Monday, March 05, 2007

A Reply and a Challenge for Mr. Anonymous *

For those of you who read the comments on this blog, you will know that there is an Anonymous poster that has made a number of his complaints known. Here is what this person doesn't like:
  • Me (or at least the way in which I write)
  • The fact that I'm making these albums available free of charge
  • Which therefore is cheating "legitimate copyright owners" and putting record stores out of business
Let me do what I can to reply to these complaints. First of all, the way I normally write this blog is not a put-on. Like it or not, I really talk like that. (I also use words like "Jinkies!" and "Great googly moogly!" Yes, really.) And to answer a previous question you asked, I'm 45 years old. Judging from your somewhat rude comments, I have no idea how old you are.

As I state in my disclaimer, all the albums I make available here are either out of print on CD or have never even been issued on CD. Most of the stuff you find here is 30 years old or more. Despite the popularity of it amongst my small readership here, I don't see anybody racing out to make these things available on CD or on iTunes, which is a pity. Believe it or not, I would like nothing better than to replace a download link with a link stating where an album can be bought this way. Until then, I'm doing what I can to keep interest in these albums alive.

Your third point is somewhat contradictory. If I buy an album at a record store or on eBay, it's used. The "legitimate copyright owners" make nothing from that either. And if you think my little blog here is what's putting record stores out of business, than you're either severely overestimating my readership or I'm severely underestimating it. And speaking for myself, I've bought more record albums in the last year to use for this blog than I have in the last ten years before that. On the vast majority of records I've bought from online auctions, I was the only one who bid on them. Plus, we actually have a record store locally, and while they don't have a lot of the kind of stuff I put here, I have bought a number of albums from them specifically to use on this blog. So in a way, I'm actually helping these stores and the people who sell these albums online because nobody else seems to be buying the stuff I'm buying. And I believe I have bought an album or two from the guy you mentioned as well. Once again, if I remember correctly, I was the only one who bid on the ones I got. He's not selling multiple copies of these albums, so he made money from me on the ones he sold to me.

I don't do this to make money. In fact, running this blog costs me money, not only from the albums I buy but from the file space I pay for on my own. In fact, I'm even taking off the Paypal Donation button. Firstly, because I don't even want there to be an implication that I'm making money from this. Secondly, because nobody ever used it anyway.

All right, Mr. Anonymous, here is my challenge to you: I think I pretty well covered what you don't like about this blog. Now tell me what it is that you DO like about it. There must be something, because you keep coming back. Now give me some constructive criticism to tell me how I can make this blog better. (Not the type of comments you normally put on here, but reasoned thoughts on what I can do to improve.) I will then take your suggestions into consideration, and incorporate them if I can. If for some reason I don't think I'll be able to follow your suggestions, I will do my best to suggest a blog that I think you'll like better than this one. If however the comments you normally leave here are all you've got, they will be removed by me from now on.

AND NOW A COUPLE OF REQUESTS FOR MY OTHER READERS: While this was directed at our Anonymous colleague, I'm more than willing to accept suggestions from any of you here on how to make this blog better. Also, I know that quite a few of you may not agree with Mr. Anonymous's attitude, but please don't take this as an opportunity to play "Dogpile on Mr. A.". Just as I will remove any comments from Mr. Anonymous that are insulting and add nothing to the discussion, I will also remove comments that do nothing more than insult him. I don't want any flame wars going here.

Thank you all for reading this. And Mr. A., the ball's in your court now. I hope to hear from you soon.

(And for those of you who have waded through this, I'll be putting up another album hopefully later today. I just want to write a couple of things about it.)

* I actually don't know if this Anonymous poster is male or female. So to the person in question, you are welcome to substitute Ms., Mrs., Miss, Dr., Sgt., or whatever form of address is appropriate. For the sake of convenience, though, I'll refer to this person as Mr. Anonymous.
UPDATE: Once again to my regular readers, keep in mind that I was the one who initiated this debate. Disagree with other posters if you like, but please try to do it without resorting to insults and foul language. Thanks!


Drew said...

Here's my suggestion. Keep doing what you're doing and ignore any further comments by your anonymous (aka cowardly) objector. I've downloaded a few of your things, but never commented. I'm not certain why this individual chose to single out you from the hundreds of bloggers posting out-of-print vinyl, but don't let him get under your skin. By the way, thanks for everything. It is certainly admired and appreciated by me, and I think the majority.

