Free Culture has misled you.

Really interesting little story playing out up NPR way — an intern wrote a blog about her music-acquisition habits. You’d say music-buying, but she doesn’t do that. She just…has it, and she hasn’t paid for very much:

I am an avid music listener, concertgoer, and college radio DJ. My world is music-centric. I’ve only bought 15 CDs in my lifetime. Yet, my entire iTunes library exceeds 11,000 songs.

You can read a lot more at the two links above, but I think the best of it was this thoughtful response from David Lowery at the Trichordist, “a community blog for those interested in contributing to the advancement of an Ethical Internet, and the protection of Artists Rights in the Digital Age.” (Capitalization obviously not mine.) It’s long, but it’s worth the read, because he takes apart the intern’s argument pretty effectively:

The existential questions that your generation gets to answer are these:

Why are we willing to pay for computers, iPods, smartphones, data plans, and high speed internet access but not the music itself? Why do we gladly give our money to some of the largest richest corporations in the world but not the companies and individuals who create and sell music?

This is a bit of hyperbole to emphasize the point. But it’s as if:

Networks: Giant mega corporations. Cool! have some money!

Hardware: Giant mega corporations. Cool! have some money!

Artists: 99.9 % lower middle class. Screw you, you greedy bastards!

Congratulations, your generation is the first generation in history to rebel by unsticking it to the man and instead sticking it to the weirdo freak musicians!

I don’t think Emily, the NPR blogger, will know what hit her, but she — and a lot of other people — need to hear this. I gave my students last term a reading assignment about Kim Dotcom, an obscenely rich jerkoff who’s made his dough on sites that hold huge files, no questions asked. I’d never heard of the guy; they all had, and many had accounts on his site. I just don’t get it. Or maybe I do — they don’t have a lot of spending money, but somehow they’ve gotten their priorities screwed up. Lowery nails it: Spending for the hardware isn’t a problem, but the rest of it should be free.


While we’re on the subject of digital matters and stealing, I was surprised to see myself turn up in this piece about Jonah Lehrer, someone I hadn’t even heard of until this week, when he was accused of self-plagiarizing, i.e. rerunning his own work for multiple paying clients. And why would he do this? I think this Slate piece gets to the point: He’s not really a journalist, but an “idea man.” Some people look at a mop and see a high-paying corporate lecture; I look at a mop and say, time to clean the floor.

Let’s wrap up with a T-Lo post, what they might call your daily pretty: Mrs. FLOTUS looking like a million bucks.

Posted at 12:54 am in Media, Popculch |

55 responses to “Free Culture has misled you.”

  1. del said on June 21, 2012 at 1:48 am

    As I read the post I was playing music from a largely unknown band called The Lonely Forest out of Anacortes, WA on YouTube. It’s free. I like it but as I no longer lead a music-centric life like the NPR blogger if it weren’t for YouTube I probably wouldn’t ever listen to their music. At least I’m giving them “hits” for their videos. It’s like the radio in that it’s free, and, come to think of it I’ve endured a few commercials while their music’s been playing on loop.

    There’s something weird about paying for recorded music. Maybe it’s that almost all of the money from CD sales goes to the Tommy Mottolas of the world and, well, big labels in Rockefeller Plaza (though a friend lost his job with a major label due to the changing business model – but he recently found something else music related and perhaps more sustainable). Maybe it’s that Greg Allman was on Colbert last week and said that back in the day the Allman Brothers boarded their jet and were presented with a tray with the band’s name spelled out for them in cocaine. But it wasn’t overindulgent – Brothers was abbreviated. I understand that for every Greg Allman there are untold numbers of struggling artists, but still, there’s something else. Making music is such a joyful thing to do, it doesn’t seem like it would be work in most cases. Dunder Mifflin’s a job, mowing the lawn on a hot day’s a job. Musicians are like a dancers, what they do seems, well, fun.

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  2. Sherri said on June 21, 2012 at 1:55 am

    Jonah Lehrer isn’t a journalist, and I’ve never really been a fan of his work, but I never thought he was an idiot. It’s not like Google is new, or like he hasn’t had high-profile pieces before so that nobody would be likely to recognize when he recycled them. He’s a less interesting Gladwell, and Gladwell is way too superficial.

