like they're licensing the content to us, the license should allow us to play the music or movie in whatever format we choose.

I think I wouldn't mind paying twice as much for a movie or an album if I knew I could play it on any digital or physical format in the future without having to buy it again. Sure, I might need to pay a couple dollars for physical storage devices (i.e. blank recordable media) but if I have already paid for the right to view a movie or listen to music any time I want, then why should I be required to pay for that right again?

I haven't seen any place where you buy movies or music that require you to sign a lease/license agreement that says you are limited to the format in which you bought it and that the license expires after x years or for the next format. So it's not surprising that people feel like they own the right to view/hear the content for the rest of their life and aren't happy about having to buy it again. After all, rereleasing a movie from VHS to DVD to Blu-Ray costs virtually nothing and is almost pure profit. Likewise, rereleasing an album from cassette tape to CD to digital formats also cost virtually nothing.

I'm not against companies making a profit, I just think that if they're going to pretend to treat us like we're paying for a license to the content, they need to sell it as a license (making sure that customers know the terms of the license) and work out a more agreeable license.

I don't think movies/music should be free (as in beer) but I think that once you've paid for the right to see/hear it, you should be free (as in freedom) to convert it (losslessly) to any format you choose and view/listen to the content on any device you choose.

It should also be reasonable that if you own the right to view/hear the content, that you can allow others who don't own the right to the content to view/listen to the content as well, much like having friends over to watch a movie or listen to your music album.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 02:55:58 PM by Deozaan » Logged

f0dder
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2009, 03:02:43 PM »

After all, rereleasing a movie from VHS to DVD to Blu-Ray costs virtually nothing and is almost pure profit. Likewise, rereleasing an album from cassette tape to CD to digital formats also cost virtually nothing.
I do wonder how much it costs to remaster an album for a new format? Probably "virtually nothing" compared to the cost of shooting a movie smiley, but I do wonder. Still, quite the money machine I bet!

It should also be reasonable that if you own the right to view/hear the content, that you can allow others who don't own the right to the content to view/listen to the content as well, much like having friends over to watch a movie or listen to your music album.
Not 100% sure about that one, if we're talking more than "a handfull of friends" - otoh, I think it's darn lame that... whoever... want amazon to take out the text-to-speech feature from the kindle2. Come on, be reasonable smiley
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2009, 08:50:04 PM »

Should music/movies be free or are the content creators well within their right to charge? It seems that society today has produced a group of people who feel everything should be free and that they are entitled to the hard work of others without any sort of compensation. What are your thoughts?

I assume that group of people will also do their work for free, then Grin

Slowly, content creators are 'getting it', so things will turn for the better. How long it will take? That's another question. I'm also worried about the high probability of the big media companies doing something similar to what music labels did with the tape to CD transition. Cheaper medium, but higher quality. Let's double the asking price! Probably this won't happen with digital distribution, but I see them keeping the prices the same as if you were getting a physical copy.

In the end, that group of the people won't pay creators for their work, though. I mean, if something it's available for free, why pay for it? Perhaps I'm being a bit pessimistic about it, but when you see people pirating games even if they're available for maybe 5 or 10 € in any store (the cost of a mere beer in certain bars), and telling you not to pay for movies, music, even books, because they're up on the interwebz, you don't expect them to change.
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40hz
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« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2009, 07:58:20 AM »

Quote
Are they right?


In a word: No.

- Just because somebody wants something does not mean they also have the right to take it.
 
- Just because something is relatively easy to steal does not give someone the right to steal it.

- And the unlikelihood of being caught does not change the fact that theft is wrong and ultimately hurts everybody.

Just my 2¢



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wraith808
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« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2009, 08:58:55 AM »

^ this.
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CWuestefeld
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« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2009, 12:45:04 PM »

A few thoughts:

I believe that anyone has the right to attempt to sell the legitimate fruit of their labors for whatever people are willing to pay for it. If people want to buy the music or movies, then who are we to say they can't? And on the other hand, who has the right to declare the fruit of another person's labor to be free for the taking?

That said, the entertainment industry is trying to have its cake and eat it too. It's trying to tell us that we can't have a license to the music without buying the media. But the converse must be considered as well: once I've bought the media/license, they've got no right to demand full price to upgrade the media. I've bought some records three, four, even five times (e.g., Boston, Fleetwood Mac Rumors, Master of Puppets) as media has worn out or I need to upgrade format. Once I've paid for the right to hold a copy of Boston, how can they charge me again for the same right I already own, when I want to upgrade from cassette to CD? And it seems like a large part of their business model is based on selling media upgrades (or, slightly less sleazy, upgrades to the "director's cut", etc., of a movie). When I upgrade from cassette to CD, or DVD to Blu-Ray, I should be able to do so for the cost of the media plus a nominal handling charge since I've already purchased a license to the content.

