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Another Reason the Internet Sucks
#3058669 08/17/20 07:50 AM
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I wanted to look up the definition of a term, so of course, I used Google. Three of the hits were from web sites dedicated to recording (you know, like superduperhomerecordingexpertperson.com and iknowsomuchaboutrecording.com), and they all had cut and pasted the same copy from an article on Waves' website, without any kind of attribution or thanks. And I'm sure they didn't ask for permission.

I keep running into the occasional site that looks like the person running it checks out the Monday Mix videos I do for Full Compass, and then does his own a couple weeks later. I see excerpts from my books and articles all over the web, copies of schematics I did (with no credit), and so on. Some people do give a name check, but they're outnumbered by the plagiarists.

Now, I recognize that there is such a thing as parallel discovery. But when I see a component-for-component copy of a schematic I did on a site that has the balls to say what they've done is copyrighted and people shouldn't copy it, I'm blown away. I'm not bitter as in "I can't make a living." I can do plenty of things other people can't do, and I get paid to do them. What boggles my mind is the complete lack of integrity, and any sense of "credit where credit is due" - not because it damages me (well I guess maybe it does to some extent), but because these people are frauds for passing off the work of others as their own. No one cares, no one thinks it matters. That just the way things are - go ahead and steal, but only as long as you can get away with it.

I get that they have no shame, but what's even sadder is they have no pride or self-respect...and the internet gives them a platform where they can get away with no consequences from being frauds.

Sound, Studio, and Stage Island
Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3058671 08/17/20 10:51 AM
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This is a problem I had a good while back, starting in the mid-nineties.

With every diagram I created I then embedded a transparent "authored by" item where it couldn't easily be extracted without damaging the content.
I found that something as simple as MS paint was able to create it.

Later on, when I had created a number of Powerpoint presentations I found individuals copying some detailed technical slides (in this case about satellite telecoms).
I locked the presentations with a password so that they were read only, and put a by line on every slide.
The satellite company I'd created the courses for weren't to amused but weren't prepared to pay for breach of copyright.

It seems, today, that if people can plagiarise content they will.
See the ongoing dipute where Australia are going to make Google pay for plagiarised news content.
So the rule is make sure your copy or diagrams are marked so that they refer the reader back to your own site.

But there again, it ain't new, Mr Handel in his later years 'nicked' a lot of tunes from other composers.
The Internet just makes it easier.

Last edited by JohnG11; 08/17/20 10:52 AM.

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Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3058672 08/17/20 11:12 AM
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It is really annoying as a user. Sometimes a search will take me right to what I'm looking for. Other times there are a half dozen sites with poorly copied content that's all the same between them, though it's often munged. I don't know what you call them, but it looks to me like these sites are just trying to get clicks though I often don't see the source of revenue since the ads aren't prominent.

I also hate sites that talk about things ("so-and-so said in a recent interview…") yet don't provide links (you know, the thing that pretty much invented the internet) to the original article. How lazy is that?

Last "why the internet can suck" rant for me for now. Blogging posing as journalism. As John Wayne said, "if I want your opinion I'll ask for it!" Sloppy-ass-written articles interjected with the author's opinion slathered all over it. Snarky comments interjected throughout. Authors trying to be clever and cute. I'm not saying things have to be totally dry, but stop it already. I came here for information, not for your "see what I did theres". rolleyes


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3058680 08/17/20 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
I wanted to look up the definition of a term, so of course, I used Google.

Took me a couple of readings of that sentence before I got to the subject of your post. First I though you were looking up the term "sucks."

When I see word-for-word copies of (generally informative other than that I've already read that) text, it's often in magazines rather than web sites, or the web version of a magazine. It's what the press release reads, usually unchanged, not even paraphrased. It makes me think that the editor or writer doesn't really know what he's putting into print.

I have often used material in press releases, and occasionally reviews when the writer clearly knows what he's saying, but I don't copy them word for word except for an occasional sentence or two, always surrounded by quotation marks, and always acknowledging the source, and in "The press release says this as well as I can, so in the vendor's words ....."

I have on occasion copied an illustration, usually something generic like a microphone or meter scale from a web article because the author's graphics department can draw straighter lines or take sharper photos than I can. Since I learned how to use my computer to make charts and graphs, and how to draw straight lines and rectangles for block diagrams - to illustrate signal flow, rather than to explain why a Class A preamp is Class A - I do my own graphics. The VU meter on the opening page of my web site comes from a TASCAM ad back when they were using real meters on their mixers. There!

