RIAA, mp3.com & Jack Valenti gang up on napster
June 13, 2000 2:23 AM   Subscribe

RIAA, mp3.com & Jack Valenti gang up on napster Media racketeers flex their collective muscle. As long as napster is outside the ring, it's a movement symbol as much as a corporate entity. Where's the money? Where's the music? When will artists just start selling mp3s?
posted by aflakete (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Everybody do the mp3.com shuffle!

It starts with rebellious fist-shaking, proceeds to bending over, and ends with a lot of wild gyrating that signifies nothing.

It's almost sad... wait, no it's not.
posted by Freakho at 2:47 AM on June 13, 2000

Michael Robertson once again reveals himself as an opportunist back-stabbing corporate whore. Why am I not surprised?
posted by holgate at 4:27 AM on June 13, 2000

Attacking Napster for being a conduit of what some view as questionably illegal activity is like suing the city of New York for allowing questionably illegal activity to happen in Central Park.

Napster is not a place to go to get stuff. It is not like a store. It's like a marina. People park their computers at a dock and make their load available. You don't attack the owner of the marina because the boats that park there have drugs in them, or stolen goods. You go after the boat, not the marina.

RIAA wants to own the marina, and if they partner with MP3.com while setting Napster ablaze, they think they will. MP3's system, in comparison, is better suited to work along with RIAA. Why? One word: control.

RIAA wants to continue to control how music is proliferated in this society. They can't compete against both MP3.com and Napster so they're trying to divide and conquer, and MP3.com is foolishly falling prey to the strategy, by turning mp3.com into competition for Napster when they should be working together.

It makes me sick. We have all this technology yet it's still being operated by idiots who are thinking in terms of property and power. Information does not want to be owned. It wants to be free.

Napster's technology is available to everyone. There are already copycats out there. Shut down Napster. Cut off the tongue of a prophet and a dozen will grow in its place.

You can't stop the future.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:59 AM on June 13, 2000


And, additionally, let's not forget that the "marina technology" that Napster uses is really quite a simple combination of things-- basically it's a chat room with a drive-scan utility attached --and that what Napster does with that simple combination is only the beginning of what could possibly be done with it.

Overlook the elements of this situation that are particular to the music industry, and you can see that the attempted shutdown of Napster is an attempt to squelch the development of a whole new set of powerful tools for sharing information-- any information, not just MP3s --in a non-hierachical fashion.

"If Napster can encourage and facilitate the distribution of pirated sound recordings, then what's to stop it from doing the same to movies, software, books, magazines, newspapers, television, photographs or video games?" says Jack Valenti, (president of the Motion Picture Association of America) in that article.

Anybody else think that would be a good thing for artists and a bad thing for corporations? (And I'm speaking as a writer with his book on-line here.)
posted by jbushnell at 12:13 PM on June 13, 2000

I'll refer once again to what Jenny Toomey (of Tsunami, Geek, Liquorice, etc., and Simple Machines Records fame) wrote on insound:
The RIAA, who are doing a lot of the suing of pirates, is clearly identified with the interests of the major labels and therefore more worthy of contempt than support. On the other hand the great majority of the entrepreneurial internet music folks who are developing these new technologies and services often really do seem to care about musicians. Their belief in open-source technology which informs their rationale for moving towards "free music" is utopian and idealistic, so they are a fun group to align with, aside from the fact that their technological innovations erase the value of my music production.
Not everyone who's wary of the end of copyright as we know it is a loathsome RIAA type.
posted by snarkout at 1:33 PM on June 13, 2000

It's ok...

They'll kill off Napster.

And Gnutella, et al, will put them completely out of business. You heard it here first; bookmark this page.
posted by baylink at 2:14 PM on June 13, 2000

I'm with baylink: Napster will be shot down and shut down. And the RIAA will think that it has won. But no matter: Napster was only ever meant to be a kid's hacked-up extension of IRC's file-sharing capacity.

Pyrrhic victory, anyone?
posted by holgate at 2:53 PM on June 13, 2000

Michael Robertson once again reveals himself as an opportunist back-stabbing corporate whore.

Like Napster exists for any other reason that to make money? Or at least to try to, if it ever comes up with a business plan?
posted by aaron at 4:03 PM on June 13, 2000

Nah, I don't think so: and that's the point. Andrew Sullivan talks about it in his piece for the NY Times Magazine.
Napster is the favorite of college students everywhere because, like them, it's still dreaming. Eighteen-year-olds may be the last people on earth to still believe in communism, but unlike every previous generation of dreamers, these kids have figured out the technology to make it possible. So what if there's no money in it? That's the point!
That's why Napster can't get its shit together as a business. Because it's so uncorporate, it's silly. And that makes me a lot happier than Mark Cuban spending his billions.
posted by holgate at 4:56 PM on June 13, 2000

Of course Napster wants to make money. But are they skanky enough to use the legal system to attack a competitor? That's what MP3.com is doing, or at least joining with the RIAA to do so.

That lawsuit would have destroyed MP3.com. The RIAA settled. MP3.com is now the RIAA's bitch. And they are using the mainstream mindshare they have to say "Look, we give consumers the digital thing and let the record companies retain the right to screw them and the artists. Everyone's happy!" This is so hypocritical, or renders everything they've said before so hypocritical, that it's sickening.

Translation: they suck. I'm done.
posted by Freakho at 8:53 PM on June 13, 2000

Where's the music? When will artists just start selling mp3s?

Lots of artists already do on eMusic.com, including everyone's favorite: They Might Be Giants. Their entire catalog from Restless is available in MP3 as well as a couple of MP3-exclusive albums. Each one is $8.99 or less.

I don't work for eMusic, but I love TMBG. Sue me.

posted by daveadams at 8:55 AM on June 14, 2000

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