Erick Monsterama2000 said...

I check your blog almost every day to see what you have posted. Keep up the good work.

Chris said...

Pffffft, Mr. Anonymous is clearly a fool! Long Live W.O.J.!

Lee said...

Mr. A is just trying to be annoying. Any bozo can understand that selling records on Ebay, does not give money to the copyright holders. Your response to him is dead on.

I would either just ignore this loser, or delete his posts whenever you see them. He'll get tired of posting when he sees you're not bugged by him.

At worst, he's probably some ticked off Ebayer who "lost" money trying to sell a used item, once he saw it was on your site for free.

Just ignore him Tony - you're doing a fine job! :)

Mrs. Davis said...

Keep doing what you do and ignore Mr. A!

Dave said...

I agree wholeheartedly. I've yet to see one of these people who have been able to convince me of their point. And if posting an LP takes money out of anyone's pocket then why isn't that person seeing to it that his record label re-release his work so he can make money? The answer is because their record company has no earthly intention of EVER re-releasing their work. So how is posting the LP taking money from their pocket when the LP by now is on it's 3rd or 4th PAID owner. Did the artist make any money off from that 2nd, 3rd and 4th used LP sale? Of course not. I say give it up, and stop wasting our reading space.

Sara M said...

Here is my suggestion to make things better- keep going! I think the work you do to digitize these albums is fantastic and I have a suggestion for something to find. I don't know if its on CD or if it's out of print, but there was an HR Puffnstuff album I had as a kid and it had songs from all the Krofft shows on it. I saw it on Ebay once, but someone claimed it was a CD-R of the album. If you can find it and add it, that would rule.

tlepitre said...

I'd just like to say thanks for your efforts as well. I have quite a few old kids LP's (about 40) at home as well. Would love to get them transferred onto CD but my record player stopped working right a few years back. You have posted some I used to have, some I still have, and some I've never had. So thanks for work.

Vince said...

Dear Friends,
Ever since My-space opened there has been more and more boys who want do show they have some power or are smarter that others.
All they are good for is being smart asses. Thats what they learned from the other kids in school who ranked on them.
They are all over the internet and they are impotent. If they had a girl friend,by no means would we hear from or about them.
When upright pigs walk across the barnyard then and only then will they have a real audiance...their own kind.

MisterMoogly said...

Just keep up what you are doing....the more you add to the site the better. I check each day to see if there is anything new. Bless you!

Dave said...

I'd be glad to help you with that. Way Out has some great kids LPs. Although my blog is mostly halloween, I also have posted some kids LPs so maybe chekc it out, and see if there are any that match your collection.

swarlock said...

You are doing a fine job as far as I'm concerned. I don't see any record companies major or independent rushing to reissue half the things you've posted already.

Could it be that in their eyes or in this case wallets that this material is not sellable to the youth market or older people such as myself.

Oh yes! Britney Spears (Such as she is these days) is a great role model for anyone following her faded career while Mighty Mouse is nearly forgotten.

I'm so tired of busybodies trying to protect the labels' "Interests" while half the performers and artists get nothing but politics
over the stuff they create.

Anonymous said...


Rocket From Mars said...

Hey Tony---
I love dropping by your blog every once and awhile. You post awesome fun stuff. Don't let a few jerks get you down. Your reply to 'Mr. A' is fair, concise and on the money! Well done. Keep following your instincts and thank you! Your hard work is greatly appreciated.
All The Best,
Rocket From Mars

Anonymous said...


Pat speaking. (You helped me identify that Rosemary Rice record, remember? You are my hero!) Bravo! This "anonymous" person sounds like a loser.
I visit many music sharing clubs / sites, and you are the only one who makes a specific point of making sure only o-o-p records go up. Thanks for all the hard work.

David said...

me love you long time..i mean this blog! Much Appreciated!

Anonymous said...

"If posting an LP takes money out of anyone's pocket then why isn't that person seeing to it that his record label re-release his work so he can make money?"

And if putting a CD in your pocket and walking out with it is so bad, why don't record stores see to it that CDs can't be stolen, and that a shoplifter is sent to jail?