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3058683 08/17/20 01:34 PM
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I found quite a few people posting the styles I wrote for Band-in-a-Box and claiming credit for them. Opening the styles in the StyleMaker app, I could still see my © notice.

I e-mailed them and asked them to remove, which they did, but of course, they popped up in other places.

It's a sad state of affairs. Those people show no honor or self-pride, not to mention are stealing. But it's not worth losing sleep over. You can't make people be good. After all the 10 commandments are now simply the 10 optional suggestions.

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The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<
Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3058687 08/17/20 03:17 PM
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Somebody with integrity thinks: "Just as I've always done, today I tried to do my best to be a decent, honest person with integrity and tonight I will sleep well."

A sociopath thinks: "Just as I've always done, today I did whatever would bring a benefit to me, regardless of how it affected other people and tonight I will sleep well."

The philosphy is profoundly different. Sadly, the end result not so much.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3058715 08/17/20 08:03 PM
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I recognized early on that it is futile to play whack-a-mole chasing down internet plagiarists. That's a big reason why my vintage synth restoration webpages are intentionally incomplete - there's enough there for a trained tech/engineer to figure out. I also watermark my synth photos, and the service manuals that I scanned are marked NOT FOR SALE OR AUCTION for a good reason.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Joe Muscara #3058721 08/17/20 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe Muscara
Blogging posing as journalism.

To which I would add user reviews from morons. I've seen so many user reviews that diss a piece of gear because it doesn't do something...or at least, doesn't do it unless you read the manual.

One of my favorite user reviews was a two-star review for my MIDI for Musicians book. The person said upfront he'd never read the book (well, props for public admittance of ignorance), but that the book was over 30 years old - so it couldn't be any good, and no one should buy it. Fortunately, a couple other people pointed out the MIDI spec hasn't changed since that book was written, and one guy wrote "You gave two stars for a book you didn't buy or read because of the copyright date?"

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3058734 08/17/20 11:40 PM
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And then there's the "reviewer" who says it sounds great on toms and snare, gives a nice warmth to any vocal, and can really crunch when pushed. That could be a review for anything.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3058761 08/18/20 12:53 PM
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My imaginary comic book villain/nemesis the Regurgitator and his Pustules strike again. They're everywhere; on line, in the forums, in the workplace , you name it. They have incredible abilities to memorize data and of course claim it as their own. They have tremendous egos. They lack independent thought and can't figure anything out on their own. There's nothing worse then being outed and this is their Achilles heal.

Fortunately I, the Besmircher (please don't reveal my true identity) can easily spot them. Confronted in person or in a meeting with a question outside their vast repertoire of general information they quickly fall silent (if they're smart) or turn into blathering idiots exposing their true nature. Unfortunately on line they usually just disappear for a while awaiting their next opportunity.

Fear not, the Besmircher never rests.


bor

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Mike Rivers #3058824 08/19/20 02:38 AM
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There was a truisim a couple of decades ago, when the Internet was evolving into being "the web": "As soon as you post it, it's public domain." The point was not one of legality or ethics, but of practical expectations.

Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Originally Posted by Anderton
I wanted to look up the definition of a term, so of course, I used Google.
Took me a couple of readings of that sentence before I got to the subject of your post. First I though you were looking up the term "sucks."
Don't feel bad -- I thought was saying he had looked up the meaning of the term "Internet."

By the way, my Internet pet peeve this week is listicles. No obscenity is too harsh for them.


-Tom Williams
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Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Tom Williams #3058826 08/19/20 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom Williams
By the way, my Internet pet peeve this week is listicles. No obscenity is too harsh for them.

I can give you the top 5 reasons why listicles will give you all the pro tips you need!

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3058846 08/19/20 09:04 AM
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This post brings back many memories.

My first book, Customer Service Over the Phone, was published prior to the Internet in 1992. A few years thereafter, when the Internet emerged, a simple Netscape search (on a key sentence from my book) revealed plagiarism, mostly among human resource documentation about employee phone etiquette - with no author attribution. Over the years, conference PowerPoint files featured paragraphs from my book on various slides - again no author attribution. It's been going on for decades and it's frustrating. I suppose there's a sense, among younger generations, that everything on the Internet is public domain and free.

Early on, I did contact plagiarists when I was able and they took down the content. But after a while, it was like "whack a mole" as The Real MC so eloquently stated, and I just gave up.

The upside of the Internet is that posting my best video content for free yielded much consulting and speaking revenue. At first, I was lukewarm to the idea about giving away my best content for free, but this strategy has proven itself again and again.