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  3. Bowditch said on June 21, 2012 at 3:45 am

    Ripping proprietary material is illegal, period. I did it occasionally when I was a lot younger, when Napster and Limewire made it easy, but once the ethics of it became widely discussed I stopped. I have a brother who’s a recording engineer and a producer for a music house and a daughter who’s a composer and a reasonably successful performing musician, and they both hold rippers in high disdain.

    However, some of Del’s points are well-taken, in that the vast majority of working musicians see a paltry slice of the CD revenue compared to what the big houses take in. But I’ve watched my brother and my daughter work, and while listening to a finished product is a true joy, the integral of that joy is difficult, painful, time-consuming, nit-picking, perfectionist, technical tedium. Finding a simultaneous solution to a series of second order differential equations without the benefit of using a computer seems easy by comparison.

    Ironically, the changing business model may make the issue moot. I gather that a growing number of artists are emulating Jonathan Coulton. My musician relatives think it’s a great idea, but given the entrenched interests involved, I suspect lobbyists will persuade Congress to make it illegal if it ever gets a substantial head of steam.

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  4. Bowditch said on June 21, 2012 at 4:15 am

    Jonathan Coulton had a long discourse on this very topic yesterday. It’s worth a read.

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  5. Prospero said on June 21, 2012 at 4:25 am

    I still buy CDs from band websites because, I’m sure foolishly, I still believe the musicians may get more of the cash. Owah-ta-goo-siam, right? I do know that downloaded music is missing nuance on bass and drums that I appreciate even on CDs. The last CD from R.E.M. was a perfect example. And I don’t think the master of free music, Thom Yorke, has worked this out with the big floor toms, though he’s trying. The format issue is in play for me. some things just sound a lot better. My Van version of Stuck One More Time Up On Cyprus Avenue on vinyl doesn’t sound anything like it would on stolen digital. And there are musical heights I still don’t hear on Procul and SRC CDs I know there are present in original recordings.

    I download music when it’s offered, but I’m always sceptical of the source. I trust Thom Yorke and Mike Stipe implicitly, and the Glimmer Twins, slightly less, although what the fuck would those two pirates have to steal from me? I don’t think either of those two is that disgraceful. Well Mick anyway. Anyway, I’m a vulture for free culture and a firm believer in artists getting paid. I choose to attempt to pay the artists. I understand musicians have been screwed since forever, but I think this is a bit like NFL players with Oldtimers, Y’all have the cash, make it right. I realize that’s simplistic, but I think its’s time for simplistic solutions that do not allow for GOPers screwing over everybody less fortunate.

    And I’m listening to Game Theory, whose CDs anyone with taste would have bought in the first place.

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  6. alex said on June 21, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Speaking of a culture that misleads…

    Actually, calling Fox News a culture is an insult to cultures. It’s rather more just a cult.

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  7. beb said on June 21, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Congratulations, your generation is the first generation in history to rebel by unsticking it to the man and instead sticking it to the weirdo freak musicians!

    Actually, no. Radio and TV have been giving away free content for generations now, since the 30s. If kids today don’t think they have to pay for the music they listen to it’s because all their lives, and their parent’s lives, they’ve gotten music for free.

    People used to buy records for the convenience of listening to one’s favorite songs when and where one wanted to. But the industry evolved from selling singles to selling LP’s and from LP with lots and lots of good songs to LP with only one interesting song. There’s long been a discontent over this so when it became possible to acquire (legally or illegally) just the songs you wanted the LP crashed. But since the industry was wedded to the LP they crashed, too. But the crash wasn’t because people weren’t paying for the music they wanted, it was because they were not paying for the music they didn’t want.

    That the industry is still wedded to the LP concept can be seen in a growing number of lawsuits by artists against their labels over how the money from song sales should be divvied up. When music was limited to vinyl or CDs there were a lot of legitimate costs – to make the disks, shipping, retailing, etc. Artists got 6-9% of the retail price, the rest of divided between legitimate agents. With digital downloads all that goes away but the Labels want to still take 90% of the sale. Musicians are starting to arge that they deserve 30% of sales, the share they get when radio stations license the music to be played.

    The point being that the people doing the most to keep musicians poor are not the people making free downloads of their songs, but the record companies.