In other words, sometimes we rely on something called MORALITY. We trust people won't steal, even if they can get away with it.

Sure, we bloggers can all do what we like. All we usually risk is a link deletion. Aw. Maybe if we are real pests, Rapidshare or Megaupload will turn over all the information needed to prosecute us. But maybe the judge will only slap our wrist. Double Aw.

The main point is if an album is copyrighted, it's not yours to fuck with. Period. That's basic but how many bloggers scream "Kill the Troll" and "Stop Spoiling Our Fun" as if what they do is legal! Come on boys and girls.

Maybe the reason that a Captain Kangaroo album isn't on CD is because the re-issue label sees the shit going on in Blogland, and is saying, "Nope, nope, we can't risk losing money."

That's how Blogland hurts the artists, hurts record stores and hurts record companies. It's a fact because you're reading something from a person who pitches re-issue material to labels for real.

I'm not on eBay selling stuff but one of these guys is, and if he's happy that a rare kiddie album that could fetch $50 only gets $5, then pour me what he's drinking. Or selling on eBay is just his hobby not his life, as it is with some eBay sellers.

It's sad that some guy who loves records and wants to sell them ends up going under because everybody downloads for free and the old-time maniacs who love THE VINYL and the FEEL OF 12INCH CARDBOARD are not so plentiful. That the store goes under because it's ILLEGAL downloading only makes it worse.

Tony, and I don't know this blog too well just from what I glanced at, I'd say it doesn't look like you do much damage, but how do you know? You don't know which albums might be targeted for re-issue. You're making the decision yourself and you have absolutely no right to do it. At least you're concerned enough to ask for comments. Most bloggers only know "Fuck the Trolls" and "I will Re-UP because that's all the life I have."

Just because you buy a record doesn't mean you have the right to copy what's on it. Remember this very important fact. A record store is allowed by law to re-sell a record. YOU are in fact, PROHIBITED BY LAW from copying that record unless it's in public domain.

Public Domain doesn't mean out of print. Some don't even know that elemental FACT.

Jaywalking is illegal too but we all do it. We all download. Some of us also upload and have blogs. Let's all just try and keep aware of what we're doing. You don't teach a kid to jaywalk and telling people to go get a blog and copy music and give it away is not a bright idea either, because most do it very badly. Nothing personal in that last line, Tony.

Does one blogger ruin it? One download? No, but look at what blogging has come to. One link gets leeched all over blogs and forums and can be downloaded 5,000 times. Meanwhile Rhino Handmade will often have a print run of 3,000 and pray they sell half that number. You do the math.

Your blog is one of the exceptions, as are the one-song blogs and the lounge guys and Hawaiian music people and some of the other members of the fringe. It's just a blurry line when any of these people figures if OP vinyl is ok, some in print CD copying is, too, especially if it means lovely comments. We just have to be adult and control ourselves, and knowing right and wrong is part of it.

Record stores are going under, for real, and it's because very few need to go to a record store anymore. You are on of the exceptions, like the tiny few who actually download an album, like it, and go out and buy it to support the artist.

They go to your blog, 50 other blogs, get all the music they need. The fact that you bought a few records on eBay is spit in the bucket compared to all the people who download your stuff.

Why am I even writing this? I happened to see the load of comments, and read enough to see that most of it was crap. It's the usual "fuck the trolls" "anonymous people are assholes" and "I know everything" shit, and most you really don't, with your dumb attitudes and just-as-anonymous names, unless Erick Monsterama 2000 really is a member of the 2000 family (2000 Elm Street...)

Bottom line Tony is do what you want. One day Blogger might shut you down completely. Maybe you will stick to obscure stuff and only suffer from the usual pranksters and flamers that inhabit the Internet (don't deny them their fun, Tony, they think what they do is great, too).

Don't deny blow-hards who make comments like: "Did the artist make any money off from that 2nd, 3rd and 4th used LP sale? Of course not. I say give it up, and stop wasting our reading space." First off, reading is never a waste, secondly, and I repeat, re-selling an album is legal, copying one is NOT. How dumb is a person who can't see the difference?

What should you do now? You're 45, pal, you figure it out. I can only say that ALL of us have a responsibility to have morality, and it shouldn't be based on whether a file can be easily deleted, or what kind of hoops you want to force a copyright owner to through.