So has the Internet redeemed itself?

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
SteveCoscia #3058876 08/19/20 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SteveCoscia
So has the Internet redeemed itself?

Perhaps, unintentionally, for you.

It is still the world's finest display of the reality of the human sewer farm...


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
SteveCoscia #3058893 08/19/20 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by SteveCoscia
So has the Internet redeemed itself?

Actually I was a little harsh with the OP...the internet doesn't suck, it's how people use it. In a way, we now have a modern-day equivalent of the library of Alexandria, where the sum total of the world's knowledge is at your fingertips. For example, museum sites that put all their famous paintings online so that even if you can't make it over to the museum itself, you can marvel at the artwork.

I guess it's like any tool...the tool itself is neutral, it's how a human uses the tool that makes the difference.

Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
It is still the world's finest display of the reality of the human sewer farm...

I always hope that aliens aren't reading the comments on YouTube...because then they'll decide there's no intelligent life on earth, and they might decide to have us for dinner.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3058911 08/19/20 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
I always hope that aliens aren't reading the comments on YouTube...because then they'll decide there's no intelligent life on earth, and they might decide to have us for dinner.

I hope they have pressure cookers, some of us are likely to be a bit tough and chewy.
Also, they may be disappointed if they plan on cracking skulls and eating brains... so it goes...


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3058920 08/19/20 07:57 PM
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I totally agree that outright copying of material is wrong, whether it violates legal, ethical or moral grounds. But I want to ask you guys do you feel a certain amount of ownership of the information itself? Do you distinguish between material you discovered completely on your own vice research and gathering of internet information and other sources?

To use Steve’s Customer Service publication- do you credit your company with the experience and do they own part of your publication? Or are you just claiming ownership of putting the material together? And if some practice you wrote about was adopted but thought of by another individual is it ok to publish that without giving him credit? Maybe you adopted certain philosophies that were passed down to you by more senior co-workers, supervisors etc.

What about your electronic stuff Michael? Didn’t you learn a lot of that on the job? Or school? Should we credit our teachers and the books where we got that knowledge? I sure don’t know specifically where I got the information I know in my head. I’m only certain about the things I truly discovered for myself. I also can’t remember very much without looking it up again and again.

Ok one more example that I wrestle with in my head: I just finished up a Prophet 5 Refurb recently. I was able to figure out what parts to order from a lot of time consuming research on line and my engineering experience. Now if someone ask me hey can you send me the parts list so I can refurb my P5?

I’m all for sharing info as people have done for me over the years. And I don’t stand to lose money ...but it was a lot of work.

Thoughts?

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Markyboard #3058923 08/19/20 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Markyboard
I totally agree that outright copying of material is wrong, whether it violates legal, ethical or moral grounds. But I want to ask you guys do you feel a certain amount of ownership of the information itself? Do you distinguish between material you discovered completely on your own vice research and gathering of internet information and other sources?

Thoughts?

I just work on a "credit where credit is due" approach. Like I wrote up a tip for Studio One that was based on a Sonar idea that Steve Cook wrote up for the Cakewalk forum. Being different programs the implementation was different, and of course, the writing I did was 100% me. But I credited him for the idea, and told him what I had done so he was in the loop.

You can only take things so far...if I'm going to write up a unique circuit using an IC, I'm not going to credit Shockley for his work on inventing the transistor, or Logitech for designing the keyboard on which I wrote the article. I think name checks and shoutouts are appropriate when needing to give credit.

It would have been sooooo simple for the sites that stole the Waves stuff to a) ask for permission, but if that's too much work, b) credit it to Waves, include a link to the article, and include a disclaimer that the material is copyrighted by Waves and the site will remove it if requested. Frankly, I think Waves would rather have credit and a link.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3058939 08/19/20 09:38 PM
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My wife likes the Internet. esp Amazon.com.

And she is a school teacher - with a near perfect record of being accurate 99.9% of the time wink

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Markyboard #3058940 08/19/20 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Markyboard
To use Steve’s Customer Service publication- do you credit your company with the experience and do they own part of your publication? Or are you just claiming ownership of putting the material together? And if some practice you wrote about was adopted but thought of by another individual is it ok to publish that without giving him credit? Maybe you adopted certain philosophies that were passed down to you by more senior co-workers, supervisors etc.
Good observation, Mark.

