February 8, 2004 8:20 PM   Subscribe

whatsthedownload.com "If we download from one of the many cool legal sites no problem." and "Music downloading ain't a black and white issue."
posted by hypnorich (36 comments total)
posted by quonsar at 8:29 PM on February 8, 2004

posted by adamgreenfield at 8:33 PM on February 8, 2004

WhatsTheDownlaod.com is a place for music lovers to visit.
Obviously, not a place for those fussy about spelling to visit.
posted by dg at 8:36 PM on February 8, 2004

Taking sides: searching for Osama vs. searching for cultural enrichment through music education.

posted by techgnollogic at 8:37 PM on February 8, 2004

Hey kids! It's hip to pay for your music!
posted by pjhagop at 8:39 PM on February 8, 2004

I know when I read Metafilter and listen to legally downloaded music, nothing refreshes me quite like Pepsi Blue! Yes, Pepsi Blue, the choice of an e-generation!
posted by keswick at 8:44 PM on February 8, 2004

reminds me of freevibe.com, where they've recently upgraded to flashy multimedia their text adventures, scenarios in which you try as hard as you can to get to the end without enjoying yourself.
posted by damehex at 8:50 PM on February 8, 2004

The site blows, downloading files to read basic info? Stupid, shortsighted and bound to piss people off.

Hiproganda at its finest, look like a lamb when they're money, gin and lawsuit maddened old fools fighting to get more money before the world closes out on them.

Paying for music is fine. But pay the artists who made it. Ooooh, what a concept.
posted by fenriq at 9:04 PM on February 8, 2004

I've got to give them some credit for evenhandedness. Their current lead item in "music news" is
Morpheus Releases New Version

On Tuesday, the same day entertainment companies urged a federal appeals court to overturn an April ruling protecting file-sharing services Grokster and Morpheus, the latter company released a new version of its software making it easier for people to copy music and movies. Morpheus 4.0 allows users to download files from all the major peer-to-peer networks and includes new tools to hide users' identities and the files they're sharing. StreamCast Networks Inc., the parent company of Morpheus, said the timing of the release was coincidental. (2/4)
posted by kickingtheground at 9:10 PM on February 8, 2004

This should offend any DIY artist who's ever put something out there in hopes that people would pick it up and just listen (not that the whole site isn't offensive.

"What if my favorite artist agrees with - and encourages - file-swapping from illegal sites?
Seems that if our favorite artists say it's okay to download the music they've created, then it should be okay ... the truth is, most of the time there is more than one copyright owner on every song. So just because an artist may agree with file-swapping networks, it doesn't mean it is legal for us to download their songs."
posted by mrmcsurly at 9:13 PM on February 8, 2004

mrmcsurly: I don't understand your problem with that answer. Could you point out exactly what the problem is?
posted by ODiV at 9:21 PM on February 8, 2004

Sorry. I didn't mean to sound quite so trollish.

It seems to me like the answer would cover pretty accurately most artists whose fans would visit this site for copyright advise. The truth is a lot of them don't hold exclusive rights to their work because they sell them.

I really don't see what's wrong with the answer exactly, nor do I see how it could really be offensive or harmful to DIY artists.
posted by ODiV at 9:34 PM on February 8, 2004

You know, when we were kids, we wanted free music too, but the funny thing is, my parents weren't too happy when my brother got busted for shoplifting a .45 single. They kicked his ass. Sure, the record companies are dinosaurs and a-holes, and the site linked above is a dopey insult to anyone of intelligence, but stealing is still wrong. I don't mind paying 99 cents a track at the iTunes store. I'm not poor, or a thief, and the recording industry will change even as it is dragged kicking and screaming into the future. More artists will be able to sell direct, the monopolies will be crushed, and we'll all look back on this time of confusion and scratch our heads.
posted by Slagman at 9:44 PM on February 8, 2004

ODiV: To paraphrase... "Artists? Controlling the rights of their own music?? Why, what a preposterous idea! Why don't you wake up and enter the 90s like the rest of the modern world. The law is on our side, bitch!"