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  8. mark said on June 21, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Based on Del’s post (and now beb’s), I think there is a good chance Emily the NPR blogger will never realize she’s been hit at all, and many of those who need to hear Lowery’s response will hum a few bars of rationalization instead.

    And Nancy, your writing seems so effortlessly joyous and beautiful, like something that just spontaneously floats pleasantly across the page. It’s pretty clear I can just steal it and call it my own. I’d thank you, but it’s not like you pushed a broom on a hot day. And if you still feel some offense from me stealing your work, please realize that others are more responsible for the plight of underpaid writers, and focus on them instead. I’m just a little thief.

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  9. brian stouder said on June 21, 2012 at 9:16 am

    That was an interesting link, Alex. And at the very end, we come to this – which bespeaks their whole “crazy like a Fox” schtick:

    Despite all the outrageousness there is a keen self-awareness inside the network about “Fox & Friends.” “We reflect who the audience is,” said Mr. Shine, offering a recent example. “We didn’t spend a lot of time discussing who won the Tony Awards.” He added, “Our audience knows us, and we know them.”
    Consider the background of Ms. Carlson, who is known for making light of her supposed ignorance. She has said during the program, for example, that she has had to Google the definition of words like ignoramus and czar. Ms. Carlson, who was crowned Miss America in 1989, is no ignoramus. She plays the classical violin and graduated from Stanford with honors.

    Aside from that, I’m not sure I see the sin of plagiarizing from yourself. I’m guessing this all boils down to contract law, and what specifically you agreed to when your relationship with Publication X began. And even then, it might become more complex, if the specific allegation is shown to be wrong, because you originated the material even earlier than they said.

    When you hire a singer, they sing stuff they’ve sung a hundred times before; and if they add a new chorus here or there, so much the better. This ‘self-plagerization’ looks to me like a way for contract lawyers to make money for an imaginary offense.

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  10. Peter said on June 21, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Boy, there’s a couple of things I don’t get about today’s entry:

    1. Maybe I read it the wrong way, but to me that Poynter piece seems to be more of a compliant against Nancy and what she has unleashed than about Jonah Lehrer and his plagarism. I don’t know – I think if you post or publish anything it’s fair game, and if someone can show that you’ve ripped it off and are a con job, well boo hoo to you. It isn’t the equivalent of going through the garbage or stalking someone or going TMZ on them. It’s called fact checking, and reputable organizations are supposed to do it all the time.

    2. That being said, can you really plagarize yourself? If you use an anecdote, an example, and refer and or repeat it endlessly in your writing, is that plagarism? I mean, hasn’t that been the MO for Albom, Greene, Mariotti et al?

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  11. nancy said on June 21, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Obviously, self-plagiarizing isn’t the same as stealing another’s work. However, Lehrer was hired by one of the most prestigious mass-market magazines in the country, and what he turned in to them wasn’t just a recycle — which everyone does, to one degree or another — but almost a word-for-word cut-and-paste of his earlier work. When you’re being paid by the New Yorker for something original, you give them something original.

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  12. brian stouder said on June 21, 2012 at 9:34 am

    And the question looms: are we 30 minutes away from Alito-mageddon?

    (I’m betting we are)

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  13. nancy said on June 21, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Until that lands, I offer this: What. A. Dildo.

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  14. brian stouder said on June 21, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Aye yi yi –

    That guy is writing the Dildo Monologues, apparently!

    Didja see where he said:

    But no employer has the right to tell employees what to think about religious issues – especially when religion, unlike sexual behavior, is explicitly protected by the Constitution.

    Except,he loudly supported the local Catholic honchos in their publicly proclaimed protest against providing comprehensive healthcare to their employees.

    But comment # 1 at the end of his dildo monologue says it best:

    Hey Kevin. It’s just a flag. Nobody’s telling you to believe anything. That’s your job. Remember?

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  15. brian stouder said on June 21, 2012 at 10:18 am

    This is somewhat fascinating

    Decisions are slowly populating the righthand side of the screen.

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  16. Jolene said on June 21, 2012 at 10:28 am

    No decision on the ACA today. Was just looking at a live feed on the SCOTUSblog.

