Freeloading PDF/EPUB Ê Kindle Edition

10 thoughts on “Freeloading

  1. Mat Mat says:

    There are lots of uncomfortable truths for music fans in this book It's also well written with some intelligent analogies Here are some uotes that jumped out at meIn 2010 one company readied a “book ripper” that could automatically scan an entire book for eReader use in a few minutes ostensibly making eBook piracy as easy as copying a CD and uploading it to a file sharing serviceDavid Carr may point to the ten billion songs purchased from the iTunes Store in its first seven years but compare that to the forty billion tracks pirated worldwide in 2009 alone An astounding ninety five percent of music downloads in 2010 were piratedthe total number of people employed as professional musicians in the United States fell by seventeen percent from 1999 to 2009 as piracy migrated from the margins and into the mainstreamEven live concert tours once considered “the savior of the music business” saw a historic downturn in 2010Fans freely enjoyed the fruits of musicians’ labor but when it came time to show material gratitude they folded their arms saying “No I’m not gonna” like a generation of spoiled entitled childrenIf you find meaning and beauty from a musician’s work and you want them to continue creating it—then you are obliged to support them If you like the idea of record stores the people they employ the values and spirit they promote—then you are obliged to support them If you’re consistently doing one without the other then on some level you not Metallica are the assholeAccording to McLuhan any such extension of ourselves leads to stress and irritation for our nervous systems The further we extend our senses the acute this irritation becomes In a uest to maintain euilibrium the body’s only recourse is to dull our own sense of self as Narcissus did “We have to numb our central nervous system when it is extended and exposed or we will die If connecting to the Internet also creates a disconnection from reality it isn’t surprising that online culture so often brings out the worst in us as if our inner demons normally tempered by the social norms of society are suddenly freed to run wild and wreak havoc in an abstract and thus victimless digital worldInternet Service Providers who benefitted from the demand created by piracy The rights of creators became increasingly invisible in the piracy debate toward the end of the decadeThe music subscription service Spotify was hailed as a potential savior for the music business for years But when it finally arrived on US shores tiny artist payouts and disappointing growth in paid subscribers reminded everyone that solutions to the existential crisis of piracy weren’t as obvious as New Media thinkers—who came from marketing or technology backgrounds rather than artistic ones—made them out to beIn the first five weeks of 2011 three different albums broke the US record for the lowest selling album to place at Number One since SoundScan started tabulating the figures in 1991Believing in the myth that only huge entertainment corporations benefitted from copyright enforcement meant ignoring independent artists and their own views on piracyUltimately the entitlement that most people feel for free music completely overshadows any moral or legal issues and conflicts that may arise in the hearts and minds of better peopleAndy Falkous from post punk band Future of the Left How far I wonder does this entitlement for free music go? My guitars should they be free? When somebody rips a couple of MP3s off our album and listens to them on their computer speakers and then says they don’t like our album guess what? They haven’t fucking listened to our album and fuck ‘em That’s like rubbing their underwear on my face and me saying they’ve got a small dick I’ve heard a lot of people say “Well I’m a Marxist and I think everyone should get their music for free” I’m like “Do you understand what a Marxist is? Do you understand the words you are using? Do you understand that people should be rewarded for their labor—to a fair and euitable amount?” So you’re telling me that I spent years learning an instrument writing songs and putting my heart and soul into this music to become a fucking t shirt salesman? In the States you get what eleven days vacation two weeks? You can’t tour but a couple of hours away from your hometown In principle I’m against bands lending their music to advertisements but if somebody offered us 100000 tomorrow—even a slightly objectionable company—I’d be an absolute fucking fool not to take that money Anybody over the age of six who offers the patronage argument deserves to be punched in the face The digital pirates of the Decade of Dysfunction painted the entire record industry with the same clumsy brushAsthmatic Kitty member John Beeler It struck me as funny that probably a lot of this sentiment is coming from IT people whose paychecks come from writing code I wonder what they would say if their work became so easily copied?Artists didn’t get into music to run the best artist web store or the most streamlined t shirt printing company Chris Swanson of record label Secretly Canadian Another thing that annoys me is some pirates’ false revolutionary vibe—this anarchy vibe What they don’t realize oftentimes is that there’s a great deal of collaboration between the record label and an artist Stealing is stealing and I assume the only people who would actually try to make that argument are of weak character Whether someone thinks that starving artists make better art—it’s none of their business What if it was their family member or them struggling? What if their employer paid them less because they thought hunger made workers desperate and made them work a little harder? It’s arrogant Only about two percent of bands have a strong enough audience to break even or make something on the road There’s an App on Google phones where you can scan the barcode and it will search the Internet to find a free download and will download to your home computer in about three minutes People have to realize when they pirate songs that they’re not just taking money out of the label’s pocket but taking money from the artist’s pocket too You can hear the difference between hearing a band’s demos and what they can do with some recording money behind them with a real studioConcert promoter Todd