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The War Against MP3?
October 3, 2001 9:30 AM   Subscribe

The War Against MP3? Hilary Rosen, everyone's favourite defender of record company hegemony, outlines her new strategy ("Help me help you.") in an email leaked to FuckedCompany. Interestingly, it's aimed at beating the dastardly hackers at their own game, with tactics such as "Spoofing and/or interdiction methods for existing peer to peers". Signs of desparation on the part of the RIAA, or should people be making the most of the second-generation Napster clones while they have a chance?
posted by holgate (34 comments total)

 
Since college started last week Morpheus traffic was up
to 19 million downloads per day. AND THAT'S JUST MORPHEUS


Go morpheus! I am so out of touch, stopped using napster, hadn't tried any alternatives. I'll take Rosen's advice and get morpheus.
posted by th3ph17 at 9:36 AM on October 3, 2001


According to this, the RIAA are going to sue Morpheus and others.
And I'd just started using it too, darn.
posted by iain at 9:41 AM on October 3, 2001


When will the record companies realize that the majority of younger users out there simply don't want to buy a whole CD? If record companies offered single songs for REASONABLE prices ($0.50? that's more than they make now with distribution) then they might have a shot in hell here.

instead, they simply fight and keep hacking at the branches of the juggernaut. They're too concerned with their "traditional channels".
posted by eljuanbobo at 9:42 AM on October 3, 2001


AND THAT'S JUST MORPHEUS.
Ditto. Love those caps; am consoled by that panic.
Best part of it: I'd never heard of Morpheus before, so I owe it to Rosen! (Having "I Owe It to Rosen" screen stickers printed as we speak)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:42 AM on October 3, 2001


Fellow Mefiniks:

We need to discuss:

1. Spoofing and/or interdiction methods for existing record companies - (perhaps
by adding promotional messages about the launch of various new systems, i.e. Morpheus) Stickers?

Please let me know your thoughts on the matter.
posted by signal at 9:46 AM on October 3, 2001


This Morpheus appears to be Windows only. Does anyone know of a good centralised resource with information regarding the vast number of new file sharing services that have arisen and for what platforms they are available? I haven't found anything that works great on my Mac yet. Here is a decent listing of Gnutella clients, but it doesn't cover any other networks.

I think that you are right signal; we need to do more to defeat the record companies. Downloading music is one thing, but we all know that it doesn't actually deprive them of anything or prevent them from continuing on with their outdated and exploitative business model. What else can we do?
posted by donkeymon at 10:00 AM on October 3, 2001


At the bottom of the register story there are some links to what appear to be the source, including an internal memo outlining RIAA strategy to combat file sharing networks.
posted by arthurdailey at 10:20 AM on October 3, 2001


donkeymon: try Zeropaid.com
posted by nobody_knose at 10:28 AM on October 3, 2001


I feel that the "final solution" to the RIAA's terror campagin will come about from a truly distributed / decentralized system, kind of what Gnutella was supposed to be, only one that works, maybe taking KaZaA's super-node concept. The point is for their not to be anybody for them to sue and then buy once their stock-price has dropped by 99%, no server for them to shut down. Alas, I'm not a programmer, or I'd be working on it myself.
posted by signal at 10:28 AM on October 3, 2001


My favorite argument is that the record companies have to charge such high prices because for each profitable artist they finance dozens who never make them money, as if they are doing it out of the kindness of their collective hearts. Nevermind that the whole advantage of electronic distribution and MP3 type formats that it makes it possible for the less well known bands to distribute their music cheaply without needing record company "charity." Most of their arguments come with similar in-build solutions. The problem is an entrenched distribution system made up of monopolies and trade groups that can charge whatever the hell they want, and the majority of RIAA execs are so deep that to cut that dead weight out would half their paycheck.

It's my personal opinion that at this point MP3 does not matter to the RIAA. They are in the business of setting legal precedent right now, and the details of format and distribution matter little to them.
posted by Nothing at 10:41 AM on October 3, 2001


I think that you are right signal; we need to do more to defeat the record companies. Downloading music is one thing, but we all know that it doesn't actually deprive them of anything or prevent them from continuing on with their outdated and exploitative business model. What else can we do?

First off, the record companies still think they can catch more flies with vinegar than honey... It would appear their judgement is clouded with anger. Their solution is and always was to add value to their product units that can't be easily peer2peered.

Anyone remember Album cover art? The recording industry essentially phased it out as an unnecessary expense when they shifted to CDs... Other ways to add value: release extra tracks on CDs some time after the Album's debut. INclude a login/pw for more music to be d/l from their servers. And last but not least:

LOWER THE RETAIL PRICE PRICE POINT!. $14-19 for a CD is a huge profit margin. Its no wonder the whole recording industry is just phat with wasteful promos, parties, paychecks etc.

