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Marcus Siepen
post May 20 2008, 06:15 PM
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Since some days ago this "downloading/copying" thing was tackled here, I thought I give you guys my point of view on this whole topic, and I would like to hear your opinion on this.

Well, the music industry created this slogan "copy kills music", but is this really true? In my opinion it isn't, the problem is not really copying. Music has always been copied and most likely always will be copied. Back when I started to listen to music me and my friends also copied new albums for each other, the only difference was of course that back then there were no 1:1 copies on cd's, we had to use tapes, so there was a loss in quality. And, unlike today, you had to know somebody if you wanted to check out his albums. Today this is a bit different, in theory it is enough if one person on this planet buys an album, as soon as he uploads it to the internet the rest of the world could have it.

But as I said in the beginning, I don't think that copying music is the basic problem, in my opinion the real problem is peoples attitude towards all this, specially towards music itself. Back when I was a kid it was something SO special to go to town and buy a new album. I remember that I went to all the record stores in town every single day when I knew that a new album of one of my fave bands was supposed to be released, until the day when it finally reached the stores. I immediately bought it, went straight home and was not seen anymore for the rest of the day (or the rest of the week). I listened to the album all day long, while getting lost in the lyrics, the cover artwork, the pictures and all those things, I was in a different universe. As I said before, we also copied albums back then, but not to get them for free, for us it was a way of checking them out. If a friend of mine bought an album that I didn't know he gave me a copy so I could check it out myself, and if I liked it I bought a copy for myself, I always wanted to have the original if I liked an album.

And this is exactly the point where the problem starts, in my opinion the attitude towards music has changed completely. Today getting a new album is nothing special anymore. Kids don't wait for the release day anymore, they are not excited about this day to come anymore, they get the album weeks (if not months) earlier already, either on the net, or on a dvd filled with thousands of albums, that somebody gives to them in school. Music turned into a kind of fast food, something that is consumed while doing something else, it is not really something special anymore. Those kids get this dvd with tons of mp3's this week, so during the next couple of days they might listen to a few of those songs (most likely on the way to school, with only one earphone in their ears, so they can still talk to their friends at the same time...), and by next week they get a new dvd with another load of mp3's. There is absolutely no chance to listen to all of those songs of course, but they don't really care, it is only about HAVING them all, not listening to them.

And of course this attitude leads to this thought of "why should I pay for music when I can have everything for free?" If music is not special for that person anymore, if it is only "consumed" as something secondary, the will to pay vanishes, specially since it is no problem anymore to get any album for free. And of course the world is full of excuses for this, because nobody wants to admit that he/she is doing something wrong or illegal. My fave excuse is "I am not doing anything wrong, I downloaded this album for free, but I would not have bought it anyway, so the band is not losing any money, they would not have got mine anyway"... Well, this is complete bullsh...t!!! If you go to the next music store and just grab an expensive guitar, giving the argument that you would never buy it anyway, you will go straight to jail, because you just stole an expensive instrument, very simple. Illegal downloads are nothing different, you take something that is for sale, but you don't pay for it, sorry, but per definition this is stealing. And of course this is harming every single band that there is on this planet, no matter if we are talking about Blind Guardian, Metallica, Madonna or small newcomers.

As I said above, I also traded music with friends, I still do sometimes, but the difference is that I only do it to check out new bands that I don't know yet and that somebody recommends to me. If I like the band, I will go and buy the album, if not, well, I delete the file. As long as people have this attitude, if they are still willing to pay for the music that they like, if they are still willing to support their fave bands, downloading is not that much of a problem, actually it can be a good advertising for a band (I for example talked to many fans of BG that got to know about us by downloading some of our songs), but if somebody comes to me, telling me that he is our biggest fan, that we are the greatest band in the universe, and then he askes me to sign his whole BG collection, which consists of one dvd full of copied mp3's... well, sorry, there is something wrong (and yes, this actually happened in exactly this way!).