Patrick The musicians who are really savvy you see them making and boring music The reason—though not across the board—is because of that “I’m a little businessman” mentality Everyone is their own cottage industry now You don’t see branding in art museums You might see sponsorship You don’t see branding in art galleries You just don’t see it in other forms Why is it so accepted in music? The reason is that people feel guilty about downloadingCraig Finn of The Hold Steady It took six months to make the record For some of these songs I remember writing the lyrics as much as a year ago So to have it all consumed like a McDonald’s cheeseburger like “Okay checked it off my list It’s on my iPod so I’m done with it” It’s almost like people want to capture it rather than experience it if they went online and talked about how they’re going to pirate the album because Vagrant is ripping us off anyway then I’d just want to kill them No matter how we do it it’s definitely crucial for artists to be able to make some money It allows you to focus on what you’re doing I don’t mean money at the Madonna level I mean the sustenance level It allows you to take your work seriously and function as an artist Beggars Group vice president of marketing Adam Farrell As for piracy there’s almost a need for a moral obligation or higher calling To say that music is like a garden—if we don’t care for it it’s gonna wither and die off The world will be an uglier place I think if we’re not developing another generation that has appreciation for arts and culture then we are fucking out of business You’re only gonna have a Katy Perry a Taylor Swift and a Black Eyed Peas You’re not going to have anyone coming up who is interesting You’re not gonna have the superstars that take five or six albums to develop they’re not supporting the whole ecosystem that will give them back of what they want good music Radiohead or NIN are bands that have the luxury of not needing a label any because they already have a huge fanbase to access So the idea that they’re doing it “DIY” is kind of bullshit The fans don’t care any Before artists worried about the perception of selling out There is some connection there between what’s happened with file sharing and this rise in commercial licensingKyp Malone of TV On The Radio I thought by this age I’d own a house They have to eat and pay their fucking rent The idea that you can just follow this technology into this utopia where “It’s free” It’s the most shortsighted fucking bullshit I’ve ever heard It just seems like a copout A pretty transparent excuse The anti corporate vibe from people is hilarious to me Downloading is only possible because of tools given to us by the corporate world You are tied into the corporate world by having a computer in your house than having a record player Even if it was done in someone’s home—the price of the euipment and electricity the price of not working your job And the idea that having starving artists around will improve music is ridiculous The idea that the lack of resources is the main determinant of uality is a very convenient argument for capitalist exploitation I just hate to see us moving in the direction of “Everybody can steal now not just the guys at the top” There’s a whole pirate mentality that’s in the fringes and counter cultures of our society and it really drives me fucking crazy because ultimately that’s not anarchism or anything challenging or progressive It’s just selfish shitty greed A reader's letter to the author Anyone who holds an entitlement attitude that they should never have to pay is just as greedy and unethical as the suits of the RIAA” Another letter Imagine how much better The Beach Boys would’ve been if they worked 40 hours a week doing stupid shit” Judging by the survey the core group of ideologically committed digital pirates is marginal—as little as five percent of Internet users in the UK Reflecting the inner conflict many of my readers expressed one third of Internet users remained undecided on the issue presumably open to new ideas The True Believers of digital piracy might be delirious with illusions of their own power or opportunists in search of action—but mostly they are well meaning people who have been temporarily led astray by their own insatiable desires and can no longer objectively perceive the truth of their own actions Lars Ulrich was the perfect foil to Napster’s image of grassroots collegial sharing As many of my interview subjects pointed out he was easy to vilify As a wealthy artist he was in a terrible position to advocate for the rights of struggling artists At the same time in the user agreement on Napster’s own website one legal subsection read “This Web site or any portion of this Web site may not be reproduced duplicated copied sold resold or otherwise exploited for any commercial purpose that is not expressly permitted by Napster All Napster Web site design text graphics the selection and the arrangement thereof and all Napster software are copyright 19992000 Napster Inc” An often ignored fact is that the essential principle of copyright has been ratified by the United Nations as a human right summarized within Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific literary or artistic production of which he is the author” That individual creators have the exclusive rights to their work have the legal and human right not to be illegally exploited for their labor is fundamental to who we are as a civilization of open democratic societies The Pirate Bay isn’t so different from past entities that exploited the hard work of creators for financial gain For all the real or imaginary misdeeds of the content industry in the past a continually expanding array of licensed digital services are being offered around the globe digital sales free streaming paid streaming online radio and consumer direct services like Bandcamp As consumers and fans it is not our role to arrogantly tell creators what they can and cannot do with their own works while simultaneously exploiting their labor for our own amusement As those still resentful of Lars Ulrich will feel vindicated to hear the higher the rewards people are offered in creative work environments according to multiple studies the worse their performance becomes But in direct conflict with the starving artist mythology he also found “If you don’t pay people enough