It isn't about "fuck the trolls," and it isn't about "free the music" and it isn't about "let's have fun." It comes down to this. Are you comfortable with how much of the law you are breaking? Like, the difference between smoking two joints and selling an ounce on the street to kids?

Are you comfortable with what your blog tells other people about the Internet? Does it tell the world "Anything goes" or does it say "I am a responsible blogger."

And lastly, would you be comfortable telling the artist "Your stuff is on my blog for free downloads." In your case, it's a little easier to think Quick Draw McGraw doesn't mind rather than Ted Nugent.

Tony said...

To this last Anonymous poster,

You do make some very valid points. Would you please be willing to send me an email? I'd like to continue this thoughtful conversation with you if I could.

Either way, thank you for your comments!

Way Out Junk

Lee said...

Mr. A: Nobody is stealing. Tony is sharing with us. And we can't buy these CDs, so who is losing money? Nobody. If the labels refuse to reissue albums, that's their call. We've - the fans - have proven there's a market for it. Yes, the artists don't get money, but they do get a new audience who wouldn't have HEARD their music AT ALL without bloggers. Which is more vaulable? Exposure? Non-existant royalties?

Captain Kangroo has NOT been reissued for HOW many years? DECADES. Labels have had a lot of time to catch up - blogs like this one, are just your new scapegoat.

The matter is not that cut and dry, like you seem to believe. If we all lived by the LETTER OF THE LAW, slavery would still be legal, and Women wouldn't be allowed to vote. Nice world.

Anonymous said...

I've downloaded thousands of albums by now and have not bought a record for over a year now. Power to the Internet ! Kill so much links as you like, Mr. A., there's still enough to download each and every day. Yes, I'm singinging the great song of indifference and I feel good about that. It's especially fun if I download an album even before it's in stores. And I know that there are thousands like me and only a handful of weirdos like Mr. A. who walk on the path of justice and the American way. But I have to stop now, there are some new records who have to be downloaded. And not to forget all these great movies, too! Have fun, comrades in spirit !

Lee said...

...since reading is never a waste of space...

"That's how Blogland hurts the artists, hurts record stores and hurts record companies. It's a fact because you're reading something from a person who pitches re-issue material to labels for real."

Bullcrap, and I don't believe you. Record companies are NOT suffering, and if they are, it's their own fault. They have made enough money off music fans with multiple editions and formats over the years.

If the record stores go under, it's because of Itunes, a perfectly legal downloading business (although I do not endorse them).

Why? Itunes can keep a larger inventory online than record stores can, and also record labels have figured out that they can just make something available for sale online, and skip the packaging, artwork, disc manufacturing, jewel cases, shrinkwrap, warehouse storage and shipping costs to put something in stores. Therefore, less actual product in stores, and less reason to go there. Record companies save tons of money here, and bless their hearts..turn the profits over to the artists....not.

They also release albums as much as 3 months in advance online, than the actual CD in actual stores - another device to kill the CD-buying market. Those are the facts, undisputed. Your claim that bloggers are killing music stores is simply wrong.

"It's sad that some guy who loves records and wants to sell them ends up going under because everybody downloads for free and the old-time maniacs who love THE VINYL and the FEEL OF 12INCH CARDBOARD are not so plentiful. That the store goes under because it's ILLEGAL downloading only makes it worse."

Are you talking about Ebay, or a record store? Record stores don't hardly sell vinyl, so you must mean Ebay. But one guy can sell ONE record - just ONE copy, to ONE person. That's his choice, to sell the one copy to the person who wants it that badly (at whatever ridiculous price is set). If another person wants to give it away, that's not going to stop this ONE guy from searching out and buying the REAL album. If he just wants to download it, he wasn't going to buy it anyways.

I buy more than I download. But I do both. I download things that would cost me a fortune on Ebay, sellers who I feel are taking advance of the average record collector. So I applaud those who post OOP material, sharing it with those less fortunate and less financially well off. Does that make me a communist? Fine with me.

"Just because you buy a record doesn't mean you have the right to copy what's on it. Remember this very important fact."

Actually, you're wrong. When I buy a record, I have the right to make as many copies as I wish for personal uses. The only difference is posting it online, you're sharing it with hundreds, not just one person.

