#FeelingMyself … or anything else on TIDAL

As of 2015, TIDAL became a subscription streaming service where people can listen to music and watch music videos. It was promoted as being the first artist-owned streaming service in which the artist would receive royalties for his/her work.

I’m yet to subscribe to such service as I don’t feel subscriptions fees are reasonable, although I do understand and agree that artists should be played for their work. Content such as Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj’s Feeling Myself official music video, as of now, isn’t freely available online. Versions of this found on online platforms have been distorted in order to avoid copyright infringement.

If this service was free, shareholders wouldn’t capitalize on it without having to resort to advertisement and sponsorships , however  it wouldn’t make sense to relaunch a free access platform where people can find music and videos from their favourite artists: that already exists and it’s called YouTube. Nevertheless, if TIDAL wasn’t so expensive maybe people would engage with it more because it does seems as though it was specifically relaunched to serve people who can afford to buy expensive sound equipment such as speakers and headphones which would enable the consumer to notice the difference in quality to other streaming services.

In my opinion, if TIDAL was free, artists such as Kanye West, who has profusely promoted his latest album, wouldn’t have experienced such a low number in album sales. Were this content more accessible artist would beneficiate more with it both in financial terms, success and popularity.

Copyright exists to safeguard author’s creations so they can be accredited for their work and capitalize when anyone else is inspired and would like to create something similar.

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JSTOR

JSTOR is a media platform on which people are able to access thousands of professional articles, journals and books, which would otherwise be protected by copyright laws. Anyone can gain access to these published works simply by buying a JPASS which you can get a yearly pass ($199/year) or a monthly pass ($19.50/month).

Once you have purchased your pass, you have the option of reading the work online or downloading it in a PDF. However, you have to agree to the ‘Terms and Conditions‘ which state that you cannot distribute the pages nor print out the entire book/journal.

Personally, I feel that  JSTOR is a very good initiative. By allowing schools, universities and individuals access, everyone is able to obtain professional and reliable resources in order to further their studies or research. I often use JSTOR because it is a non-profit organisation and is there purely to help people and encourage reading. Although many people use it for these purposes,  if there were fewer restrictions under the Creative Commons licence, people would be able to pass the authors’ work, ideas and opinions as their own and they would not receive all the recognition they deserve.

Although it might seem stingy to ask people to pay in order to access these books, many people would take advantage of this free service and as a result, people such as the authors would suffer the consequences.

 

Do I really have to pay for it?

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iTunes is a media player, media library, online radio broadcaster, and mobile device management application developed by Apple Inc. It is used to play, download, and organize digital audio and video (as well as other types of media available on the iTunes Store) on personal computers running the OS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems. The iTunes Store is also available on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. In the iTunes Store, users can purchase and download music, music videos, television shows, audiobooks, podcasts, movies, and movie rentals in some countries, and ringtones, available on the iPhone and iPod Touch.

In June 2010, Apple changed the general privacy policy for the iTunes Store saying that it will gather real-time data on users aged 13 and over. The adjusted document declares that Apple has the right to share this information with third parties that deliver certain services such as advertising and promotion services. In the UK in August 2014 the Internet went mad when the High Court has overturned copyright legislation to make the transferring of copyright works from one medium to another illegal – one of the main traditional uses of iTunes. This was stipulated by TorrentFreack.

The government legalised copying for private use in 2014, a practice most thought was already legal. This meant copying of music from a CD to an MP3 player – something that is not only possible on iTunes but, at least when it first appeared, was its principal function along with buying from the platform. “As this is a complex area of law, the Government is carefully considering the implications of the ruling and the available options, before deciding any future course of action,” a government spokesperson said.

The reality was that iTunes was never illegal and the law was misinterpreted. But I strongly believe that iTunes is one of the best platforms to buy music and media files without breaking the copyright laws and also not stealing them from the internet.

Is TIDAL Actually Helping Artists?

Music is one of the biggest forms of art that constantly undergoes different forms of copyright every time a new delivery platform becomes mainstream. On October 28, 2014 rapper Jay-Z launched his subscription-based music streaming app Tidal. Unlike its main competitors, Spotify and Apple, Tidal doesn’t welcome users with a short-term free trial, rather it starts when you pay £9.99/$9.99 for your first month of access. Tidal justifies their overlook of free trials based on their aims to be the music streaming app that pays the highest percentages to musicians and songwriters. But are these strict copyright restrictions really helping artists? Or do they just give consumers a reason to attain music through cheaper outlets that won’t necessarily count toward artists stream and sale numbers?