But anway, I think I babbled enough for now and I would like to hear your opinions on this, so this topic is open for discussion now wink.gif

This post has been edited by Marcus Siepen: May 20 2008, 06:42 PM


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Maximus
post May 20 2008, 06:32 PM
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I couldn't agree more about the ritual of waiting and buying a new album. Another part of this new age of music is that people now buy only the "hits" for the most part. I remember the sense of discovery when you dug into an album and really got to know the whole texture of the entire song list over a long period of time. Your favorite song on day one was replaced by another by day 5. My first album way back when was Styx's Paradise Theatre. The album art was an entire story by itself. I can still look at that cover and be transported back to those exact feelings i had in the early 80's. I still love music as much as ever but the "fast food" culture we live in is certainly changing the face of music to it's core. Anyway, very well said Marcus. I agree with you 100%.


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PassionPlay
post May 20 2008, 06:33 PM
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I agree with you. in the age of 12 when i started listening to music i loved to explore different genres and bands. There were, and is, just so many nice bands and i just wanted to have all the good music, so i had the freedom to listen to a specific band when i wanted to. But about christmastime last year a friend of mine came up with a lot of good points not to download music. It wasn't this usual argument "downloading is stealing", but he told me that buying a CD and actually listen to it a lot of times, and ONLY buy the music you really like, let you feel the music in a complete other way. And he was right. Since then i have not downloaded music, and i try to delete the illegal music gradually and only buy "legal music" from now. Not only for the sake of the musicians, but also for my own sake.
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javari
post May 20 2008, 06:44 PM
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imho it hs to do with the perception of value.
Since everything went digital this has completely changed.
I see it in my own work. I'm a photographer and when I was still shooting on film there was more appreciation. You handed soething to the client, the film.
Now you just mail them a file or burn a CD

The same is with music. An old LP record was something physical, you could hold it, it had substnace, the sleeve was big enough for nice artwork.
When the CD came the artwork on the box was already much smaller, and for some reason it didn't look as good as an old record.

Now a lot of music has no physical form, it's just a downloaded file.
That has an impact on the value perception.
In general most people don't see copying of files, be it software, music, films or whatever, not as stealing.

And with the internet copyright issues have become very difficult to control.

Whether all this is good or bad for music, I don't know.
The big record companies lose a lot of money and that will have effects, on the other hand, nowadays it is much easier to make your own music, record it and put it on the internet.

I'm very curious how things are going to develop in the coming years...


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Marcus Siepen
post May 20 2008, 06:45 PM
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Thanks for your opinions guys, good to hear I am not all alone in this smile.gif


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Mark.
post May 20 2008, 06:50 PM
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Damn it's hard to comment on this one, and doing it in english makes it even more difficult.
Lot's of thoughts about this topic, some I don't know if I should post them, and others I have problems with discribing them in english.

What can I say; many of the things you say I can understand and I agree with them. But some things I cant agree with you, if I compare it with me.
Like when you say that it becomes like fastfood and that we kids only listenen to them like 1 time and then do nothing with it. This is probably true for most kids, but as I don't really belong to any group this is a bit different for me.
I download music because I simply cant pay for it, but I do only download the stuff I really like. I first check out the bands clips on youtube and my space. I normally listenen to 5 albums each day ( the full album not only a couple songs ), and repeat these albums for weeks. I do this while going to school, or when I'm at home making homework or playing a game. I listen to it concentrated, and I love it. Just as with games, music gives me an oppertunity to escape from the real world.

Anyways I can agree with what you say, and if I ever get famous like you I probably understand it even better.
But for you it's a bit easier buying the albums, because you have money.

I dont have any money to buy these albums and I just need music, I'd love to buy the real albums because I'm always fascinated with the albums covers. Maby I will buy everthing in a couple of years once I'm earning some money.

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Probably gonna feel stupid after comenting this,
Sorry for any bad english and I hope that you dont think of me as a total bastard now. Dx

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This post has been edited by Mark.: May 27 2009, 05:30 PM
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Old School Rocke...
post May 20 2008, 07:02 PM
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Im with you 100% on this one Marcus I only download music if I cant find the album in local stores and thats only about 5 songs (and those are songs my friends showed me) of my colection of CD's and that doesnt include my vinel records biggrin.gif

But I love just doing nothing & listening to music, but unfortunately I was not old enough to know about the Led Zeppelin or Van Halen etc. realease dates I wasnt even around during those realese dates. Otherwise I woulda been waiting in line just in front of you tongue.gif

So 99% of my collection is legaly downloaded (whoops meant to say legaly storebought music) and the other 1% was shown to me by friends.