And here's where responsibility comes in, and I think Tony is a shining example of a responsible blogger. Once again, sharing something that is OOP and impossible to find, unless you're willing to pay some high prices for a USED copy, is a very generous thing.

I would rather buy something than download it. If I can't buy it, because the label isn't making it available...then I will get it however I can. And just because I can't afford some seller's ridiculous asking price, doesn't mean I shouldn't feel bad about downloading it from someone who is kind enough to share.

"Let's all just try and keep aware of what we're doing."

See, here is where I don't understand why you're preaching to the choir. You admitted Tony is not a problem, and most of the regulars on here feel and blog the same way he does. So, what's your point of getting on his case in the first place?

"I can only say that ALL of us have a responsibility to have morality"

I do not agree with your use of the word 'morality'. To me, it is not immoral to share, be generous, and help those less fortunate than you, which is what Tony has done.

Sorry Tony for the rant. I hope Mr. A's rambling haven't put you off the sharing bug. :)

misterlesterkeen said...

Tony, I was going to write some long, complicated comment defending what you do, and I was also going to point out my lack of sympathy for someone who finds a cool kids record for a buck at a thrift store and buys it for the sole purpose of selling it online for $50 (that's not my definition of someone who loves records, that's my definition of someone who loves money)....

Instead I'll just say, once again, thank you for Way Out Junk!


Anonymous said...

The bloggers threaten the music world...

so if no-one else can help...

maybe you can hire the Mr. A-Team.

Erick Monsterama2000 said...

"with your dumb attitudes and just-as-anonymous names, unless Erick Monsterama 2000 really is a member of the 2000 family (2000 Elm Street...)"

That's MISTER 2000 to you, buddy!!!

An Appreciative Fellow said...

Making forgotten gems might be "illegal" in a "strict liability" sense, but let's be realistic: 99.9% of what is posted here and on similar sharity blogs probably would never see the light of day again otherwise.

First of all, let's remember that it costs record companies to re-release albums, no matter the format. In this day and age, why would any company bother to re-release some obscure 30-year-old kiddie record with an audience of maybe a couple hundred nostalgics at best?

Also, tastes change. What brings back whimsical memories in the minds of folks who visit blogs like this would be, frankly, boring to kids nowadays. There's no market for most of this stuff anymore. So what ultimately hurts the producers and performers of such records more? That they lose whatever minuscule "profits" or "royalties" they were entitled to, while their work lives on fondly and triumphantly for their devoted fans, or blind adherence to moot copyright laws, which practically ensures that their work will fade into oblivion?

Many old labels don't even exist anymore. And there are countless thousands of records amassing in discount bins because there's little widespread demand for them and never was even in their heyday. Let's be honest: How much of anything posted on WOJ was truly destined for some digitally re-mastered reissue with crisp new packaging and extensive liner notes?

After a certain point in certain cases, I think copyrights begin to lose all benefit to their holders and become more of a liability than anything. That's why copyrights have a limited life.

E Jones said...

Anonymous, whoever you are, you appear to not even understand your own position. To wit:

On the one hand you argue pure, decent, incorruptible ETHICS, saying:

"sometimes we rely on something called MORALITY. We trust people won't steal, even if they can get away with it".

On the other hand you argue hard, sound, unwavering LAW, saying:

"A record store is allowed by law to re-sell a record. YOU are in fact, PROHIBITED BY LAW from copying that record unless it's in public domain".

Now, let's examine this:

When you argue for ethics, I believe you'll agree, you imply that we should all be doing what is, simply put, right. Right? Delving deeper into your position, we can glean that what you consider to be 'right' in these circumstances is that an artist be paid for his work, and that the popularity of his work be reflected in his wallet. Right?

This is where we get into trouble.

An artist being paid for each album sold is indeed arguably what is ethical. However, the law does not ensure any such thing. Every day, re-sellers and used record stores sell thousands of records, tapes and CDs, all without so much as a tip of the hat to the artist in question. Are they LEGALLY allowed to do so? You bet. But by your own argument, what they are doing is ethically WRONG.

I'm sure you're familiar with the concept of the double-standard, and that is precisely what you are employing in your position here. Law and ethics are not interchangeable concepts; in fact, your position on law invalidates your position on ethics, and vice-versa. I do hope that you understand this.