Let’s take Kanye West and his 7th studio album The Life of Pablo (TLOP) for example. West, being part-owner of Tidal, released TLOP solely through Tidal. Though I’m sure there were some crazed fans that signed up for Tidal, paying £9.99/$9.99, solely to listen to TLOP, the album became one of the most popular downloads on the prominent torrenting site The Pirate Bay. Only 2 days after it’s Tidal release, TLOP had already been illegally downloaded more than half a million times. That number has skyrocketted somewhere close to 55 million.

Many artists, like Kanye release their albums solely through certain streaming apps to create consumer incentives to signup for the chosen app. However, I think that the number of illegal downloads definately shows that methods like that may actually backfire. I believe that if Kanye released TLOP through, let’s say iTunes, many fans would have paid the cost of the album (usually anywhere from $13-$17) rather than download it illegaly because they don’t want to pay a monthly fee for Tidal.

Do you guys agree? If you were a music artist how would you like your music to be delivered?

Sources-

Kanye West’s ‘The Life of Pablo’ illegally downloaded in record numbers

http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/what-tidal-jay-z-explains-5452044

Online Databases

Almost every university, at least those in the UK and the US, give students access to online databases to assist in their research. The databases, (such as JSTOR, Lexis-Nexis, and Project Muse) give students access to online journals which have been written, published, and peer reviewed by qualified scholarly sources. Students usually receive access to the databases through valid university email addresses and identification numbers. Without the access provided to theses databases through the universities, students would otherwise have to pay for subscription to separate scholarly journals, or even higher prices for access to a number of databases. Most of theses articles are published by scholarly journals through research conducted in a university, and many are peer reviewed as well. This entails strict copyright restrictions surrounding all use of and reference to the work, as well as all access to the work.

If the information published in online journals were under a Creative Commons Commons License, or if for example JSTOR decided to become a forum only for scholarly work which was under creative commons license, it would change the way that people are able to conduct research. It would allow people who don’t have access to a university education to conduct their own research or educate themselves through the published research of others.

However, if an online database such as JSTOR were to go under extremely strict copy right control it would almost defeat the purpose of universities giving students access to the peer reviewed articles published through it. If online databases were under such strict control it would make it harder or impossible for students and other academics to use the articles for their own research. This would stand in the way of students furthering their education, and could also impede the the furthering of research into certain fields.

TIDAL

Most of us have probably heard of TIDAL, but most of us probably aren’t subscribed users since the ad-free, unlimited and HiFi service costs a hefty $19.99 a month. The streaming platform was launched in 2014 and holds exclusive rights to artists and their works from Kanye West and Rihanna to Jack White and Arcade Fire, all whom have endorsed the company publicly. Their aim is to separate themselves from competitors by offering “lossless audio,” high definition music videos and exclusive highly curated corresponding content. The other major component of TIDAL that made headlines and touched on copyright issues is that they claim to pay the highest percentage of royalties to participating musicians, in comparison to sites like Spotify who have gone under fire for how little artists benefit from the streaming site.

While the site has been praised for paying rightful dues to musicians it has also been scorned for the price at which this comes. Due to the high costs, but valued content, some argue that TIDAL has promoted an increase in illegal downloads and online pirate activity. If TIDAL lowered their costs and opened up their audio to the creative commons it would defeat their mission to support musicians, although most signed to TIDAL are already millionaires if not billionaires – i.e. Beyonce and JAY-Z. However, I think a compromise is possible one that would still endorse the idea of paying musicians for their music while still providing listeners with high quality content at an affordable cost, thus decreasing the need to pirate music.

Would you subscribe to TIDAL at this price?

 

The Life of Pablo

On February, 14th of this year Kanye West released his new album “The Life of Pablo”. Unfortunately, not everybody had the chance to listen it because Kanye released his album on TIDAL only. TIDAL is a music streaming service based on a membership subscription only. If you are not a member, you can’t have the pleasure of listening to Kanye’s new songs.

TIDAL is own by Jay-Z and some other artists as minor investors. Jay-Z believes that Spotify, the known music streaming app, exploits the artists; if you buy the membership on Spotify, a part of the money goes to the artist but a big percentage goes to the app itself to pay for the service.

Several artists as Rihanna, T.I, Beyonce, Kanye West and many others started releasing their new hits on TIDAL only, as a marketing strategy in order to re-launch the app.

I think that TIDAL is  the perfect example of a website where you have to pay in order to have the access to some data. I think that it works somehow.. But it depends from the situations. Rumor has it that Kanye lost almost 10 million dollars not releasing the album like on iunes or Spotify; the first day after the release over 500’000 copies has been illegally downloaded from the Internet.

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