In my case, the writing was a culmination of case studies, lessons learned by trial & error and the simplification of complex behavioral outcomes. Creating flowcharts, diagrams and scripting examples required new thinking and new paradigms. Granted, the case studies, etc. couldn't have happened without being employed. The book's acknowledgement section mentioned and thanked coworkers, mentors and family who were influential.

But the real issue is the personal time - hundreds of hours of writing, researching, proofing, re-writing, etc. etc. etc.. Anyone who has written a book knows the work and time involved - that first book stressed my marriage. I suppose authors want to be acknowledged for the massive amount of time invested. The slap in the face occurs when I see text, that took me weeks to write, copied and pasted so nonchalantly.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3058952 08/19/20 10:58 PM
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Totally with you Craig (and Steve). I’m not a professional writer(could you tell?) or for that matter a professional anything these days. But I do agree and sympathize with those originators of work losing revenue because of, well, stealing. Let’s call it what it really is.

On a slight tangent I help a lot of people on line with all kinds of technical issues. On forums a number of people often want to jump in and help. Their intentions are good and that’s cool.

But I find people often suggest or rather guess at solutions they’ve read elsewhere over the years without really understanding the applicability. They fail to ask the right questions and at least try to follow a logical diagnosis. Noise/ ground loop problems is a classic example; “Plug all your shit into the same ac outlet“ or “use one of those Hum-x filters”, even though it’s been ascertained the noise isn’t coming from the ac. Hello?

The worst is when they inject suggestions without reading the steps taken thus far and try to follow the process of elimination. These are what I refer to as the Regurgitators.

Ok, even though I just had my little hissy fit we should be trying to enlighten these people, not discourage them. I want knowledgeable people (like the folks here) to continue teaching me stuff and I also want to help those people I just besmirched to learn and understand what we know. There are a lots of well intentioned folks that just don’t have the background and technical know how. I know many aren’t receptive to really learning this tech crap and that’s fine. But for those who are interested we should share freely and without concern for diminishing our mighty standing in the world that gets us all the babes. And when we do help someone solve a problem or make a technical break through, give them the credit. They have the tougher part in this and besides, we geezers don’t need anymore credit. People know those who know their shit from the regurgitators.

Just like people can tell the real deal from the assholes stealing shit and calling it their own. Those thieves may benefit in the short term but in the end they have to come to terms with themselves. Or go into politics.

Last edited by Markyboard; 08/19/20 11:02 PM.
Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
SteveCoscia #3058953 08/19/20 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by SteveCoscia
Originally Posted by Markyboard
To use Steve’s Customer Service publication- do you credit your company with the experience and do they own part of your publication? Or are you just claiming ownership of putting the material together? And if some practice you wrote about was adopted but thought of by another individual is it ok to publish that without giving him credit? Maybe you adopted certain philosophies that were passed down to you by more senior co-workers, supervisors etc.
Good observation, Mark.

In my case, the writing was a culmination of case studies, lessons learned by trial & error and the simplification of complex behavioral outcomes. Creating flowcharts, diagrams and scripting examples required new thinking and new paradigms. Granted, the case studies, etc. couldn't have happened without being employed. The book's acknowledgement section mentioned and thanked coworkers, mentors and family who were influential.

But the real issue is the personal time - hundreds of hours of writing, researching, proofing, re-writing, etc. etc. etc.. Anyone who has written a book knows the work and time involved - that first book stressed my marriage. I suppose authors want to be acknowledged for the massive amount of time invested. The slap in the face occurs when I see text, that took me weeks to write, copied and pasted so nonchalantly.

Totally get it now Steve 2thu.

Having come from the classified world for a good part of my career I realized about 10 years out that the only thing I could take with me was the money I earned, the knowledge/experienced I gained and the wonderful feeling helping the younger folks succeed.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
SteveCoscia #3058985 08/20/20 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by SteveCoscia
But the real issue is the personal time - hundreds of hours of writing, researching, proofing, re-writing, etc. etc. etc.. Anyone who has written a book knows the work and time involved

45 books later, I can vouch for that statement. Every time I finish a book, I swear I'm never going to write another one smile

It was very discouraging to run across a pirate site where over 10,000 people had downloaded my "How to Create Compelling Mixes" book in electronic form, especially compared to the pittance of print books sold by my publisher.

I started a new strategy a couple years ago when I realized conventional publishers were clueless: do only downloads, update them frequently, price them in a way that reflects the much lower cost of production, and do extremely targeted distribution (e.g., selling books about Studio One only through the PreSonus web shop). I'm happy to report this has been a very successful approach, even though the books are not copy-protected.