It seems like it's the entertainment industry that is demonstrating more of an attitude of entitlement. The way they run their business -- not just DRM, but more fundamentally their means of building up a relatively small number of global stars -- is what leads to the problems they're experiencing.

I believe that if the industry was more fractured, with a zillion performers, then (a) any one performer/producer/etc. would be able to better satisfy a smaller segment of market -- a genre. The effects of piracy would necessarily be more localized so any "leak" would cause less damage, and I believe that because there would be a shorter distance, and closer link, between the fan and the performer, there would be less temptation to steal (I think that as relationships become more personal, people behave better). The only downside that I can see to this is that Hollywood would no longer be able to underwrite special effects thrillers with 9-digit budgets, but I don't think this is a big loss. Certainly the studio have no "entitlement" to produce such movies. And I don't see how the music industry would be harmed at all by such a shift.
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Eóin
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« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2009, 01:39:59 PM »

My thinking seems to follow what CWuestefeld just said. If all the content industries collapsed tonight we'd still wake up tomorrow with an endless supply of creative content being produced. Open source proves that would be the case, money is not the only motivation behind creativity.

Sure the entitled generation is a bad thing. And I agree yes that priacy is stealing. But if we get realistic for a moment it's naive to let those pesky moral issues come into play when the 'industries' were talking about really are just capitalist greed machines.
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app103
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« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2009, 02:52:16 PM »

My thinking seems to follow what CWuestefeld just said. If all the content industries collapsed tonight we'd still wake up tomorrow with an endless supply of creative content being produced. Open source proves that would be the case, money is not the only motivation behind creativity.

Sure the entitled generation is a bad thing. And I agree yes that priacy is stealing. But if we get realistic for a moment it's naive to let those pesky moral issues come into play when the 'industries' were talking about really are just capitalist greed machines.

The truth is that there was music long before there was the RIAA, MP3's, CD's, cassettes, vinyl, radio, or even money. And there will always be music, no matter what happens.

There have always been people making music solely for the joy it gives them, and then sharing that music to share their joy with others.

The RIAA is an octopus that strangles music from every direction and in every way that it can.

If you think the consumer is the only one being strangled (with DRM, proprietary formats, etc) you are wrong...dead wrong. They are strangling the artists just as much (maybe more), and in the process, they are destroying the music.

Even if the RIAA decided tomorrow to give in and give the consumer what they want (no DRM, lossless quality, etc.), and all for free, I still won't touch it.

Yes, some of us do have a sense of entitlement, and I feel I am entitled to quality music that doesn't compromise the creator's artistic integrity.

I don't want music where the artist must churn out enough stuff on the label's schedule, to fulfill contractual obligations that state they have to have a certain number of albums within a certain number of years, and then spending all their time between albums touring to promote it, as well. This leads to artists loading albums with filler crap in between the 1 or 2 good songs they have. And it burns them out. Ever wonder why so many of the great ones died from drug overdoses? Maybe this was a big contributing factor.

And I don't want to listen to stuff released by labels that decide who can & can't make an album, based solely on what crap they think the teens of today want to hear.

I'll stick with the truly free stuff...where the artists are free. They can make the music the way they want, take as long as they need, and release it when they are ready and not when some label says so. I don't mind supporting that.

Since giving up most of the RIAA produced crap, I have discovered a ton of wonderful stuff, been exposed to genres I never even knew existed because they never get played on the radio, and actually talked to and became friends with some of the artists that make the music I now love.

And I have a lot of respect for artists that choose to give their stuff away for free. They don't have to do that. But because they do, it means that nobody ever has to think of stealing music/money from the artists/labels that choose not to, and they don't have to put up with any of the RIAA's crap.

There are alternatives.
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Gwen7
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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2009, 12:21:49 PM »

I think it's interesting that there is one thing that becomes very clear every time this topic comes up.

The problem isn't the artists. And it isn't even so much the 'non-paying' customers.

The bulk of the problem is caused by the paranoia and attitude of the recording and movie industry flaks who get in between. Their continued campaign to be allowed to use increasingly intrusive 'preventive measures' - and also to be granted draconian legal remedies - has turned what was once a grass-roots protest into a technological guerilla war.

The real problem with the Entertainment Industry is that it is going through the same efficiencies brought on by technology that every other industry has experienced over the last 20 years. And when a product has transformed itself into pure digital information, there is no longer a need for elaborate distribution mechanisms to come between the producer and the consumer. And in the wake of that, it has become increasingly hard to justify having to deal with middlemen when there is no longer a valid reason to do so.