As for Ms. Rosen's guerrilla war, the solution is simple. For those of us who p2p and still buy CDs, this escalation calls for a BOYCOTT. If nobody buys their product for a month or two, I believe they will notice immediately since the whole biz is wired from point-of-sale to exec board room.

So let it start here first: December is Hillary Rosen Appreciation Month. Spread the love...
posted by BentPenguin at 10:47 AM on October 3, 2001


I haven't found anything that works great on my Mac yet.
posted by donkeymon


Donkeymon,
Limewire on the Mac is nearly as good as the old Napster. Just a hint though: Open up the program and WAIT 5 minutes or so for the various servers to populate before doing your search. If you don't find what you want, try an hour later or at a different time of the day.
posted by xochi at 10:51 AM on October 3, 2001


"Thus, we recommend (1) filing claims against FastTrack, MusicCity, and Grockster, (2) immediately thereafter initiating discussions with FastTrack about resolving our claims in a way that will provide us with useful information and testimony against MusicCity, and if possible obtain FastTrack’s cooperation in shutting down or converting MusicCity and Grokster, and (4) continue forward with litigation against MusicCity, Grokster, and potentially Timberline Venture Partners."
from the legal mumbo jumbo, also @fuckedcompany.

attorneys, your objective is clear: make FastTrack sell-out; riaa - no more fear.

i've had little to no success with musiccity/morpheus. winmx is the only software i can load and make immediate use of; about 90% of the time anyway. unfortunately, the name says it all; windows only.

the record companies are winning in my eyes. although napster had flaws, it had established a brand name, and it did so quickly. the music library that was available was enormous, and the scope of styles and genres was too. millions more users equates to at least thousands more users who have eclectic tastes and intriguing libraries.

what was a "hard-to-find" selection on napster is an "impossible-to-find" selection on the newer file sharing options.

i'm pondering a move back to a small group of friends, and old school hotline 1.2/1.2.3.

think globally; act locally? maybe not, but it might be a more enjoyable experience.
posted by basmati at 10:51 AM on October 3, 2001


We're winning the war on digital piracy.

We're also winning the war on drugs.

It just depends what side you're on.

Hopefully, the war on terrorism will turn out differently :|
posted by Loudmax at 10:57 AM on October 3, 2001


you can't boycott. the RIAA will claim the reduced sales are due to file sharing and then turn around and sue some more.
posted by cheesebot at 10:57 AM on October 3, 2001


what was a "hard-to-find" selection on napster is an "impossible-to-find" selection on the newer file sharing options.

Audiogalaxy remains an eclecticist's dream. Live tracks, obscure artists, deleted stuff. They've implemented blocks on major artists, but that's not what I use it for in the first place.
posted by holgate at 11:03 AM on October 3, 2001


From the original article at dotcomscoop.com:

'The memo states that FastTrack representatives are willing to sit down with the record labels and discuss alternatives to litigation. The RIAA recommendation is that after litigation is filed against the three companies, they enter in discussions with FastTrack.

"Immediately thereafter [ed. note; filing a lawsuit] initiating discussions with FastTrack about resolving our claims in a way that will provide us with useful information and testimony against MusicCity, and if possible obtain FastTrack's cooperation in shutting down or converting MusicCity and Grokster," states the memo.'
posted by arthurdailey at 11:09 AM on October 3, 2001


holgate,
has audiogalaxy changed it's original tune in regards to it's use? i installed in an early beta some time ago and was somewhat satisfied with my results, but frustrated with the spyware and lack of an uninstaller.
posted by basmati at 11:14 AM on October 3, 2001


Spoofing and other technical means of interfering with P2P networks would be a denial of service attack, a felony under federal law.

I WANT the RIAA to do this. I would dearly love to see Rosen thrown in the slammer.
posted by NortonDC at 11:28 AM on October 3, 2001


cheesebot : "you can't boycott. the RIAA will claim the reduced sales are due to file sharing and then turn around and sue some more."

you think they need any excuse to "sue some more"? methinks you overestimate their reliance on user's opinions.

The RIAA are the big pimps of music. they don't actually create anything, they just select it, package it and put in on the street, and fight to the death anybody trying to move in on their territory. they're not letting go of their whores easily. not without a fight.
posted by signal at 11:29 AM on October 3, 2001


Anybody have any good slogans for Anti-RIAA stickers / posters? We could do a collaborative design and then distribute them as PDF and TIFF files. Any other design professionals out there?
posted by signal at 11:32 AM on October 3, 2001


Audiogalaxy continues to have real uses - but it is only a matter of time before the utility becomes anaesthetized, Napster-style. It uses an almost identical format to Napster, so once the courts truly rule against Napster, Audiogalaxy will be very easy to take down. In terms of what you seem to be looking for, holgate, (Live tracks, obscure artists, deleted stuff.) the "new" Napster will likely be the service that will best suit your needs. Once Napster relaunches in subscription form, they aim to specialize in exactly that type of miscellanea, and will have deals with the Majors to ensure lots of good content.