they won’t be motivated The best use of money as a motivator is to pay people enough to take the issue of money off the table Pay people enough so that they’re not thinking about the money they are thinking about the work” Interestingly in Pink’s studies once the thought of money was taken off the table creative workers performed even better when they were offered the opportunity for autonomy mastery and purpose essentially the ingredients for being an independent artist who has found a supportive audience—the ideal of copyright that’s as good of a “reason to buy” as anything else When faced with the easy option of piracy of course that temptation is difficult to resist This reality was captured by the online comic “The Oatmeal” entitled “I Tried to Watch Game of Thrones and This Is What Happened” The main character attempts many different legal options to watch the first season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” but ultimately pirates it because the only legal means available involves the inconvenience of signing up for an HBO subscription through a cable service But the reason HBO was able to pour money into a project like “Game of Thrones”—a show millions fell in love with —is their restrictive policy that guarantees a return on their investment Copyright also provides an answer to the problem of how keep creativity as independent as possible in the midst of private or state power which might have their own interests in mind Artists desperate for financing would be gradually drawn by this desperation to those institutions and individuals in society who still had superfluous money to spend Torchbearers of anti corporate punk Sonic Youth signed on to release an album through the Starbucks’ record label Hear Music Chicago post rock legends The Sea And Cake sold one of their songs to appear in a Citigroup ad in 2009 Under such a system artists are given incentives to pander and give corporate brands the kind of music that they want Music fans become incidental And we get watered down cross genre collaborations like the ones sponsored by Converse which result in songs about having fun acting crazy and— than anything—being an individual Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast participated in one such corporate patronized collaboration with Kid Cudi and a member of Vampire Weekend The song was called “All Summer” “We just made something that is a fun song” Cosentino told the Times’ Sisario “that will hopefully make people dance around in their Converse during the summer”Why couldn’t passionate music fans lead us out of the doldrums of digital piracy actively voicing support for the punk ethos that the audience and the performer were part of the same artistic community one based upon respect and love for creativity and for one another?It is a tragic irony that so many threw themselves into accepting digital piracy out of a distaste for corporate culture while engineering the conditions for those same corporations to opauely influence what bands deserved careers and what bands journalists should coverFor one thing you got very little art that criticized the king or the Pope under that system patronagePatronage by concentrated institutions of power rather than by wide swaths of individual consumers raises inherent uestions of censorship“Our basic Internet freedoms are on the chopping block” the infographic finished Sure if “Internet freedom” means the freedom to exploit people The idea that the Internet or digital technology has rights and characteristics that we are obliged to respect even at the expense of the rights of flesh and blood people is the core sentiment of the great self destructive deceitful ideology at the source of those who ultimately support the illegal exploitation of creators Digital Determinism The piracy debate is useful for us as we lay the rails for the 21st century because it exposes the narcissistic risks of pervasive use of digital tools We might become numb to reality be hypnotized by the illusory power of digital tools believe in the primacy of the images on the screen—even forgetting that the screen is a screen—and attack our own interests out of the determination to uphold the “open” values of the machine that gratifies our every thought desire and emotion Technology is becoming ever advanced but we humans are still the only ones who can decide how to use it It turned out that millions upon millions of people are choosing to pay for their digital music accounting for worldwide digital sales of 46 billion in 2010 And thanks to digital sales total US record sales actually grew by a modest margin in 2011 for the first time since 2004 That point bears repeating as the decade mark on Bowie’s deterministic prophecy came up recorded music was technically a “growth industry” Glenn Peoples of Billboard was so struck by the uptick in digital revenues that he proclaimed 2011 as “the year digital music broke When Google voluntarily began to block certain piracy related terms from their Autocomplete search feature in 2011 such as “torrent” or “pirate bay” the results were dramatic According to a post titled “Google’s Anti Piracy Feature is uite Effective” on Torrent Freak searches for Bit Torrent were cut in half and other searches for infamous distributors of unlicensed content dropped significantly This dream of “openness” and unfettered copying has been used for years to rationalize illegal exploitation of artists in the digital revolution just as the principle of laissez faire economics was used to rationalize the exploitation of child labor during the industrial revolution Then the labor movement steadily spoke out for the rights of workers and achieved progress for all of society just as we all can do our small part to accept the rights of artists and communicate that acceptance to the wider worldThe pirate is a symbol of individuality and vigilante justice—none of which applies to the mass disrespect and laziness that characterize unlicensed downloading Thus “piracy” lends an unearned veneer of romance to what is essentially a drab and bloodless practice numbly violating creators’ rights while uploading and downloading bits of data to and from anonymous isolated computer terminals“Arrr”My goal in this book is not to guilt or shame consumers into never freeloading again but to drive a wedge into the narcotic acceptance of the act