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Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3059021 08/20/20 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
It was very discouraging to run across a pirate site where over 10,000 people had downloaded my "How to Create Compelling Mixes" book in electronic form, especially compared to the pittance of print books sold by my publisher.

When I wrote my Mackie hard disk recorder book, I went with a print-on-demand publisher (no "real" publisher thought there was a big enough market to take it as a real book) for two reasons. First off, I wanted the reader to have a paper copy he could have in front of him while working on the machine. It was spiral bound so it could lay flat, and it's much more friendly than having to go to another screen to read a paragraph, then go back to the machine. The other reason for killing the trees was that it wasn't easily copied. Plus the printer handled all the money and shipping. Customers ordered from their web site, they took their cut, and they'd send me checks when there was enough money in my account.

I had many requests for a PDF copy, but I resisted as long as I could - until the print-on-demand outfit decided to quit printing on paper. Then I had to cave in since I didn't want to try to find another place that provided the same services as I had. I haven't yet found a pirate site where it can be downloaded, but I haven't tried very hard either. I still get a couple of orders a month.


Quote
I started a new strategy a couple years ago when I realized conventional publishers were clueless: do only downloads, update them frequently, price them in a way that reflects the much lower cost of production, and do extremely targeted distribution (e.g., selling books about Studio One only through the PreSonus web shop).

Do they pay you a fixed amount by the book, or do you get royalties based on purchases (or both)?

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3059026 08/20/20 01:09 PM
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I might spend hundreds of hours on a single Band-in-a-Box style to get it just right, pushing the limitations of Band-in-a-Box and doing the best to overcome the shortfalls of the app. My collections are up to 30 styles per e-disk. Then it's 'whack-a-mole'. I can't get them all, and sometimes think it's useless to try.

The only thing that changes is the technology.


I recall in the cassette tape days, the local FM radio station announcing, "We are going to play Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon LP in it's entirety at 11:00 PM tonight (or some other in-demand album for the hippie culture). At 11 they would start with a station ID, play side A, insert a short FM voice announcement consisting of the station's call letters and frequency and then go on to play Side B.

So the listeners could pirate the album for free, and the only price was listening to a short radio station ad between sides.

And how many people taped a Cinemax or HBO movie on their VCR to watch whenever or share with people who didn't subscribe?

The Internet isn't to blame, people are. The 'net just makes it easier and when things are already digital, it allows more complex things to be copied like books.

But then, how do we instill a sense of honor in the population when so many of our governors and even our clergy lie, cheat and steal?

I don't know the answer.

Insights and incites by Notes


Bob "Notes" Norton
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Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Notes_Norton #3059053 08/20/20 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
But then, how do we instill a sense of honor in the population when so many of our governors and even our clergy lie, cheat and steal?
Valid question. There might be future hope, but for now I am protective of my IP.

My third book was self-published and luckily, a best-seller. A Kansas print shop prints the paper copies and it's available in numerous online reader formats (Kindle, VitalSource & MBS). But, I never went to PDF because I believed in my heart that buyers would make unauthorized copies.

Am I a skeptic? Should I be more trusting? Maybe.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Mike Rivers #3059085 08/20/20 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
Do they pay you a fixed amount by the book, or do you get royalties based on purchases (or both)?

I always go for a royalty arrangement. That way there's never a situation where a company pays a fee, then regrets doing so because sales didn't match expectations.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
SteveCoscia #3059088 08/20/20 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by SteveCoscia
But, I never went to PDF because I believed in my heart that buyers would make unauthorized copies.

Am I a skeptic? Should I be more trusting? Maybe.

Frankly, I'm shocked that the first book I did for PreSonus is still selling. If people were pirating, it would have tailed off a long time ago. As to the Mixes book I referred to, the thiefs simply generated a PDF from the print version. To me, the downloads indicated demand that wasn't being met. I believe if the book had been available from the publisher in an electronic format, the degree of piracy wouldn't have been so high.

I'm pretty sure the bottom line is that honest people will be honest, and the people who want to steal something will. In the case of the PreSonus books, I think people have a certain amount of respect for the time and effort that's put into them. The contents are available so people know what they're getting, and for many of the books, I post a free sample chapter. Perhaps another advantage is that I'm a person, not a company. It might be more difficult to steal from that guy who writes the cool tips compared to stealing from XYZ Publishing.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3059099 08/20/20 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
the bottom line is that honest people will be honest, and the people who want to steal something will.