I am not surprised that FastTrack & Co. are being attacked. In fact, it seemed inevitable to me. I find it unlikely that in the current copyright law climate any commercial venture that facilitates piracy will be able to persist. That is why open source Gnutella projects are so important. (By the by, LimeWire recently opened up its code.) Several non-commercial next-gen Gnutella clients (such as Gnucleus) are working on implementing KaZaA-like features such as super-nodes and grouped downloads. It's only a matter of time until these noncommercial efforts are as excellent as their investor-controlled peers. The more support they get from the Internet community, the faster this will happen.

Donkeymon: I haven't found anything that works great on my Mac yet.

In the meantime, as a Mac user, I make infrequent use of LimeWire to grab the occasional single track, but my main tool is Hotline (discussed recently on MeFi, in the context of its parent company's demise) to download entire albums from indie and post-rock servers. If you have broadband and a large hard-drive (as well as the cashflow to support the artists whom you discover and enjoy), I highly recommend it.

Signal: Anybody have any good slogans for Anti-RIAA stickers / posters?

There's always the ever-amusing Modern Humorist posters. (1 3). Oh oh, or how about "RIAA - Shouldn't it be RIASS!" Boy. I kill me.
posted by Marquis at 11:54 AM on October 3, 2001


I prefer to come up with alternate meanings for the acronym, such as Repressively Ignorant Accountant Assholes. Or how about Recently Impotent Artistic Antichrists. Not much use for a bumper sticker though.

I used to use Hotline all the time, but my tolerance for clicking multiple porn banners and writing down the third to last word on each popup is too low. I have found the LimeWire almost always crashes for me, usually fairly quickly. I have managed to download a few files using it, but at the expense of several reboots. Maybe that is the RIAA's new strategy; infiltrate the file-sharing services with bad programmers?
posted by donkeymon at 12:40 PM on October 3, 2001


The problem with Hotline, now, is separating the wheat from the (porno-banner) chaff. Doing a search on any of the major trackers for "indie" will reveal several excellent, extensive and non-shady servers, replete with the Pitchfork artistes du jour. (Usually you need to upload an album or two for access, but servers seldom rely on an annoying ratio system.)
posted by Marquis at 12:56 PM on October 3, 2001


Click for bigger image

posted by elvissinatra at 12:57 PM on October 3, 2001


has audiogalaxy changed its original tune in regards to its use?

well, there's no spyware in the Linux client... ;)
posted by holgate at 1:01 PM on October 3, 2001


My fellow Mac users should also make note of the fact that there are perfectly decent Aimster & Audiogalaxy clients available for us. Audiogalaxy's is unofficial; check VersionTracker for the program "MacSatellite." The best thing is that unlike their PC counterparts, you can just trash the apps when you're done with them. No "uninstaller" nonsense.
posted by bcwinters at 2:11 PM on October 3, 2001


I'm not willing to pay 40 dollars (CDN mind you) for a CD. It doesn't matter if I can download it for free, I wouldn't buy it anyways.
posted by starduck at 2:25 PM on October 3, 2001


Audiogalaxy works great for me. They give the option of not installing the spy ware in the install now. I ran ad aware afterwards, just to make sure. :)
posted by Localemperor at 3:14 PM on October 3, 2001


Just as a note.

The newer platforms that are being created for peer to peer usage are self sufficient.

Napster had a weak point in that it utilized a main server that was based somewhere in the US.

The newer swapping platforms are more varied in form of media transferred and almost COMPLETELY self-sufficient, needing no central server to list downloadable music. Not to mention programs like Kazaa (really like Morpheus, which is really like Kazaa) are almost untouchable in some aspects. Kazaa is based in Amsterdam .. not within jurisdiction of courts.

So, the RIAA is fighting a losing war against tech-geniuses and computer geeks (semi-geek here ;-) )
posted by a11an at 8:00 PM on October 3, 2001


Hilary Rosen is a godd*mn c-word. My opinion. Just frustrated with the whole music world.
posted by dopamine at 9:13 PM on October 3, 2001


well, there's no spyware in the Linux client... ;)

Yes indeed. Straight command line. The very best experience in file sharing I've ever had. Just throw AG and it's satellite over on desktop 4 with a cadre of music to get. Forget about it as it silently does it's thing. Next morning wake up to several CDs worth of MP3's. Nothing on your system breached or cluttered.

AG is simply the best client (esp on Linux) I've ever used. Including their search parameters and user comments.
posted by crasspastor at 9:19 PM on October 3, 2001


If kazaa is international, can the RIAA still sue them? If they can, what would they do in the case of a company based in Taiwan?
posted by Charmian at 9:32 PM on October 3, 2001


Perhaps we ask our good buddies the Chinese to have a word. Or two.
posted by Grangousier at 11:55 PM on October 3, 2001


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