Slagman: This 'future' you speak of sounds like a pretty radical place. I hope the citizens of the future will realize that physical theft is not the same as digital replication...
posted by Laugh_track at 10:22 PM on February 8, 2004

More artists will be able to sell direct, the monopolies will be crushed, and we'll all look back on this time of confusion and scratch our heads.

This won't happen (and artists' situation won't improve) if artists continue to have to submit to the same contractual agreements with labels they submit to now (yes, even the ones that sell on iTunes.)
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 10:24 PM on February 8, 2004

ODiv: The truth is, there are thousands of artists out there who do own their own music, and own the right to give it away. They are, as I suggested do-it-yourself independent artists, recording in basements and local studios, borrowing from families to print CDs, and using the internet as a marketing too.

While it's completely accurate that almost all major label artists are forced to give up their copyright/publishing rights, lots of artists used the internet creatively -- including posting to Kazaa or other P2P networks -- to get attention.

For many of them -- and I've been a fan who found new music on Kazaa, and went on to "pay for it" by buying their CD, or paying cover to see a show -- giving it away online is a huge marketing tool. This brief description suggests that even those artists are violating copyright.
posted by mrmcsurly at 10:31 PM on February 8, 2004

Laugh_Track: I'm not sure what your point is. Do you think artists should be able to magically reaquire the rights to their music after they sell them? Or that they should be barred from selling those rights at all?

mrmcsurly: Absolutely, those artists exist. More power to them. Do you think the fans of these artists are on whatsthedownload.com wondering about the legality of those downloads though? I don't think this site poses any threat to them. And the quote does say most.

So yeah, it's not entirely accurate, but I don't think it's offensive.

Slagman: So should we be spanking the Kazaa users then? :)
posted by ODiV at 10:42 PM on February 8, 2004

Eh. The whiners took all the fun out of music downloading years ago. It's amusing that people still bother with it. RIAA music is not worth listening to, much less downloading. mp3.com has thankfully been put out of its misery. I listen to local artists and when I can afford it, buy their CDs directly from them. Works brilliantly.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:45 PM on February 8, 2004

I hate people who like music.
posted by xmutex at 10:48 PM on February 8, 2004

RIAA music is not worth listening to, much less downloading.

And white people ain't got no rhythm.
posted by kindall at 11:15 PM on February 8, 2004

Why is it sites like these pretend everyone on earth lives in the US?

I heard if I make a tape for a friend of an album I purchased - it's no problem; but if I burn a CD for my friend, then it's stealing. Is that true? I don't understand the difference.
You may be surprised to learn that neither of these activities is legally permitted, actually - one is no different from the other.

BZZZT! In Canada both are permitted!

How do I know that I am downloading music legally? What is the difference between a legal and an illegal download?

Loaded question: There is no such thing as an illegal music download in Canada.

Doesn't the first amendment give me the freedom of speech - meaning I can upload or download any song I want, regardless of copyrights?

95% of the world really doesn't care about the first amendment. Seriously.

etc, etc, etc.

Sorry, just a rant about a problem that always bugs me.
posted by shepd at 12:02 AM on February 9, 2004

Music Labels:
BMG Entertainment
EMI Group
Sony Music Entertainment
Universal Music Group
Warner Bros. Music
Only five? So easy to remember! Thanks, RIAA!
posted by Guy Smiley at 12:07 AM on February 9, 2004

Excellent point, shepd - a common point-of-view of web sites purporting to be representing a common view when, in fact, they are wearing blinkers and pretending that the majority of the world doesn't exist.
posted by dg at 1:00 AM on February 9, 2004

Or that they should be barred from selling those rights at all?

Actually, I rather like this idea. Assuming the artists could still agree to share future profits in exchange for distribution and marketing, what is wrong with this?

Intellectual property is not actually legal property after all, just a limited monopoly. And who said that a limited monopoly had to be transferrable?
posted by bashos_frog at 1:45 AM on February 9, 2004

...pretending that the majority of the world doesn't exist.