QFT


that was then and this is now
Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3059101 08/20/20 06:20 PM
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FYI, I have worked with two software companies that used to have fairly rigorous copy protection. The expense of doing so was judged excessive if they wanted to stay competitive, so they dropped the rigorous copy protection and went to an "enter this serial number" type of approach.

After a year, both companies said it made absolutely zero difference in their sales, one way or the other. They both came to the conclusion that the people who stole it probably weren't going to buy it anyway, and that most people are honest and want to support the companies whose tools they use, lest the company go out of business.

In the case of my books, I think that by offering a PDF so that people can print it if they want, put it on an iPad, or whatever, shows that I trust them and I think that encourages people to return the favor. I'm also trying to be really fair, like offer updated versions after a year or two that include a lot more material, but are available to people who bought an earlier edition for 50% off.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3059131 08/20/20 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
I always go for a royalty arrangement. That way there's never a situation where a company pays a fee, then regrets doing so because sales didn't match expectations.

I look at it the other way. I put in the hours, I gave them a product. I get paid. I don't care how much more I might make if sales go through the roof, or not get paid for my time if it doesn't sell well.

I guess the trick when you're on a royalty plan is to be sure that you're writing about a product or method with sales that will meet your expectations for payment.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3059208 08/21/20 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
FYI, I have worked with two software companies that used to have fairly rigorous copy protection. The expense of doing so was judged excessive if they wanted to stay competitive, so they dropped the rigorous copy protection and went to an "enter this serial number" type of approach.

After a year, both companies said it made absolutely zero difference in their sales, one way or the other. They both came to the conclusion that the people who stole it probably weren't going to buy it anyway, and that most people are honest and want to support the companies whose tools they use, lest the company go out of business.
I worked for a software company and the owner felt the same way. IIRC, the owner thought that the pirated copies out there helped sales a bit, as they allowed people to try the software and eventually buy it, especially if there was a paid upgrade that came out.


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Mike Rivers #3059247 08/21/20 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
I guess the trick when you're on a royalty plan is to be sure that you're writing about a product or method with sales that will meet your expectations for payment.

Yes, because they you make money while you sleep. Passive income is great.

Not all sales meet expectations, especially with companies that don't realize that what worked for publishing in 1980 doesn't work in 2020. I'm very happy with the new model I'm using. I can almost guarantee I'll never do another book with a traditional publisher.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3059313 08/22/20 01:40 AM
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When I first started mail-order commerce in the early 1980s, i wrote a tax deduction book for musicians. My sisters are CPAs, I picked their brains, and self-published photocopy handbooks. I sold a few hundred of them using classified ads.

A good friend of mine who used to teach at the University of Miami and also played with Ira Sullivan wrote a jazz guitar book, Warner Brothers published it, and it sold quite a few thousand. Comparing notes, I made more money than he did.

WB did one run, and then dropped it.

The gatekeepers have always exploited the artists.

Now we can handle our business on the 'net, but there are so many of us doing it, it's hard to get recognized.

Notes


Bob "Notes" Norton
Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<
Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Notes_Norton #3059353 08/22/20 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
Now we can handle our business on the 'net, but there are so many of us doing it, it's hard to get recognized.
Yep, that's correct.

Thankfully, tenacity and trial/error/improve pay off as we stumble our way through internet e-commerce. Those who succeed keep stumbling forward and persevere through the setbacks. One strategy I stumbled upon is the market niche - and I mean a very narrow niche - so narrow that potential prospects are excluded. A narrow niche is deep, very deep - possibly bottomless with boundless opportunity (the bigger fish in a smaller pond paradigm).

A narrower niche requires a narrower marketing message that hits niche prospects right between the eyes. Greater online recognition can happen with a narrow niche and lots of tenacity. It's not easy nor is it fast.

Last edited by SteveCoscia; 08/22/20 01:05 PM. Reason: typo
Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3059359 08/22/20 02:10 PM
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I hit upon a niche before the Internet, when it was mail-order and it converted to Internet very nicely.

Actually it's a niche of a niche of a niche. Musicians are a niche market, musicians making music with computers are a niche of that market, and musicians making music with the auto-accompaniment program Band-in-a-Box are a niche of that niche of a niche market.

I don't watch TV and like to keep actively and/or mentally busy. Back in 1992 BiaB allowed end customers to write their own styles. I decided to use my multi-instrumentalist and theory/arranging skills to try my hand at it. I made about 20 styles I was proud of and shared them with my musician friends who were also playing with BiaB. They told me they liked my styles better than the ones that came with BiaB. (Aren't friends wonderful?). So I took out an ad in Electronic Musician's classified section, I think it was when Craig was editor, and now I have customers in over 100 different countries - every continent but Antarctica. Musicians all over the world building their songs with my music. I never expected it to grow into this. I got lucky.

