An interview
May 22, 2000 10:30 AM   Subscribe

An interview with the lawyers from Napster and Metellica. Good points, both.
posted by Mick (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I quote Howard King: "A more permanent, litigation-free solution would be for Napster simply to eliminate Metallica songs from its directory."

For the last time, there is no directory!

(why do I read these articles when I know they'll making me fuming mad?)
posted by smeat at 1:28 PM on May 22, 2000

I also have to critisize some of the things Pulgram has to say. He compares Napster with VCRs, but that's not really a good anology. VCRs could be compared to programs that rip MP3s but unless there is a network where people are constantly trading bootleg videos, there really isn't an accurate comparison.

He also says, "The law entitles those fans to make that duplicate for their own non-commercial enjoyment using Napster." but I'm pretty sure that's not true.

It's a little hard to choose sides in this matter since, as smeat has pointed out, Metallica's defense has no idea what he's talking about, yet Napster doesn't seem to have as many good points as Metallica.
posted by deckard at 2:08 PM on May 22, 2000

Um, smeat?

One of us vastly misunderstands the way Napster works... I think it's you, but I'd be happy to be proven wrong...

Do you really think that Napster rebroadcasts every search to every known client when it happens? Gnutella *does* work that way, and, I can tell you from experience; that sucks.

It makes the user interface *very* sluggish, and most people aren't equipped to deal with it (hell; some *clients* aren't equipped to deal with it. Gnotella, in particular, has serious problems with the scrolling of still building windows..)

My understanding has been that each client signs on to Napster's servers, and uploads it's index, once. The indices are coalesced into a giant directory, against which searches are run, with the information necessary to make a direct connection for the retrieval returned to the searching client.

Does anyone have more useful data? Or do I need to dig out tcpdump and watch the packets fly on my copy?
posted by baylink at 4:56 PM on May 22, 2000

Woops. baylink, "your understanding" is making a lot of sense to me, now that I think of the signon process (never really paid attention before).

Soooooo, if there IS a big directory (which must change dynamically, as people sign on and off), or a bunch of directories, since everytime you login you get a different batch o' files, anyway... it WOULD seem possible that they could just block out certain keywords ("metallica", "dr dre", whatever). Couldn't they?
posted by smeat at 6:13 PM on May 22, 2000

Even if they could, how would they effectively prevent studio-recorded material from being used, while still allowing legal live recordings?
posted by deckard at 10:07 AM on May 23, 2000

They couldn't, but you see, Deckard, they don't care.

In the case of Metallica, it's immaterial, anyway; boots are not permitted. In the case of the other bands who informally allow booting, it's going to get interesting: some of those bands *do not own their catalogs*. They cannot legally permit the recording of those songs.

There's gonna be a shakeout...

And yes, they could filter, at least in theory. But I know how you feel, smeat; I read general press coverage of the Internet, and I shudder when they get fundamental, *important* stuff wrong.
posted by baylink at 3:03 PM on May 23, 2000

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