Maybe it's because of those things that shepd pointed out, that they don't even bother to address the rest of the world. If there is little to nothing that the RIAA, or whoever, can do to a file-sharer in Pakistan, then what's the point in trying to target them on their PSA-style website?

They're trying to get people to stop breaking the law. So if "the law" isn't being broken in Canada by downloading music, then there isn't much point in trying to change their behavior by speaking to them through this silly website. These American companies are trying to get the Americans who "steal their music" to cut it out. If they can accomplish such a feat, I'm sure they will be more than satisfied.

So you think you're being ignored up there in Canada... well, you're probably right.
posted by Witty at 4:16 AM on February 9, 2004

this website reeks of that uk unemployment training vibe , we really want to help you and if you dont let us , we'll cut your balls off type thing.

as above , the main flaw in the music industrys argument is that they rip off their own artists.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:46 AM on February 9, 2004

It's the last, desperate gasp of of a dying industry. For me, the grammy awards hammered home the increasing irrelevance of RIAA music for my friends and I. I don't mention this in a bid for cooler-than-thou hipster status, because that surely ain't me. Rather, the number and quality of independant acts has broadened my musical horizons ten-fold. I have legitimately acquired through physical purchase or download more music than I ever would have had I been saddled with only the RIAA. This would not have been possible without peer-to-peer file sharing. It's been said over and over again, but file sharing isn't hurting the RIAA; bad music is. The internet hasn't taught people to steal music, it's taught people how to find music they like.

The marketing of music, to me, looks more and more like cellular air time. Especially with the advent of portable digital devices, people want their music with them and accessible all the time. The cellular companies all used to charge by the minute, analogous to charging per track or per album. Now, however, we are seeing the emergence of unlimited minutes for a monthly fee. Why? Because of consumer demand for affordable cellular service and at least some mild competition in the market. Why can't music be the same way? It's pretty sad when the RIAA makes the telecom industry look like a competitive model.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:33 AM on February 9, 2004

The fact that the people responsible for this (amusing) travesty of a website are actually responsible for deciding what's going to be popular music..... clears up a lot of questions.
posted by maggie at 7:52 AM on February 9, 2004

BZZZT! In Canada both are permitted! ... There is no such thing as an illegal music download in Canada.

So what you're saying is us Americans should be getting all our Canadian friends to burn us CDs and/or send us mp3s? Cool! Sign me up. Mind mailing me my perscription, too, by the way?
posted by me3dia at 10:12 AM on February 9, 2004

Paying for music is fine. But pay the artists who made it.

I hope you count the studio engineers as artists as well. Otherwise, you can say hello to CDs that sound horrible in a few years.
posted by oaf at 10:16 AM on February 9, 2004

the links are funny. (and the copy editing is atrocious.)

If we're looking for more info on digital entertainment, the Web sites listed below will show us the wide variety of viewpoints on downloading.

www.musicunited.org (RIAA)
www.respectcopyrights.org (MPAA)
www.grammy.com (The Recording Academy)

wide variety, indeed.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:37 AM on February 9, 2004

If, after reading the information on this site, we decide that we want to stop music swapping (or keep others from accessing our hard drive), here's what we can do...
They sure manage to sound creepy. This strange use of pronouns reminds me of Buffalo Bill. "It uninstalls its P2P programs, or else it gets the hose again."

It is nice that they're looking out for my hard drive, though.
posted by Turd Ferguson at 12:28 PM on February 9, 2004

oaf - the studio engineers are often the real artists, as they can make [insert favorite pop-tart/fart to hate here] sound good. ;)
posted by dabitch at 1:35 PM on February 9, 2004

oaf - the studio engineers are often the real artists, as they can make [insert favorite pop-tart/fart to hate here] sound good.

I refuse to see this as A Good Thing. I'm all for proper recording, but "correcting" a performance -- who needs it?
posted by Ogre Lawless at 3:52 PM on February 9, 2004

who needs it?
Almost every currently recording artist, in my opinion.
posted by dg at 10:47 PM on February 9, 2004

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