EDIT:stupid mistake rolleyes.gif

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Marcus Siepen
post May 20 2008, 07:20 PM
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@ Mark: First of all, don't worry about posting in English, your English is perfectly fine. About music becoming fast food, of course I can't say that YOU are consuming music like that, I am fully aware that there are people that still respect music and really enjoy getting lost in it, but fact is that the majority of kids today is different, unfortunately.

About this money aspect, unfortunately you are seeing this a bit one sided. You have no money to buy all the cd's that you want to listen too, that is why you just download them, and you say that for people like me it would be much easier because we have the money. Well, guess what, if everybody has this attitude I don't earn a single cent in my job, because my band won't sell any cd's anymore. I would not only not be able to buy cd's myself anymore, I would also not be able to buy food, pay my rent or continue being a musician, because what can you do if your job doesn't make you any money? Can you continue in that job then?

The problem is what Javari already said, the perception of value. An mp3 file downloaded from the net seems to be something rather virtual, so people don't really worry about downloading them illegally. But is there any difference between taking musik without paying or taking anything else in a shop without paying? As I said before, if you go to a shop, take something (no matter if it is a cd, a bottle of water, a book or whatever else) and leave the shop without paying, you steal something, if you are caught you are in trouble. And the argument that you have no money but wanted to have this thing that you just stole wont help you much. If you download music without paying you are stealing from the band that created those songs, after all recording an album costs a lot of money, money that the band has to spend, and if nobody buys albums anymore, how are bands supposed to continue writing and recording music?

This post has been edited by Marcus Siepen: May 20 2008, 07:25 PM


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fatb0t
post May 20 2008, 07:25 PM
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Awesome topic....

I love the idea of fast food music, very interesting. I live in America where a lot of things are 'disposable'. I think a lot of POP music people may listen to with one ear phone, or listen to a song for 38 seconds then skip to the next tune. But for some folks, whether they downloaded it illegally or paid for it - do really ENJOY the music. I listen to music from the second I wake up, until I'm fast asleep. In the car, at work, in the gym, constantly at home. I think music for some is disposable for others its indispensable, regardless as to how they obtained it...

Marcus don't bands make most of their money from merch and concerts? I figured the corporations gutted most of the profits from CD sales...

This post has been edited by fatb0t: May 20 2008, 07:26 PM
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post May 20 2008, 07:33 PM
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QUOTE (Marcus Siepen @ May 20 2008, 06:15 PM) *
but if somebody comes to me, telling me that he is our biggest fan, that we are the greatest band in the universe, and then he askes me to sign his whole BG collection, which consists of one dvd full of copied mp3's... well, sorry, there is something wrong (and yes, this actually happened in exactly this way!).


Absolutley shameless...that is quite shocking ohmy.gif

Marcus, it's great to hear your opinions on this topic, as you are obviously somebody affected by this.

You've definitely made me think about how i should treasure each album, thanks!
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Marcus Siepen
post May 20 2008, 07:35 PM
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QUOTE (fatb0t @ May 20 2008, 08:25 PM) *
Marcus don't bands make most of their money from merch and concerts? I figured the corporations gutted most of the profits from CD sales...


Nowadays it is like this, yes, because the record sales are going more and more down, not because the corporations would profit too much. In the early days you went on tour to promote your new album, today you release an album to promote your tour. The consequence of all this is that merch and concert tickets are getting more and more expensive because many bands try to cover up for the money loss that comes with album sales. When I have seen Maiden (just to pick one random example) for the first time back in the 80's the ticket price was 28,- DM, which is around 14 Euros, and I paid 12 DM (6 Euros) for a tour-shirt...now go to one of their shows today and compare the prices...