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  17. Bitter Scribe said on June 21, 2012 at 10:31 am

    I edit a trade magazine for coffeehouse owners, and I just got done writing a piece about ASCAP and BMI hitting coffeehouses up for fees because somebody belted out “Margaritaville” during Open Mic Night. I had opened up a discussion about this on our mag’s LinkedIn page, and it drew the usual complaints about “Mafia” and “copyright Nazis.”

    But this one guy—who writes a column for our magazine, has been in the biz forever and is highly respected—came very eloquently to the defense of the copyright agencies:

    How do we coffee folk feel if a “customer” comes in and asks for a iced espresso in a big cup and then goes to the condiment counter and fills it with 12 ounces of half and half and then asks for a “liitle smidge of vanilla syrup” and “Oh, that extra shot isn’t gonna be used, can I have it in my cup??” We’d throw them out and tell them that isn’t how it works. They’d say, “well the condiments are there to use and the extra shot was gonna be dumped anyway” or what ever justification they have.

    Sorry, but we can’t have it both ways.

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  18. brian stouder said on June 21, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Jolene, that John Roberts is quite the showman, eh?

    Oh well; I feel like doing a clam-bake this weekend

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  19. Prospero said on June 21, 2012 at 10:51 am

    “We reflect who the audience is,” Yeah, trailer park bozos looking for beaver shots.

    That being said, can you really plagarize yourself? Saul Zaentz accused John Fogerty of exactly that and won a court case. (maybe best video ever made, single tracking shot, like the beginning of Touch of Evil)

    And the Greatest self-plagiarizer ever: Raymond Douglas Davies.

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  20. Mark P said on June 21, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I have paid for all the music I have on my iPod/iPhone, and I agree that artists should be compensated for their work. But I also tend to take a pragmatic view of things, and my view is that what an artist’s work is worth is determined by the market, and the market has been changing its mind about that for the last several years. It will eventually settle out, and the consequences may be unfortunate for some, including both artists and their fans. I suspect that the wealthiest singers will continue to be wealthy. The poor, unknown singers may give up on the idea of making a living by singing, and fans/potential fans will never hear from them again. Or new avenues may open up, just as they have in the publishing business. But the genie is out of the bottle.

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  21. LAMary said on June 21, 2012 at 11:05 am

    My ex, who is very tight with the dollars except when buying crap for himself, gave his sons a lovely Christmas gift of over 6500 songs on a hard drive that he got free. The songs were free, not the hard drive. Nothing like giving your kids stolen stuff for Christmas. It says it all.

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  22. adrianne said on June 21, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Nance, the self-satisfied smirk on KL’s face says it all.

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  23. Suzanne said on June 21, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Mitch “William J. Lepetomane” Daniels was just appointed as President of Purdue, unanimously elected by the trustees he put in place for that purpose. Are the people of Indiana really that dumb? Illinois has nuttin’ on us as far as graft and corruption go!

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  24. Prospero said on June 21, 2012 at 12:01 pm


    The real question about that Leininger guy’s column is, does that paper have editors? That is one bizarre screed. And it certainly sounds like the protesting a tad too much sort of thing.

    Adrianne, that guy has a Pete Campbell face. Needs smacking around. But he looks like he might pay big bucks to Madame Brunhilde for that already.

    Mary, it fell off the truck.

    Most outrageous thing about stealing music is that people that do so obsessively tend to listen to a single track repeatedly. The idea of albums is going down the drain, and that is a seriously lamentable cultural loss, and, I say, a symptom of human-wide braindrain.

    (And the ad seems like something the Mael Bros. made up.)

    That Leininger guy is going to be an early victim of the Funky Western Civilization. He needs a better avatar:

    Suzanne, it’s a good day when one can be helpful.

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  25. Charlotte said on June 21, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Hmm. I have a bunch of musician friends, including one very talented teenager who is playing club gigs in LA (and writing her own songs). Trying to figure out how to get her an in in the business, without selling the rights to her stuff to someone else, has been interesting to watch. Her parents are writers/television people, so they know from agents … but still. The kid’s dream is to sign with Jack Black in Nashville.
    And I paid the Pandora subscription because I never find new music on my own, and they say they’re paying the rights … hope so. I’ve never quite gotten over the horror of finding used copies of my novel on the Amazon page the same day the hardcover was released — I kept writing to them trying to explain that if I didn’t earn out, I’d never be able to publish another one. They didn’t care. It was very upsetting. Also why I try not to buy used copies of books by living writers I like …

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  26. nancy said on June 21, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Critics sell review copies to supplement the insulting paychecks they make for criticizin’. I’m told this is pretty common.

