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It's funny, the whole complaint about the tactic of bundling.

This is something that punk and hard core music has done, pretty much since the beginning. Most punk rock discographies are filled with repetitive overlaps of the same songs, and re-recorded versions, or versions of songs performed at live shows.

For a while, I had just assumed it was part of the whole small budget, DIY, low fidelity aspect of the genre. Bands might have tracks on EP's and 7 inches, that go out of print and become rarites, or the band might just be disorganized, or have extra space on a disc, and pile in a few more tracks, because what the hell?

But after a while, collections become bloated with all kinds of pointless cruft, and you look through some catalogs, and it's pretty obvious that some bands would just get desperate to make sure they have something in the new releases section every six months, to stay visible, and they'd obviously record one new track, bundle it with four or five other tracks, and dump it into their catalog to indicate signs of life.

It's not unlike like baseball cards, where doubles are a known factor, and concentrations of rare desirable items are controlled and designed, to fuel collector's habits.

I guess the difference with scientific journals is that the fanbase doesn't have the same sort of emotional investment in their collectables.




A particular band's music [1] is not a public good paid for largely out of taxpayer money. Private enterprise can do whatever it wants to do, as long as it is not actively hurting anyone else.

[1] Music as a whole is a public good, but any one band forced out of business does little to diminish this public good.


> A particular band's music [1] is not a public good paid for largely out of taxpayer money.

Actually, many countries do actually partially compensate bands through taxes, which makes the whole thing even more messed up. See the various blank media taxes, or even government-run record labels (such as BD Pop).


Bundling is an old technique. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_bundling

The animosity towards Elsevier is perhaps better explained as reaction against product tying. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tying_(commerce)

What you describe with punk and hard core music is not tying, because "a song by band X" is very similar to "a song by band X". Eg, people used to buy a single for the song on the A side, and get the song on the B side as well, even if they didn't want it.


> I guess the difference with scientific journals is that the fanbase doesn't have the same sort of emotional investment in their collectables.

No, the difference is that we have a cold-hard-cash investment in the product already.




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