And IMHO, the RIAA has every right to pound Napster Inc into the ground. I'm all for the technology, but whereas services like Gnutella et al are free and open source, Napster Inc. is out to find a way to make a huge profit from piracy. "Making the music free" is one thing. Taking musicians' music, making sure they don't get paid for it, and then making money off their songs yourselves is just slimy.posted by aaron at 6:19 PM on July 26, 2000
As for trading itself, I am somewhat ambivalent. I don't know what other people do, but I generally grab MP3s of songs that are long out of print, only available on full albums and/or that I already bought once but lost years ago because the tapes went bad, people took the CDs, I left them in my parents' house in the basement, etc. Regarding the first two reasons, I'd be happy to pay for the individual songs if there were any way to do so, but there generally isn't. (I used to buy tons of Personics tapes back when they were around, but of course they couldn't get many record companies or the RIAA to work with them either.) Regarding the third, once I've bought it, I've bought it, and I have the right to continue to listen to it in any format I wish, today or 100 years from now.
I don't think the Betamax argument works here, though. That ruling was about the right of people to tape shows off the air that were being offered to them free of charge anyway, and then watching them when and how they wished. Sony wasn't attempting to take the TV shows of other companies, stripping out the commercials and then giving or selling the tapes to VCR users. Napster is about compiling a gigantic database of music, all of which no one person could possibly ever own even 1% of, and letting them pick at will.posted by aaron at 7:50 PM on July 26, 2000
1) In this specific case, well over 99% percent of Napster's database is not of music put there by artists specifically requesting it, but instead of music put out by record companies that they do not want to be there.
2) Napster argued in court that to make any attempt to separate the Chris Johnson songs of the world from the Metallica songs of the world would be of such a detriment to Napster Inc that they probably wouldn't survive. And that's pretty much a de facto admission that Napster can't survive without illegal trading. Oops.posted by aaron at 7:56 PM on July 26, 2000
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