    I’m very scrupulous about paying for creative work, but in the early days of Napster, I sometimes shopped in the looting section of the store. And I use libraries a lot, but if I know the writer, I buy the book. (Except for one, Laura Lippman! I had to make $50 last 10 days, and there “No Good Deeds” sat on my library’s new-releases shelf. Sorry about that, but I think I’ve made it up in pimpage over the years, right?)

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  27. brian stouder said on June 21, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Nancy made a Laura Lippman fan out of me, and I’ve purchased (or Pam has purchased – for gifting purposes) pretty much the whole collection; plus I got two of them inscribed by the author in Carmel (the town, not the sticky substance); and come to think of it, that was at the public library there, too!

    That’s gotta be worth at least a ham sandwich or two, for the proprietress, eh?

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  28. Prospero said on June 21, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Here we go with GOPer outrage over the President’s immigration announcement:

    In the end, the objection to President Obama is that his skin is the wrong color. Or that he’s not Howard Dean, who I think may be a reality host about now.

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  29. Prospero said on June 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Critics sell review copies to supplement the insulting paychecks they make for criticizin’. I’m told this is pretty common.

    You mean critics must read it twice, or more, but with pristine copies before they deliver juicy farts for ads?

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  30. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    LAMary, there’s one of the funnier iCarly episodes (a tween TV show on Nick) based on what happens when you gift a hard drive full of ripped music. I should be more embarrassed than I am to know this, but I have a 14 year old.

    Personally, while the largely unwritten code of blogging was observed by the Poynter piece, it was done in the most minimal way imaginable. He has one, one-word hyperlink to this blog, and neither uses the blog title in his article, nor refers to the Proprietress by “Nancy Nall,” but the somewhat anomalous “Nancy Derringer.” If he’d wanted to avoid giving any traffic to this blog, he couldn’t have done it intentionally any more scrupulously. Could have been unintentional, but . . .

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  31. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm

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  32. alex said on June 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    He of the smug mug is on the warpath again this week, although I suspect somebody further up the food chain at the News-Sentinel must have told him to dial back his gratuitously inflammatory style a bit. Recently his tone seems to be slightly more respectful than usual toward those with whom he disagrees. This had to be an externally motivated change because he doesn’t have it in him to play nice otherwise.

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  33. Brandon said on June 21, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I gave my students last term a reading assignment about Kim Dotcom, an obscenely rich jerkoff who’s made his dough on sites that hold huge files, no questions asked. I’d never heard of the guy; they all had….

    That’s his real name. And he’s very big and tall.

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  34. Charlotte said on June 21, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Well I do have to admit to selling review cookbooks for my Bookslut gig to Powells. You put in the ISBNs, they tell you what they’ll take, print out a mailing label and box them up. For credit. So while I get one pile of books out of the house, I seem to continue to replace them with other piles (oh, and the Bookslut gig, like most internet writing — gratis. I guess I get paid in books.)

    My gripe was with Amazon advertising used copies of my brand new first novel on the same landing page as the just-released hardcover.

    Hence, I’ve made a living in high tech all these years. Needed a paycheck.

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  35. Brandon said on June 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    What if there were no copyright? Would writers, and by extension, other artists, still prosper? This man says yes.

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  36. beb said on June 21, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    So the Supreme Court did not issue a decision on the Health Care Reform. Makes you wonder, are they still testing the wind to see which way they should roll?

    There are no good answers to the problem of downloading songs or movies. All the songs I have on my MP3 player were ripped from CDs I bought. Some people want to argue that that’s just as illegal as downloading from napster. But I paid for those CDs, I’m just moving the files to a more convenient player. the MPAA and RIAA make a big deal about the amount of revenue they lose but refuse to explain how they calculate those loses. The recent “Avengers” movie offered an opportunity to examine the issue. There were apparently 100,000 downloads the week the movie came out. Assuming each download represents one $10 ticket lost, that a million dollars lost on a movie that earned, what was it, $70 million in ticket sales that week. But then you have to consider who many of those downloads were from people who were never going to a theater to see it? Then counter that with estimates of how many people actually watched the movie. Was it one per download or maybe five or six grouped around a TV? Then counter that with the number of people who downloaded the movie and still went to a theater to see it on a big screen. There are all sorts of fudge factor there but a straight-forward look suggests that piracy costs studios at most 2% of revenues.