I'd be much happier paying $18 for a CD if I knew that the artists were getting the lion's share of the money. I galls me to know that the bulk of the price I pay is grabbed by everyone but. That being said, I still pay for what I listen to. I either buy media or pay for downloads. And I also subscribe to Sirius. Because if I didn't, instead of getting pennies, the artists I listen to would get nothing at all.

It will only be a matter of time before the whole movie and music 'biz' comes crashing down. And when it does, it will be due to the greed and stupidity of those industry wanks who can't bring themselves to realize that their days of unjustifiable profit from the creative talents of others is coming to an end. And since these losers will have no other place to go, I'm sure they will fight viciously to keep their sinecure as long as possible.

But I suppose this is to be expected. Pimps seldom give up 'their bitches' or streetcorner without a struggle.

« Last Edit: April 14, 2009, 12:24:00 PM by Gwen7 » Logged
zridling
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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2009, 05:16:13 PM »

The bulk of the problem is caused by the paranoia and attitude of the recording and movie industry flaks who get in between. Their continued campaign to be allowed to use increasingly intrusive 'preventive measures' - and also to be granted draconian legal remedies - has turned what was once a grass-roots protest into a technological guerilla war.

What Gwen said. Much of this comes down to an obsolete industry trying to corporatize the internet (MySpace, Facebook, old AOL, etc.) and decide who gets internet access and who doesn't. See all the recent Hadopi laws several countries are rushing to implement. As a result, a government-granted monopoly has been infringed upon. And to those that say this represents lost sales, there is evidence that shared copies of music, for example, act as marketing for that music, and actually *increase* sales, not decrease them.

Content creators are entitled to what they can get, but not everyone wants to buy it. Some files are worth 2 cents; others, $1.29. If I don't want to pay for it, it's not in my collection. I just won't keep paying for the same thing over and over and over (because of DRM). Even Microsoft gets in on this game, which hurts the legal user more than anyone else. They know that as many as 25% of all copies of MS Office are pirated, but the marketshare is worth it because it allows them to take advantage of dupes in schools and government for easy contracts year after year.
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« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2009, 01:37:45 AM »

I find it ironic that it was technology (cassettes, CDs) that helped a lot of these artistes earn incomes grossly disproportionate to the effort put in and it's technology that's now responsible for taking a good chunk of it away.

Sorry for getting all philosophical and OT, but can most humans really afford to take a moral high-ground on _anything_ without coming across as total hypocrites? Most of us (yours truly included) have desensitized ourselves to the extent that we don't give a hoot about another creature getting its throat slit so we can stuff ourselves a little. Apologies once again for going all PETA on you but

It's just a matter of time, circumstances and convenience, isn't it?

P.S. - I think this makes me a nihilist. smiley
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 02:43:52 AM by nosh » Logged
40hz
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« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2009, 05:43:55 AM »

I find it ironic that it was technology (cassettes, CDs) that helped a lot of these artistes earn incomes grossly disproportionate to the effort put in

You lost me on that one. How do you mean "disproportionate to the effort put in"? smiley

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nosh
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« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2009, 06:28:15 AM »

Disproportionate, as in:

Get your money for nothing, get your chicks for free.  Cool
(Back me up, Dire Straits!)
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f0dder
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« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2009, 08:17:25 AM »

I don't really care if an artist makes some hundred million dollars on music if it's decent. Sure, it might not have been as hard as working 10 hours a day in a factory, but if people like what they produce, then fine. My gripe is with the record industry who doesn't really do anything to add value, and grab the lions share of the profit.

PS: PETA -> People for Eating Tasty Animals Cool
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nosh
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« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2009, 08:50:08 AM »

I don't begrudge them their wealth either - even when they are talentless one hit wonders. I just can't get myself to weep for them coz some kid running Bearshare (*shudder*) is ripping into their $$$.


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« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2009, 10:20:57 AM »

I think it is interesting to note that what CWuestefeld describes in his last paragraph is actually already happening to a large extent. Many artists have taken the route of cutting out the middleman (or dealing with less oppressive middlemen, sometimes banding together to create these themselves.)

This issue stirs up a lot of heat, as it touches on things that people care deeply about, and we are still in the midst of it. We all wish it were over, except for the record companies, who wish it had never started.

It's a difficult issue. Record companies want to produce as much product as possible, as cheaply as possible, and sell it as expensively as possible. But the biggest market for this product, the people who have the most time and disposable income to spend on music, and the ones who are most likely to consume music without as much regard for its quality - teenagers - are also the ones most likely to steal music and figure it's no big deal to do so.

The original question is about entitlement, and I think the way it is phrased says a lot about the views of the framer. Are people stealing because they feel a sense of entitlement and have no morals? Or are they stealing because they believe the system is corrupt and are reluctant to support it with their money when a viable alternative is available?