So it is up to you (as the burden of proof rests with the instigator) to define for us what point a re-seller becomes an unethical criminal (or, if you prefer, "criminal"). Is it when he charges ten dollars an album while giving nothing to the artist, as many (most) re-sellers do? Is it when they charge five dollars? Three? How about when they charge nothing at all?

As for your position that copying a record is illegal unless that record is in the public domain, you betray a similarly myopic understanding of the law in this scenario. In fact, we are all perfectly within our rights to make a copy of said record. If this were not the case, there would be no legally available CD ripping software (of which, for the record, there are endless varieties), and there would certainly be no such thing as an iPod, which would be almost totally crippled without people being able to supply their own music for the device. Don't believe me? The fact that iPod comes in an 80 gigabyte variety is testament to this - only a wealthy person could possibly fill such a large device with music they bought from iTunes or similar websites. At a dollar for every three to five megabyte song, a lowball cost for filling such a device with iTunes songs is roughly sixteen thousand dollars. Do you seriously think Apple (or whichever company) expects a person to put that kind of money into filling their $300 MP3 player? Or is it more likely that people are expected to (gasp!) copy their own files for use on their own devices? Or are all of the millions of iPod users also criminals in your mind?

When it comes to free distribution and/or sales of these copies, we get into a legal gray area, plain and simple, and it is not for you to decide what is and is not legal, nor is it for you to decide what is and is not ethical. The fact that you conflate the two only furthers my position that you as an individual have no business even entering the dialogue in the first place.

Just like a used record shop, a blogger who shares files for free online offers no compensation to the artist. The difference? The record store is actually making money, while the blogger is not. So which is more ethical, "anonymous"? Which is more legal? Can you tell the difference?

Dave said...

Good points all. Bottom line after all is I think that Mr. A's opinion is falling on deaf ears(or in this case Blind eyes). That is why my statement that he was so kind to quote that his rant was a waste of reading. Not one of these music industry huggers has ever changed the opinion of any one single music sharity blog owner that I know of. Yes you have the right to your opinion as we all do. However, as such we have the right to totally, 100% disagree and ignore you and all like you. And none of your self-righteous, two-faced ranting will change that.

McOrbit said...

Internet is like a giant public toilet wall, anyone can write anything in it and it looks like anyone does so...

Then again, I´ve read lot of clever comments on public toilet walls and perhaps added few myself, too bad Mr A does not have anything meaningful to say. Mr A, if blogs like this are a crime, where is the victim?

This blog is awesome, keep up the good work!

k said...

oh goodness - some people. I'll keep it simple and say "thanks!" for your efforts.. you don't have to be doing what you do, but you do it.



Laser said...

The anonymous person complaining is simply angry that his record collection that he held so dear is not public material. You cannot buy 90% of the vinyl on this blog, and if you were luckily able to find it, you are not getting the money to the original artist, but to the person that bought it.


This music is also in MP3 FORMAT. Its not high quality and not able to be "broadcasted" so it is clearly not going to be used commercially.

These childish complaints are from a bratty collector that got his feelings hurt that his "Cabbage Patch" vinyl is not "his personal experience" and its nothing more than that...

thanks for the blog, i've been looking for many of these vinyl to buy, and have not been able to find them. I really appreciate being able to hear them.

ukradioguy said...

Each to their own. If some label wants to re-issue an old album then they will do, but chances are it will not be one of the many I've found in these blogs.
I really enjoy listening to some of the material I find here, and will happily thank the bloggers who make their collections available. I appreciate the effort made - which I consider to be a heck of a lot more than the record companies these days.
Technically it may be against the law, but I've not shot anyone, taken their children away or scammed them out of millions. I've downloaded some music tracks that are just not available anywhere else.
If I really like a particular artiste then I will try and find a legit copy for my personal collection. It does happen sometimes, perhaps via eBay or similar.
I do some work on hospital radio and would not think twice about using some tracks I find here, for the same reasons already given. We have stacks of CD re-issues that are a lot worse quality than the stuff I'm downloading here!

noochinator said...

Trolls and naysayers are everywhere, an inevitable part of modern life, like criminals, f-bombs, etc. But thank G-d modern life also brings blessings like this blog, which helps artists by reviving interest in their work. Kudos for your classy and high-road responses to the trolls and naysayers, I don't think I could be so patient.