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post May 20 2008, 07:41 PM
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You really nailed the important point Marcus: music became a consumable that isn't considered to be something special. But music was always something that was more important to some people and others just consumed it. There is a whole genre designed for mere background ambience: easy listening. In addition most of the pop radio stations pump out music that only a few listen to consciously. For the greater fraction of the general population in industrialized countries music just happens and is a part of the general sound canvas. But that was the same 10 or even 20 years ago. But with no doubt, to a different extent. And for sure more people bought the music they decided to really listen to.
The biggest difference between the good old times and today is that people in general and in particular the youngest consumers don't value any products they buy and possess. Because every single popular product that influences everyday live is price adjusted due to the immense marketing pressure, intrinsic to the recent social structures. Think of computers, cell phones, mp3 players, gaming consoles. They get sometimes heavily subsidized or just extremely competitively prized. A cell phone which costs millions of dollars in development is worth a dollar on the market. A disposable product. So it has no real value for people because it can be replaced easily. Thinks lose their emotional value because you don't have to safe money for weeks or months to buy them. But on the other hand that's how an economy can maintain growth nowadays. You dish out millions of pieces for nearly no money. And even ten years ago the same product would have been something that only a few could have afforded.
The same general decline in the perception of the value of things holds true for music. Downloads make everything so easily accessible that you don't care for them. You don't have to wait. You don't have to buy a whole album. On the other hand the great thing about the new days is that you can access a much bigger audience. Even a small band operates globally. Streaming radio platforms like lastfm or myspace allow you to discover things you couldn’t get your hands on even ten years ago. I think in addition to all the problems, it creates great opportunities. I think in general more people get access to more music than ever before. So even with millions of dollars lost due to illegal downloads still millions of dollars can be made via i-tunes or similar platforms. The heydays of the music business might be over, but with the right adjustments and marketing strategies enough money can be made to keep the world rocking to great bands like Blind Guardian.
I buy most of my music on i-tunes or other platforms. I'd love to hang out in stores more often, but on the one hand I don't have the time and on the other hand there are no stores any longer. When I moved to Boston 3 years ago from Germany there were a lot more record stores in this great city. The best one is still there, but most off them are gone.
Sometimes I get music from friends or share stuff I have, with them. When I like a band I'll buy their music. Much like you do, Marcus. I hope there will be enough people out there that care and value all the creative, technical and labor intensive processes that had to happen so the music can come alive when you press the play button. So hopefully the old saying holds true. Rock’n roll will never die


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post May 20 2008, 07:45 PM
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I completely agree with you marcus.. Music is just being consumed now days.. and alot of music is being made for the consumer, bands punching out records ( imo especially rap music ). I somewhat wish i lived back in the day, but i still get that giddy feeling regarding albums.. ive done my share of downloading, but there are albums that i know are coming out and ill wait for it, right now im waiting for watershed. All my friends have the whole thing, downloaded bit torrents, but for me its not the same so im waiting for the album to come out so i can buy it and listen to it in my room, using my cd player, you get the full effect that way. I believe that sampling music by downloading is acceptable, but i have friends who don't own a single cd. for me if a cd is good enough for you to want the whole thing you should buy it, support the artist, support the record company, and support yourself by being able to enjoy the music fully smile.gif


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post May 20 2008, 07:55 PM
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Theres nothing compared to buying a CD which you really love, like Marcus said

QUOTE
I listened to the album all day long, while getting lost in the lyrics, the cover artwork, the pictures and all those things, I was in a different universe


I used do the same all the time when I was younger, but nowadays I Just tend to buy the CD (usually online as the stores round here suck! dry.gif ), rip it to windows media player and sync it to my MP3 player and the CD is ust left in a drawer. It really isnt the same anymore, I dont really have the time to appreciate it but I still love to own the actual CD.


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Marcus Siepen
post May 20 2008, 07:59 PM
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For sure the internet offer great opportunities too, as I said it can be a great way to advertise your band, and I am a big fan of online shops myself, I love the fact that I can buy music in Itunes 24/7, no matter where I might be on this planet, this is for sure a great thing. The internet itself is not to be blamed, the music industry didn't take it serious for much too long, it failed to see the potential of the internet, thats why record companies have so many problems now. I am really curious to see how the business will be like in 5-10 years, will there still be record companies or will bands only use the net to sell their music online exclusively?

QUOTE (Spreedmaster @ May 20 2008, 08:55 PM) *
I used do the same all the time when I was younger, but nowadays I Just tend to buy the CD (usually online as the stores round here suck! dry.gif ), rip it to windows media player and sync it to my MP3 player and the CD is ust left in a drawer. It really isnt the same anymore, I dont really have the time to appreciate it but I still love to own the actual CD.