    There was an article recently which claimed that the Internet was killing porn. Since it is widely believe that porn was what made the internet it’s hard to imagine it killing it as well. What the reporter was saying, really is that with the advent of free streaming videos profits have gone out of the business to where actresses are being paid maybe a fourth of what they used to.

    Then we have the broadcasters who plainly argue that we the viewers have an obligation to watch commercials, because they’re what pays for all the free content. No. There is an obligation between advertisers and broadcasters to broadcast ads but there is no obligation requiring viewers to actually view ads. Everyone knows that when the commercials come on its the sign to go to the bathroom, or get something out of the fridge, or roll through the channels to see what else is on as long as its not a commercial. At some point this whole free internet thing is going to collapse because people don’t like commercials. And then we’ll discover just what we really consider essential.

    In other news.

    the Romney camp is unhappy with Governor Scott of Florida because he’s been talking about how the Florida economy has been improving. We can’t talk about the economy getting better because then people might think Obama had something to do with that.

    And in other news, when will Romney quit lying all the time.

    and, when will Romney actually detail his position on something, anything. Can a man get elected who refused to offer any plans for how he will administrate?

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  37. brian stouder said on June 21, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    …other artists

    mainly bullshit artists.

    It would be the end of genuine “worth” of printed/published information.

    If I can proclaim myself to be CNN or AP or Reuters or Johns Hopkins, and print anything I want utilizing that rubric, it wouldn’t be long before the resultant mish-mash meant that there are no ports within which to leave the endless storm of white noise

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  38. mark said on June 21, 2012 at 2:23 pm


    The Supeme Court rarely issues opinions until they have been internally vetted and revised ad nauseum. They generally follow their own timetable.

    And there are actually many good answers to the questions you raise, most of them already reduced to legislation/law.

    Is it OK for me to rip off Nancy’s writing because I wasn’t going to pay her for it anyway, and thus caused her no lost sale? Bullshit. The rule is real simple- don’t steal. The fact that most of us violate it to some degree and at times doesn’t change the rule.

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  39. JWfromNJ said on June 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    I didn’t think anyone would top Kevin for asshat of the day but I underestimated Joe the plumber. Here’s his campaign ad on gun control:

    After slaughtering a bunch of defenseless tomatoes while using the holocaust as a pro-gun argument Joe closes with the tagline: I Love America.

    So do I because any asshat like him can run for office .. just like Allen West

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  40. Sue said on June 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Question for you folks:
    The coming hike in student loan interest rates – for new loans and/or existing loans? Parent loans as well? I haven’t read an article yet that spells it out.

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  41. Sherri said on June 21, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    I’m not sure whether young Emily is brave or clueless in her original post, though I suppose the two are not mutually exclusive.

    I will take a bit of an exception with the idea that hers is the first generation to pay for the devices but not the content. What about television? We’ve never paid for TV shows. We bought TV sets, we bought cable subscriptions, but we never even had the option to buy a TV show until fairly recently.

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  42. coozledad said on June 21, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Coca-fueled ape Joe Walsh tries to give his torpid peasant constituency a kill-boner, fails:

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  43. JWfromNJ said on June 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Beb – (P)Rick Scott has to talk up job gains and economic growth here in Florida – he’s up for reelection next year. Not a big fan of him but I have to say things are on the slow and steady uptick here.

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  44. Sue said on June 21, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Cooze: And the real Joe Walsh steps in to help Tammy:

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  45. mark said on June 21, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Sorry, brian, i meant “beb”

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  46. coozledad said on June 21, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Sue: I don’t even know how the GOP managed to round up so many bathroom goblins and weekend fathers to run for office. They must have left applications in the toilet at Hojo’s.

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  47. brian stouder said on June 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    And, while Mrs FLOTUS definitely does look like a million bucks, there are 20 union workers in Iowa who all look like 5 million bucks, about now.