Is it our duty to obey the laws of the state, even when we feel those laws are unjust? Or do we have a duty to disobey unjust laws? Should businesses respect the decisions of the marketplace, even when it's handing them their hat and shoving them towards the door, or should they smack back at the invisible hand in hopes of staying or diverting that final push?

Or maybe it boils down to, who do you dislike more: insolent, ill-behaved teens and their surly ways, or bloated, arrogant record company execs and their surly ways?  undecided
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« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2009, 10:58:45 AM »


Boy has Jim ever hit each nail in this discussion squarely on the head with his comments above. Excellent post Jim!. Thmbsup


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« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2009, 12:08:13 PM »

As has been mentioned it's the method rather than the object itself. How they pursue and threaten with lawyers, how they treat the small guy is the problem. I wouldn't even blame talentless artists, because no one is forcing anybody to buy a Britney album, if you buy the hype and marketing the marketer is not the (only) one to blame. That extends to things like photoshop, paying nearly 4 digit dollars is not forced on anybody, if you really need it for a job the employer should buy you a license and deal with photoshop sales people and tactics.
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« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2009, 03:56:30 PM »

But are the artists really losing anything? or the record companies?  If the music would not have been bought if piracy was not an option then all they are really doing is spreading the name of the artist involved.  Some musicians who have offered their music for free have increased sales and public awareness of their talents, as I heard one guy say, most people come along to his website, download a few songs and then if they like it they buy it, apart from people who don't have the money, be they kids or unemployed people or whatever.  But his point was he is getting known by more people and while in one sense he loses the payment on a song not bought he never would have got that sale anyway and his overall sales have increased at minimal cost to himself, perhaps a bit of bandwidth for the downloads.

The statistics that the RIAA and others like them use are somewhat rubbery at best and also it seems quite out of date.
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« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2009, 04:28:18 PM »

But that should be the *artist's* choice.  Just because I wouldn't have spent the money or used the software or watched the movie doesn't remove my culpability in stealing someone's art.  If you don't agree to the system, then boycott it and let your money and words inspire change. 
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« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2009, 05:40:42 PM »

But are the artists really losing anything? or the record companies? If the music would not have been bought if piracy was not an option ...

That's an assertion. An assertion does not prove anything. It begs the question rather than answers it. The only way to know for sure would be to see what would have happened if piracy had not been an option. As such, we have no way of knowing if that statement is really true.

It's also a fairly specious argument when you take a closer look at what it is saying. The underlying logic is flawed. Change a few terms and you'll see how quickly it falls apart.

  • She wouldn't have been murdered if murder weren't an option.
  • The bank wouldn't have been robbed if robbery weren't an option.
  • I never would have hit you if hitting you wasn't an option.

See the pattern?

And the economic 'justification' doesn't work either

  - Whoever is declining to pay the asking price is saying that the work in question has no value to them.

  - But if that were true, then why did they exert the effort download/copy it?

---

We really need to be a little more careful with what we accept as reasons and justifications for our actions- or the actions of others. No matter how sympathetic we are to a cause. smiley




« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 06:02:02 PM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2009, 04:21:51 PM »

Interesting short article over at techdirt that gives one artist's perspective on the issue:

Amanda Palmer Shows How Her Fans Support Her
http://techdirt.com/artic...20090405/1659514392.shtml

Here's Amanda commenting on her record label's attitude that Twitter "is worth bothering with":

Quote
it's a lesson in how the future of music is working - fans are literally (and i mean that....literally) lining up at the signing table after shows and HANDING me cash, saying "thank you".

i had to EXPLAIN to the so-called "head of digital media" of roadrunner australia WHAT TWITTER WAS. and his brush-off that "it hasn’t caught on here yet" was ABSURD because the next day i twittered that i was doing an impromptu gathering in a public park and 12 hours later, 150 underage fans - who couldn't attend the show - showed up to get their records signed.


Quote
the times they are a-changing fucking dramatically, when pong-twittering with trent reznor means way more to your fan-base/business than whether or not the record is in fucking stores (and in my case, it ain't in fucking stores).

twitter is EVERYTHING that you explain in your rants: it is a MAINLINE insta-connection with the fans. there is ZERO middleman.

I found this intriguing because I myself cannot stand Twitter in any way, shape, or form. (Probably more a function of my age than anything else. Wink) But here is Amanda Palmer talking about how it fits in to what she is attempting to do for her fans while she butts heads with the Industry. And even more important, how it is actually working.

Which made me realize things are changing even more than I thought.

What a humbling experience!  Cool

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Don't you see? It's turtles all the way down!
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