I now have 28 style e-disk collections and 45 fake e-disk collections. I'm writing two more style e-disks now and Leilani is working on 3 new fake e-disks. Of course I don't ship them out on 5.25" and 3.5" floppy disks anymore, instead they are automatic direct download, but after calling them disks for so many years, I don't know what else to call them. So I've resorted to calling them e-disks from time to time.

But that doesn't bother me, our phones ring without bells, we dial them without a dial, we crank the car but the crank went out with the Model T, we call A, AA and AAA cells "batteries", and guitarists go acoustic with magnetic pickups through amplifiers on a flat-top guitar.

I keep my markup low. Sometimes I think the shopping cart company, web host, credit card merchant's account, credit card authorization company and my sub-contractors make more than me (the silent partners). But I'm selling to fellow musicians and I understand we are all underpaid. The gatekeepers always get their share.

However, it's a sideline "moonlighting" biz (in the daytime). I still make the bulk of my income from gigging -- at least until COVID came around. More than anything else about the plague, I miss gigging. --- But this too will pass.

So although there are "wack-a-mole" hoops to occasionally jump through, websites to maintain, updating old products to reflect changes in BiaB, new product to create (after the musician version of writer's block), and those fees that go out to my "silent partners", I can't say the Internet sucks. It's actually been pretty kind to me.

Notes


Bob "Notes" Norton
Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<
Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Notes_Norton #3059366 08/22/20 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
Actually it's a niche of a niche of a niche. Musicians are a niche market, musicians making music with computers are a niche of that market, and musicians making music with the auto-accompaniment program Band-in-a-Box are a niche of that niche of a niche market.
Great example, Notes. That. Is. Narrow.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
SteveCoscia #3059387 08/22/20 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SteveCoscia
One strategy I stumbled upon is the market niche - and I mean a very narrow niche - so narrow that potential prospects are excluded. A narrow niche is deep, very deep - possibly bottomless with boundless opportunity (the bigger fish in a smaller pond paradigm).

A narrower niche requires a narrower marketing message that hits niche prospects right between the eyes. Greater online recognition can happen with a narrow niche and lots of tenacity. It's not easy nor is it fast.

I can back that up as 100% accurate. Distribution is the single most important element for success these days. In terms of my books, a traditional publisher tries to cast as wide a net as possible, and hope that somehow, it will hit enough people that some of them will want to buy. It's very inefficient - especially spending money on marketing to a group of people where the majority are, from the gitgo, not going to purchase anything.

The Studio One eBooks are being distributed in the PreSonus shop because that's where Studio One users go to buy things. They're mentioned in their Facebook activities because that's where Studio One people keep current. They're mentioned from time to time in the feed that hits the Studio One start page, and in my weekly blog post with Studio One tips. So, we're casting a net to a very targeted, specific group of people, with no money wasted on marketing, and providing something that those people want. I maintain this is why just one of the Studio One books has been more successful than the eight books that Hal Leonard sells.

My whole career started because Electronic Projects for Musicians filled a totally underserved niche. Since then, I keep looking for underserved niches with little, if any, competition. Even my products follow that philosophy.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Markyboard #3059781 08/25/20 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Markyboard
What about your electronic stuff Michael? Didn’t you learn a lot of that on the job? Or school? Should we credit our teachers and the books where we got that knowledge? I sure don’t know specifically where I got the information I know in my head. I’m only certain about the things I truly discovered for myself. I also can’t remember very much without looking it up again and again.

I learned from all over. School, textbooks, on the job, research (I still read up on technology after college), curiosity, etc. In the end, we all see further standing on the shoulders of giants. I couldn't possibly compile a complete list of credits since college but on my webpages I do credit web sources.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
The Real MC #3059819 08/25/20 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by The Real MC
Originally Posted by Markyboard
What about your electronic stuff Michael? Didn’t you learn a lot of that on the job? Or school? Should we credit our teachers and the books where we got that knowledge? I sure don’t know specifically where I got the information I know in my head. I’m only certain about the things I truly discovered for myself. I also can’t remember very much without looking it up again and again.

I learned from all over. School, textbooks, on the job, research (I still read up on technology after college), curiosity, etc. In the end, we all see further standing on the shoulders of giants. I couldn't possibly compile a complete list of credits since college but on my webpages I do credit web sources.

