May 9, 2000
12:44 PM   Subscribe

(No link, but at least it's on topic :-)
Submitted for your approval: the recording industry has shot themselves in the head, forcing users to switch from Napster, which at least gave them a mechanism to charge people who wanted to pay, to the decentralized approach of Gnutella, et al, which makes that completely impossible. Opinions?
posted by baylink (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I thought the same thing. Whereas Napster was a company that had a profit imperative and thus would almost inevitably become a channel for selling music in the future, Gnutella is totally free and will only get better at preserving anonymity. Plus the contempt that the industry's actions have engendered in early technology adopters (like us) is making it easier for us to rationalize piracy. Gnutella will doubtless become the MP3 trading program of choice and piracy will now get worse instead of better. ( CRISWELL PREDICTS! ^_^ )
posted by wiremommy at 1:00 PM on May 9, 2000


Just like the 24/7 -vs- DoubleClick lawsuit... Internet Justice!!!!

Memo 2 me: trademark the phrase "Internet Justice" as that will be a popular catchphrase....
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 1:03 PM on May 9, 2000

Don't forget to sue/harass the owners of (and .net!) after trademarking said phrase.
posted by smeat at 1:14 PM on May 9, 2000

Aw...CRAP! Nevermind.
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 1:56 PM on May 9, 2000

We note that your phrase "Internet Justice" is confusingly similar to our registered trademark...
posted by baylink at 2:10 PM on May 9, 2000

"Plus the contempt that the industry's actions have engendered in early technology adopters (like us) is making it easier for us to rationalize piracy. Gnutella will doubtless become the MP3 trading program of choice and piracy will now get worse instead of better."

We'll only have won this war when everybody realizes that the concept of "piracy" is a joke and that the act of copying some stream of bits in spite of threats by well-armed thugs is not morally wrong.

posted by Mars Saxman at 2:53 PM on May 9, 2000

No, I think we'll have won when the music (and other media) industry realizes that people are dissatisfied with their current distribution models and get serious about meeting their customers' needs.
posted by harmful at 2:58 PM on May 9, 2000

that's a strange sentiment coming from a group that would probably register otrage - bigtime - if websites that they, or even matt, were copied. of course coping some stream of bits is, in some cases, morally wrong.

music piracy probably is morally wrong and it's fascinating to watch people rationalize it...
posted by palegirl at 3:02 PM on May 9, 2000

Sure, just about anyone would get torqued if someone stole their work, and represented it as their own. That's not what was going on. Nobody was claiming they wrote this cool new song called Enter Sandman.

I don't think too many people would get excited about unauthorized mirroring of websites. At most, that's rude.
posted by flestrin at 3:24 PM on May 9, 2000

I think we all agree that music piracy is morally wrong. But many of us (myself definitely included) feel that the major label music system is morally wrong as well. We all want to find a better way to get music and compensate artists for their work.

I think a lot of people are pirating music with the vague idea that if we force the issue by refusing to pay for music, the major labels will HAVE to change or die and a better way to sell music will HAVE to be found. Unfortunately that's not necessarily true.

Here's an idea: do a search for your favorite major label artist's name on Find the indie bands who say "sounds a little like (yr fave artist here)" and give them a try. Download their music and if you like it, buy it. Maybe things will change faster if we support alternative music distribution.
posted by wiremommy at 3:28 PM on May 9, 2000

I am not going to attempt to morally justify piracy. I just think that the rise of piracy is a sign that the music industry is not meeting the demands of the marketplace. I've given up all my pirate MP3's; however, I prefer to support those bands which are trying to use this new medium to their (and their listener's) advantage over those who are trying to turn back the clock.
posted by harmful at 6:22 PM on May 9, 2000

I don't think I'm trying to morally justify piracy either, I just want to give an example. I'm a painter, and if I was selling prints of my paintings, and then other people found a way to get a print for free, I don't think I would mind. I would just be happy that people are looking at my work. But that's just me, and it's not even a good example at all, but...
posted by premiumpolar at 7:43 PM on May 9, 2000

They Might Be Giants, everyone's favorite nerd rock/novelty band, is big into new distribution methods for their music. Almost all of their non-Elektra catalog--five full-length albums--are available for purchase and download in MP3 format at eMusic. You can buy the albums by the track or all-at-once. One of the albums is MP3 only, and a new EP is coming out soon that will be available first in MP3, then on CD. For all you TMBG fans that haven't checked them out in a while, they're still doing great stuff, and you can support alternative music distribution by buying their stuff!
posted by daveadams at 9:26 PM on May 9, 2000

Quick thought: Fair use needs to be defined in terms of the Internet. Space-shifting utilities such as Beam-It, while not directly attacked in the case, are clearly on the wrong side of the DMCA. Why can I not have act as a procy for me? I'm not saying they were right, I'm just talking about something completely different.

As far as the RIAA and DMCA are concerned, two exact digital copies with the exact same 1s and 0s, are two different pieces of property and never the two shall meet. Is this fair use?

The record industry is stalling and striking out at two flagrant violators (in their eyes anyway). Now that they have leverage, they are going to negotiate a settlement. At that point, they will reestablish their legal monopoly on the internet.

Of course, GNUtella kind of throws a wrench in those well laid plans. :-)
posted by fooljay at 2:04 AM on May 10, 2000

One thing of a dubious nature that comes to my mind is that those teenagers who were (rightly or wrongly) downloading music for listening may now unfortunately be exposed to the video world of gnutella that they may have avoided if Napster was to continue.

Food for thought - are pedo's born twisted or does the accessability (environment) factor give rise for concerns -perhaps some social workers should be getting their pens and paper out to see if there is colateral damage form the demise of Napster.

I wonder???!!!$$?&&^??()?
posted by peacay at 5:07 AM on May 10, 2000

Interestingly enough, I apparently only beat John Markoff (not that anyone listens to *him :-) to this meme by a couple of days.

This is not to say that I agree with Ian Clarke's outlook... especially since he stole the name: I *work* for a Freenet, and it has nothing to do with violating copyright.

I'm an optimist at heart, I guess; I think if you give people a reasonable way to pay for getting what they want, enough of them will take you up on it to make it worth doing.
posted by baylink at 10:52 AM on May 11, 2000

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