I also kinda stopped using my cd's, I am a big fan of my iPod, I buy cd's, copy them to my iPod and listen to my music like that, I just love the comfort of havving everything at hand in this little device wink.gif


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post May 20 2008, 08:01 PM
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I do the same thing, actually not ... i don't download music, i borrow them from friends and copy it to my computer .. if i like it, I go and buy the CD if i don't like it, I delete it. Since i'm a student and don't earn money, it's difficult to me to buy CDs, so that's why my collection of CDs is short :s, but it's okay with me, sometimes when i tell people that i listen to heavy metal, or hard rock, they start telling me names (of famous bands) that i don't even know, but it's okay with me, i'm not into knowing 5000 bands, I prefer listening to few bands but (like you said marcus, listening to all their song and since i'm a musician like all of us here i also try to study them to see who did they compose ...)
I can't deny that i have some copied songs on my computer (not on a CD), I'm not gonna buy their CD soon and i know this, but some of them i'm going to delete cause i don't like them a lot, and some, i'm gonna keep them till I find them in stores or find some money .. my problem is that i like bands that sometimes aren't really known so we have to buy their CDs from the internet, so sometimes it's a little bit complicated

Also, i would like to add that lot of my friends copy CDs, so I like to offer them music CDs for their birthday gifts, some of them look at me like ! why did you offer me that !! and others are really happy to have the original copy, (i wonder why they don't buy it !!=


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post May 20 2008, 08:21 PM
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Marcus said
QUOTE
The internet itself is not to be blamed, the music industry didn't take it serious for much too long, it failed to see the potential of the internet, thats why record companies have so many problems now. I am really curious to see how the business will be like in 5-10 years, will there still be record companies or will bands only use the net to sell their music online exclusively?


There definatley should have been some proactive thinking done a long time ago to try and regulate this. Not just with music but with all digital media. There is absolutly no regulating these pier to pier file sharing programs, torrents etc..
The only people with any control over it anymore are the internet service provider, if they simply blocked the required ports to transfer digital media and only allowed connectivity to legitimate sites like i-tunes etc they may be able to slow it down.
It's funny thinkin back while I was in my room listening to my new albums puffin' a hoolie and getting lost in it for a few hours, some poindexter was in his basement lab building a computer snickering away telling his Transformer collection that he was going to Rule the world someday.
Now I am at his mercy addicted to I -tunes and World of Warcraft. It was all a conspiracy right from the beginning. laugh.gif



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Canis
post May 20 2008, 08:28 PM
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Awesome topic ^^

I can't claim that I haven't downloaded any music illegaly, since I would be lying.
Nowadays though, I've just got my first job, and burned away my entire first paycheck on physical music I've allready downloaded =)

It's something different to have the CD on the shelf. It's that wam, fuzzy feeling of listening to the real deal smile.gif I later rip them onto the PC later and transfer them over to my MP3 player, since I can't go anywhere without music. I have a half hour of sitting on a bus every morning to get to school, so I sit there, half-asleep with my eyes just half-open, watching the scenery pass by (and I live in Norway, so it's great scenery everywhere!), and listen to my favorite songs. It's a great feeling ^^


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Marcus Siepen
post May 20 2008, 08:35 PM
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I don't think the internet can be controled AT ALL! Any provider that would block those ports would immediately lose a lot of customers, they would just switch to a provider that doesn't block any ports, and trust me, there would always be providers that offer completely unblocked access to the net. I also don't want a controlled internet like that, just as I don't want any copy protection on cd's, that is nonsense in my opinion. Any cd that can be played can also be recorded and copied, period, all those copy protections are crap that only drive more people into downloading. In my opinion there is only one way to go: bands have to deliver quality albums (I am also not interested in spending 15 or 20 Euros on a cd that only has one good song), the music industry has to adept to a completely new system, using the internet with all its benefits, and the fans have to realize about the value of music again.

@ Canis: I know that feeling, this is exactly what I do on tour. I always have my iPod with me, 80 gb filled with my collection smile.gif


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Jad Diab
post May 20 2008, 08:38 PM
Post #20


Instructor (former GMCer Zizi Top)
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Group: Members
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Joined: 29-December 07
From: Paris France
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Yeah i also think that some band that we love to listen too, are also really expensive, their should be a kind of limit to prices ... no !

Edit: for example, metallica's last CD, i didn't like, it's like the band has changed his style, i prefer old albums .. and when i bought the CD ( it was expensive) i was so disapointed !! :s

This post has been edited by Zizi Top: May 20 2008, 08:40 PM


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