    This is a very nice article, with a very strange ending. It concerns 20 folks in the shipping department at Quaker Oats in Des Moines, Iowa (a few weeks ago we discussed how good it smells when you go past that place on the freeway, but we digress!) who are now extremely wealthy, as they won the lottery

    the strange ending:

    The winners don’t yet have many specific plans for spending their jackpot outside of buying a few cars, but they said they’re willing to fight for as long as it takes to keep their names out of the public record. “They didn’t want their last names known. That’s their choice. This is still a free country — for a while anyway,” Day said.

    “This is still a free country – for awhile anyway”?


    I’m guessing that that Day lawyer watches a lot of Fox News.

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  48. brian stouder said on June 21, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    An excerpt from Boehner’s talking points memo, in case the Court strikes down all or part of the Affordable Healthcare Act:

    “[I]f the Court strikes down all or part of the president’s health care law, there will be no spiking of the ball,” Boehner wrote in the memo. “Republicans are focused on the economy—and under President Obama’s policies, our economy is struggling. We will not celebrate at a time when millions of our fellow Americans remain out of work, the national debt has exceeded the size of our nation’s economy, health costs continue to rise, and small businesses are struggling to hire.”

    “Republicans are focused on the economy”.


    I suppose that’s true, in much the same way a wife-beater is focused on his wife.

    And indeed, the thing Boehner’s pissy epistle is that it just highlights the political train wreck that will ensue, if all or part of the law is truck down.

    Have you noticed that Mitt’s placards now say “Repeal and Replace” healthcare? “Replace”?

    OK Mitt – “replace” with….what?


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  49. alex said on June 21, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Well, the Fort got walloped with quite the monsoon, but a very short one. It delayed my departure from work it was so severe. No umbrella would have protected anyone from it and the people in business suits soaked to the skin were quite a sight. It was like a wet oxford shirt contest with midwest meat ‘n’ potatoes pre-diabetic manboobs. Then I get home where not a drop has touched the ground and you can grind ferns and flowers from the forest floor into a powder between your fingers. (And mine’s a yard that’s been getting watered.) This is the first I remember being able to walk a cross a lawn and kick up a cloud of dust in my wake.

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  50. Ryan Felton said on June 21, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Two cents on young people and music-buying habits: As a card carrying member of Generation Y, I’d just like to say there are some of us who still enjoy having the physical copy of an album. Some friends think I’m a goof for still towing around a bin full of CDs in my car, but you would too after your third or fourth iPod fizzles out. And when their phones and iPods decide to take a shit, I’ll still be able to listen to the tunes I want.

    Around the house, I’d take my record player and collection of wax to flip through over a flimsy iPod—>terrible sounding speakers that some seem so pleased with nowadays. MP3s sound like trash anyways.

    But, I still download songs or stream them online. It’s a total drag buying an album that blows. Considering how much effort goes into packaging an LP today (around $19 for most new releases), I’d much rather know I’ll (most likely) like the entire record rather than going in blind on something. That’s a couple day’s worth of meals.

    Emily post was clueless, but it’s the norm.

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  51. Sue said on June 21, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    brian stouder, Boehner’s memo makes me suspicious that someone’s been chatting with John Roberts.
    Just kidding.
    Well, maybe not.

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  52. deb said on June 21, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    One word regarding the music-centric life: Spotify. The app is free (unless you’re using a mobile device), the selection is sublime, it’s fun to use, and the artists get royalties for every tune you play. I don’t quite get how they’re doing this, but I use it on a daily basis and love it to death.

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  53. Charlotte said on June 21, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Good piece at the Awl on the whole music downloading thing:

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  54. Prospero said on June 21, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Brian: GOPers are focused on trashing the economy so long as the President is a brown-skinned guy. “Yo mammy went to Watt Street to gatt.” This is all obvious.

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  55. coozledad said on June 21, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Sung to “Champagne Charlie”, Leon Redbone version.

    I walked into the pissoir
    I’d been there before
    but the RNC was there in socks
    all playing twister on the floor.

    I thought this was a restroom
    with the sex club just outside
    they was a bicycle chained to a dance pole
    and the LDS offered me a ride

    They said

    Champagne, Charlie, is a blast
    Champagne, Charlie, is a blast
    They’s Dom Perignon in the unisex john
    And I just stuck a bottle up my ass.

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