  2. Andre Andre says:

    Good If you are looking for a whiny book look no further this is itBad The author's overbearing method of argument uotes dumpster and entrenched view point ruins what could have been an insightful book

  3. Slavomir Kucharski Slavomir Kucharski says:

    A book that is simultaneously too long and not long enough It is at its most intriguing when citing reports but too often devolves to a high school essay of roughly three repetitive counter points strained threads attempting to tie unrelated events in the author's life to the subject matter and very strictly related to the music industry when trying to discuss other sectors Ruen's ignorance shines Padded with internet comment culture commentary absolutely unrelated to the subject matter interviews belonging in an appendices and approximately 10 pages of notes for a book this long It's a manifesto not a social science book

  4. Gunnar Gunnar says:

    Freeloading is a must read for anyone who loves music and who has struggled to come to terms with the ethical implications of file sharing Like Ruen I come from an indie music background And like him again I gladly utilized Napster and various other file sharing networks while rationalizing my behavior with seductive sounding excuses of how file sharing was just a part of the brave new world of artists making money off of touring and merchandizing and new business models etc But now my eyes have been openedRuen cuts right through all the BS by showing how the talking points that we keep hearing from the free culture apologists he calls then digital determinists simply aren't true They have become platitudes we keep repeating to ourselves in order to not have to take responsibility for what we are really doing taking money out of pockets of the very artists we claim to be supporting Most artists aside from the top 2% are not actually making enough from touring and merchandizing to sustain themselves even ones that you think might have made it via gushing reviews and sold out shows He interviews prominent indie artists members of TV on the Radio Yeasayer etc and labels to show how without the bread and butter income of recording income sales licensing streams its next to impossible to make a sustainable living as a musician in the 21st centuryIn addition to showing how the economics of making music in the 2000's works or does't work Ruen exposes how the digital determinists have created a culture of fear and intimidation where artists and other dissenters are afraid to stand up and tell the truth for fear of being tarred and feathered like Metallica Anybrody who has spent a bit of time examining discussion boards on sites like Tech Dirt Gizmodo or Boing Boing can attest that the information deseves to be free trolls can be nasty and relentless And they are constantly being fed new talking points by self professed members of the new media who have than a little to gain from fanning the flames of the old media just doesn't get it meme The comments to Ruen's initial essays on the website Tiny Mixed Tapes that were the genesis for this book are a perfect example for how the free culture trolls are ensuring that people are afraid to speak truthfully about this subject he received such thoughtful responses such as GKY which means go kill yourselfTrolls of course are by nature not reasonable and this book won't change their mind in the least But thankfully for the rest of us and he believes we are the silent majority Ruen offers a well reasoned discussion surrounding thorny issues like copyright terms and artist choice He helps us see how we can embrace the all the new possibilities of the digital music age while also encouraging a sustainable musical economy so that the artists that make the music we love can continue to do so

  5. Smorgan Smorgan says:

    This is unfortunately a fairly weak book on the very important topic of media piracy and its conseuences as well as the role and weaknesses of copyrightThe author obviously has a strong opinion which is itself fine but unfortunately then expresses it using poor analogy straw man or partial representations of the arguments of some others he discussed but not all eg Cory Doctorow is fairly accurately represented Lawrence Lessig is not and a style of rhetorical uestioning to promote a position without providing evidence to support it Using highly loaded terms of his own creation my least favourite of which was 'Decade of Dysfunction' didn't help convey an idea of detached rational argument although any such idea would have been false in any caseThe sections containing discussions with indie band members indie record label owneremployees and so on were very interesting The conversations were often wandering but they provided nice insights into what at least a subset of indie musicians and labels are experiencing and how they are viewing the current situationAlso in an attempt to convey the idea that those who wholesale pirate are the exception rather than the rule the author somewhat damages their own argument A UK survey is described in which only a very small proportion of respondents said that they regularly pirated music However since the central premise of the book is that music piracy or freeloading is causing hardship among artists and relatively small indie labels the idea that music piracy isn't actually particularly widespread doesn't mesh well The low figure is certainly nice when attempting to point out the attitude that piracy is entirely acceptable is rare but essentially conflicts with the broader argument that piracy is harming the industryMore generally to the extent that arguments are presented to support the author's claims or views rather there are often weaknesses that make the claims dubiousAlthough in my opinion this is not a particularly good book it is probably worth borrowing from the library and reading over for the parts which are interesting mainly the interviews with band members and label owners and staff

