Kazaa to RIAA; "Catch us if you can!"
September 25, 2002 10:05 PM   Subscribe

Kazaa to RIAA; "Catch us if you can!" Although I was initially skeptical, it seems as though Kazaa's decentralized system is proving to be a problem for the RIAA. With Napster, it seemed like they caved almost immediately. What I'm wondering is, does Kazaa actually have a change at establishing some sort of favourable ruling concerning file-trading / P2P? I know it's probably too early to tell, but speculation makes for great conversation some times.
posted by Dark Messiah (15 comments total)
*silly typos. chance, not change.

Personally, I think it means they have a shot. It's still a damn long road ahead, and most of it uphill in my books.
posted by Dark Messiah at 10:07 PM on September 25, 2002

Well, the thing about Kazaa, is that it's not based in the US. They have offices all over the world. Some of them in countries that don't recognize recording companies claims that distributing the software is illegal.

Of course they have a shot to stay afloat, so long as they stay based in countries that won't prosecute them

The question is, what happens when the recording companies start targeting the users. Not the big servers either, but I mean little Bobby who just downloaded the latest Backstreet Boys single.

I just wish compainies like the RIAA would get it through their heads that if they gave better content on the CDs (the way DVDs do) then the sales would rise again.
posted by lasthrsman at 10:38 PM on September 25, 2002

What sort of better content? What can you add to a CD, apart from some funky cover art and maybe a free sticker stuck in the sleeve? I don't think it has anything to do with the content of CDs - it certainly doesn't for me. I wouldn't think to myself "Hmm I'm going to buy the new Sonic Youth CD instead of downloading it because it includes a special interview track, producer's commentary, and "making of" feature". I'm not interested. I buy music for the music.

I think the recording industry just needs to recognize the paradigm shift happening because of the internet. True fans (as opposed to pinks downloading the latest Britney single) are discovering a greater diversity of artists than ever before; artists they've never heard of, style they've never heard of, artists with no label backing or who have stopped producing music long ago. Meanwhile, record companies are swimming against the stream by aiming to produce content that is less diverse than ever and more expensive than ever. I'm not exaggerating when I say my rate of CD purchasing has tripled since I discovered mp3s about 4 years ago. My music "needs" are no longer catered for if I ignore the internet medium, but record companies are making no effort to cater for me, so I have to do it illegally.

A note on Kazaa; it's an Australian company - they will have no sanctuary from US laws here. Our government will happily prosecute if the US tells them to.
posted by Jimbob at 10:54 PM on September 25, 2002

The most significant thing here is that filesharing is starting to get some corporate muscle behind it, rather than against it. If more companies jump on board, KaZaa might have a shot at standing up to the RIAA.

Whether or not it's legal is pretty much settled in the United States, but one wonders what the industry will do to go after filesharing in say, the Netherlands.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 11:13 PM on September 25, 2002

"I am shocked that Tiscali ... believes that by entering into an agreement with an unauthorized service it will promote the development of legitimate online offerings,"

Whew, well that settles it. Kazaa is unauthorized, so you'd better not use it.
posted by cameldrv at 11:15 PM on September 25, 2002

Jimbob, you totally made the point I was trying to make in the Britney vs. filesharing thread.

Record companies don't like filesharing because it leads people to music that they aren't pushing, music they aren't spending money promoting.

While they should take this as lesson, and learn to deal with the way things are and have been for years now, they instead are taking it as a call to arms, and are trying to fight something that's really out of their control.
posted by SoftRain at 11:34 PM on September 25, 2002

Kazaa The App is not really the point any more, if it ever really was. There is a proliferation of FastTrack network clients out there, which, if I understand the way this sucker works, means that the network is un-shutdownable regardless of what happens to Sharman networks, who bought Kazaa out earlier this year.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:39 AM on September 26, 2002

My understanding is that while Kazaa is distributed in terms of the searching and downloading facilities, it has a centralised authentication system, designed largely to prevent unauthorised clients from connecting to the network. This was brought in when work on open source clients got close enough to being able to replace their own client (and thus cut off the revenue from advertising and spyware). Since then I haven't seen any entirely third party clients, just hacked versions of Kazaa and Grokster, although maybe I haven't looked hard enough.

The central authentication does mean that there is still a central point of attack, which makes it more vulnerable to legal or technical attacks. Gnutella is less vulnerable in this regard - but still suffers from the fundamental problem that there has to be some way somehow of being able to find a node on the network in the first place to be able to connect - and that's always the first place the lawyers will go.
posted by kerplunk at 1:48 AM on September 26, 2002

This is only possible because of the unilateralist, anti-treaty attitudes of the European Union. Why won't they listen to the rest of the world, and change their laws to conform with ours? Complete and utter arrogance.
posted by dhartung at 2:13 AM on September 26, 2002


My situation is very similar.

I say it every time this discussion comes up:

I have bought MORE CD's because of .mp3's than I would have without. I have certain artists that I would buy regardless with or without .mp3's, but several new favorites I would not have discovered, since none of my friends listen to them, and the radio doesn't play them.

Estimate of CD's bought in past 2 years because of .mp3's? 30.
posted by Ynoxas at 6:46 AM on September 26, 2002

I hate to admit it, but I too am buying more CDs now because of MP3s....I download music, think to myself, DAMN!, and buy the CD to rip the rest for my personal collection. I'm very much a try-and-buy kinda guy.

What I'm waiting on is the self-build CD kiosks, where you go up, swipe your CC, and build a CD of music you like. It'll keep demographic info (acquired from CC company, and likes, and we'll have a good and true survey of music trends in the U.S.... imagine just putting in 3$ US and getting the 3" CD of the latest pop group, or $10 for 15 tracks selected from your favorites....

And, even better -- build it online, send it to the service kiosk, and when you swipe your CD it knows who you are and builds it for you....

Hm......does anyone do this yet? I may be forced to start a company....
posted by dwivian at 6:55 AM on September 26, 2002

Initially my purchases of CD's increased because of MP3. Lately, I find CD's to be a rather outdated distribution method. They're big, scratch easily, and don't hold much data.

Soon, low cost portable devices will usurp traditional 14 song CDs, and the RIAA will realize that the distribution medium is changing- that's why sales of CDs are down.

That said, most of the music I listen to now isn't on those big record labels- so I don't care much about declining sales of the Backstreet Boys and what the RIAA is doing.

The RIAAs biggest problem is how easily I can borrow the BackStreet Boys from my neice, copy it and never even touch the internet. Try and stop that!
posted by mad at 9:06 AM on September 26, 2002

I agree completely with lasthrsman's comments regarding improved content. Movies are readily available for download yet DVD sales are still going through the roof.

A music DVD with extras like interviews with the band members, a making of vignette, etc. would for the most part be purchased rather than downloaded.

Right now I pay roughly the same amount for a movie DVD which had a production cast & crew into the hundreds and $100 million production budget as I do for a music CD which involved maybe 30 people, and a production budget of $1 million.
posted by canucklehead at 9:18 AM on September 26, 2002

A music DVD with extras like interviews with the band members, a making of vignette, etc. would for the most part be purchased rather than downloaded.

Linkin Park is releasing a DVD pretty much like that. Based on their Reanimation remix album.
posted by Dark Messiah at 9:19 AM on September 26, 2002

Hm......does anyone do this yet? I may be forced to start a company....

It's been done. And it's dead. Guess who the killer was?
posted by Dirjy at 10:05 AM on September 26, 2002

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