I had to skim through a lot of this thread as I couldn't remember why I asked the question or where I was going with this. Told you I can't remember sh*t. facepalm

I guess my thoughts straddle the line between outright stealing of compiled work (which imo is just plain wrong no matter how you look at it) and the reluctance of some to freely share their knowledge and information. From day 1 of working in engineering I encountered those that were tight lipped and refused to share information with co-workers . They believed if they shared their "secrets" some how their value, job security or whatever would be diminished. Contrast with the 2-3 unofficial mentors I had that took me (and others) under their wing, shared freely and almost always rose above those tight lipped weenies.

It was these mentors who literally helped me survive a corporate career and field I had no desire to be in for many years (destructive behaviors etc.) . With their help I eventually found my niche and got good at it. Along the way I tried to help others, give credit to the good guys/gals, build their confidence, assist in promoting them etc. Admittedly a lot of it came from my rebellious work attitude that prevailed through much of my career. But I always found helping others gave me the most satisfying feeling and eventually realized its the only thing you take from any career that has lasting value. Plus you can hope that those people you helped do the same for others at some point. I try to share in the same way here and on other music related sites as I see others doing as well.

Of course as in just about any corporate environment or field of interest you had/have the jokers that take undue credit and constantly fake their so called expertise and "credentilals"; i.e. the regurgitators. These people aren't fooling anyone but themselves. Like I said people quickly know the difference. You don't have to call them out, get frustrated (easier said than done) or seek action. They reveal themselves wherever they go. I try to tell this to my daughter, a relatively new member of the corprorate workforce.

It's a tough thing to swallow and unfortunately often takes years before it starts to make sense. Some people never get it.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Markyboard #3059850 08/25/20 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Markyboard
From day 1 of working in engineering I encountered those that were tight lipped and refused to share information with co-workers . They believed if they shared their "secrets" some how their value, job security or whatever would be diminished.
This same non-sharing phenomenon exists in the mechanical trades. Some technicians in their 40s and 50s don't share their experience for fear that they'll be replaced by younger, less-expensive labor. Though, it's not as pervasive as it used to be. Among my clients, the internal culture has improved and information flows much smoother these days.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3059859 08/25/20 05:04 PM
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That's good to read Steve. It's funny but I think it's the resistance to sharing that detracts from people's potential and perceived value. Despite the number of years you're only more experienced from a practical sense for a while. Once you've plateaued these young folks catch up pretty quickly.

They also seem to have a distinct advantage when it comes to retrieving data and regurgitating it back. It's no wonder many "experienced" workers are fearful. Ah to be young.
popcorn

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Markyboard #3059868 08/25/20 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Markyboard
Ah to be young.

I was young once, I think. Can't remember. facepalm


that was then and this is now
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Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3059974 08/26/20 07:48 PM
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I've known musicians who didn't want to share their tricks and techniques and I've known some who are eager to share.

When I was 18 I was playing in a bar with 2 bands. As was the practice in segregated Florida back then, there was the white and black band. The black band had to go into the back room on break and not mix with the audience.

When it was break time, the band played "intermission riff" and as musicians showed up on one side of the stage and started playing, the corresponding on on the other side would put his axe down. I'd walk to the other side of the stage and play with the other band.

Before the gig and for a while after, we'd talk with the other musicians in that musty room back stage. Their sax player was an old guy, dark black skin and almost white grey hair. Pretty cool look. He would say, "I am the past, and you are the future" and he showed me a lot of things that they would have considered wrong in school but were right for pop music, including how to get growl in my throat to add distortion to the sax tone.

I always wanted to be like him, so I strive to be the kind of person to share with others.

Notes


Bob "Notes" Norton
Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<
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Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3059991 08/26/20 10:07 PM
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I always wondered how this concept manifested itself in the pro music world. I’ve heard a few positive stories, but your’s Notes was absolutely beautiful.

Thanks for sharing and...thanks for sharing! cheers

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Notes_Norton #3059993 08/26/20 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Notes_Norton
I've known musicians who didn't want to share their tricks and techniques and I've known some who are eager to share.

I never saw guitarist Joe Maphis play, but there were stories going around that when the audience was close enough, he'd drape a handkerchief over his left hand so you couldn't see the chords he was playing.

Doc Watson, on the other hand, would teach you anything you asked.

Re: Another Reason the Internet Sucks
Anderton #3059999 08/26/20 10:52 PM
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I think I'm living proof that the more you give away, the more you get back in return.

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