  6. Rob Granniss Rob Granniss says:

    I work with Chris and so I'm strongly biased against him as a person but this book is great This is very near and dear to me as I worked as a studio engineer while the music industry was being 'transformed' by P2P file sharing Freeloading is a call to treat creative works fairly and owning up to how illegal downloading has taken away artists choice of what to do with their works as well as their ability to make a living without compromising their works for car commercials it's a longer nuanced argument but for the sake of this review not going on forever Also I like that this has some practical means of moving the dialogue forward opting for Freeloading to be a accurate term than piracy which is inaccurate as people downloading aren't making money nor sexy as they aren't really rebelling but are passively consuming It has some great interviews and some really great SOPA information in terms of separating the grassroots from the astroturf Highly highly recommend to it

  7. Paul Paul says:

    Excellent and passionate treatise about the music community which the writer believes is in dire straits and in danger of destruction due to 'free loading' Chris Ruen takes an even handed approach blaming both sides in the music wars for the decline of both the major label and indie music industry The book contains salient advice for both the record label insiders and downloading music fans In theend Chris believes we all want the same thing a healthy vibrant music culture that exists to produce great new music for us to hear and also to provide a viable living for the musicians who supply us Free Loading is an essential book for anybody who gives a damn about the future of our musical world Highly recommended

  8. Patrick Pilz Patrick Pilz says:

    This is a book written by a guy who did not succeed as a musical artists blaming piracy The book is full of whining and crying about copyright infringement Whether you agree with the author of the book or not it still is a bad book Over large portions of the book the author printed pages upon pages uotes from interviews with others too lazy to work through the essential message of the interview Based on this performance I do not believe that the author will succeed as a poet either

  9. Lindsay Baker Lindsay Baker says:

    This book tackled an important and controversial topic It came from a perspective that I believe differs from the majority There was a fair amount of anecdotes and personal opinions which I found to be slightly awkward and not necessarily beneficial to the point he was trying to make Yet overall I found this book to be insightful and helpful

  10. Kevin Kevin says:

    Desperately needed corrective to the plethora of books casting internet pirates as countercultural heroesHighly readable pleasantly earnest and featuring interviews with a wide range of indie rock luminaries

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Freeloading [PDF / Epub] ☉ Freeloading ❤ Chris Ruen – A wonderful book that catches an encouraging shift in the zeitgeist Ruen’s epiphany regarding the effects of his own piracy and freeloading of the bands he loves was eye opening – David ByrneInter A wonderful book that catches an encouraging shift in the zeitgeist Ruen’s epiphany regarding the effects of his own piracy and Freeloading of the bands he loves was eye opening – David ByrneInternet piracy it’s an eternal battle pitting indies versus corporations free spirits against the money grubbing Scrooge McDucks of the worldRightSort of sometimes—maybe not Freeloading takes a critical cool look at a near pervasive phenomenon that involves almost everyone who taps a keyboard beyond that it's a reminder of the truism that for every action there are conseuences What happens when we pirate a favorite work of art—a song book or movie And as importantly what if anything can or should be done about itInternet piracy has created unlikely allies On the one hand there are original creators of content including artists and corporate copyright holders—on the other legions of freespirited consumers who see themselves in the hackerOWS traditionAuthor Chris Ruen himself a former dedicated freeloader came to understand how illegal downloads can threaten an entire artistic community after spending time with successful Brooklyn bands who had yet to make a significant profit on their popular music The product of innumerable late night caffeine fueled conversations and interviews with contemporary musicians such as Craig Finn of The Hold Steady Ira Wolf Tuton of Yeasayer and Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio Freeloading not only dissects this ongoing battle—casting a critical eye on the famous SOPA protests and the attendant rhetoric—but proposes concise practical solutions that would provide protection to artists and consumers alike.

  • Kindle Edition
  • 270 pages
  • Freeloading
  • Chris Ruen
  • English
  • 23 May 2016

About the Author: Chris Ruen

Chris Ruen is a year old author from Brooklyn whose essays and criticism have appeared in The New York Times Slate The New York Press and Stereogum He is a former Contributing Editor for the internationally distributed Cool ‘Eh Magazine and has covered music culture for Tiny Mix Tapes a Minneapolis based online music magazine While studying at the University of Minnesota he founded The Wa.