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DigiMark

Thoughts on Napster

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Pro Napster?

Against Napster?

Just thought that with the recent controversy and shut down of it, I thought it'd make a good thread.

Personally, I have used it a few times, but my connection speed isn't very high, so I haven't gotten much. What I have done has been extremely helpful in furthering my musical knowledge and making purchasing decisions for CD's.

It certainly doesn't replace the CD. At least not for me. I've taken pieces that have been talked about on the FB that I had never previously heard and gotten a taste for what they are like. I've found new loves for composers that I had never heard of and soloists that I had never heard of. Thus far, I can attribute three CD purchases to Napster.

So I'll be sad to see it go. I guess they're trying to boycott CD purchases unless Napster is started up again, but I think that they are just prolonging the inevitable shut down of it by trying to do this.

So what are your opinions about Napster??

Inquisitively,

DigiMark

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Nabster is contributing to theft plain and simple. The musicians who write produce and record the music Nabster gives away are robbed. They should reap the rewards of their effort by people buying records or radio stations playing them.

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Dr.S....

You have it all wrong....

Napster gives artists the opportunity to market their music without going through the traditional channels (recording companies). As we all know, the recording companies, for the most part, make most of the money from CD sales, etc. In return, they provide the marketing and production.

If artists are able to promote and market their music through this technology, then everyone (except the recording companies) benefit. The artist gets a larger cut, the consumer pays less for music....

Make no mistake.... this controversy has nothing to do with the artists... it's all about the multi-million dollar conglomerates that have abused and exploited artists for decades.

Napster is on OUR side....

[This message has been edited by Ludwig (edited 07-28-2000).]

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Why does it have to be one or the other? The technology probably is great for artists promoting their own work, but its most common use at this point seems to be for theft. When the illegal use of a product completely overshadows the legal use, I think the government has an *obligation* to do something, though exactly what to do seems far from clear in many instances, not only this one.

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Sorry, I have to disagree.

If an artist voluntarily distributes his content, for free, over Napster, then it is indeed a wonderful promotion and distribution tool.

If an artist's content is placed on Napster for the world to obtain for free, without that artist's desire and consent, it is theft, plain and simple.

The future is no doubt some kind of secure system that permits music to be listened to on a fee basis; those who wish to make their music available for free listening (whether one time as a sample, or anytime) will be able to do so.

The technology is not evil. People, however, have chosen to misuse the technology, and the technology fails to provide any safeguards against abuse -- in fact, one might claim that the technology has been deliberately designed to not prevent such abuse. (Certainly this is true of Gnutella, which appears to have been consciously engineered to facillitate piracy in an untraceable manner.)

[This message has been edited by Lydia Leong (edited 07-28-2000).]

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I was expecting someone to start a thread on this subject.

Yes, on-line sources of free music downloads do provide a way for artists to get their music out to the public. However, let's be realistic. Napster's bread and butter is mainstream music. Just as making a copy of your buddy's CD for your own use is a violation of copyright law, so is a download of music.

There's this judgemental "class envy" thing going on here which clouds the issue for some. But in the end, stealing is stealing, and it doesn't make any difference if the victim is popular (recording artists) or unpopular (wealthy recording companies).

The inevitability of a downloadable music industry and the fact that CD prices are a ripoff are irrelevant. A Lexus is just an overpriced Toyota, but that doesn't justify heisting one off the dealer's lot.

If you don't buy these arguments, then read the U.S. Copyright Laws. They're very clear.

Rat

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I just heard that the injunction against Napster has been stayed, and the music will play on, for a while. So, even Federal judges have some doubt about the wisdom of a heavy hand in such matters. (I don't see anyone forbidding the sale of dual cassette machines, which have been on the market for years.)

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My problem with the music "industry" is the lack of choice. You want a particular piece from a particular artist and you have to buy the whole stinking CD. So you get a few "songs" you really like, a few that are mediocre, and most that you can do without. Not to mention the fact that you just shelled out an average price of about $16-$17 USD (determined a few years ago to be overcharging). Now you want another piece from another artist. Again, buy the whole CD. Want 10 pieces by 10 different artists for your "music library" and you are going to plunk down a good chunk of change.

Oh yeah, you can buy the CD single if you can find it and pay almost half the cost of the full CD in some cases.

Napster was(is) freedom of choice. If you wanted certain pieces from particular artists, that's what you got. No fillers and by-products added.

Now, I'm not saying that the artists and producers shouldn't get their cut, but I think the music studios/distributors are going to have to come up with at better way of disseminating music to the populace without gouging them for the privilege.

Napster may be made to shut down but I don’t think the idea of choice, at least from a consumers standpoint, is going to be muffled any time soon.

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Indeed, Napster was THEFT -- taking the song you wanted without compensating the artist with ANYTHING.

In today's pop-song CD model, you are essentially paying X dollars for the song you like and getting all the other songs as "bonuses" -- that's effectively the way the "packaging" works. In the pay-as-you-go model, you would presumably pay X dollars for the song (perhaps a slightly smaller X), and not get the bonus songs. Either way the business folks are going to come up with a way to try to get the same amount of money.

This kind of thing is a luxury. "Gouging" is sort of a dubious term; they charge as much as the market will bear. Good ol' capitalism.

There is ZERO difference between copying an album off Napster, and shoplifting it from a CD store, other than the fact that the latter person at least has the guts to take a risk and hopefully isn't trying to make weenie excuses to himself "justifying" his actions.

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Napster is theft for the simple reason of this. A musician puts his time into producing a cd and then sells it. It is his personal recording of a piece of music, even though if the composer is dead perhaps the music is free, but you have to remember you must still pay the person who produced the sheet music, plus the particular players interpretation of it is not free. What is more is something that most people bring up is this. After the artists and all of the workers and all expenses are payed it costs the record company about $.50 to create a cd, and they sell it for $18. That is a lot of money, but no that is not theft, that is business. If you don't like it, you don't have to buy it. If you think that the record company is ripping you off but you want to hear a particular interpretation of music, you have to remember that the artist made an agreement with that record company saying they had rights to that music for the cd. As far as advertising perhaps I shall put it this way. A fast food resteraunt is really the best resteraunt out there. Unfortunately the burgers cost $5 a piece. Now Fred goes and steals $100,000 of those burgers and gives them away. Yes it is advertising, but it is also stealing. If you don't want to pay the prices, don't. That's all there is to it. Adieu

Jonathan

Oh, what's more is that if the artist wanted to make something where you could pay with credit card to download a song, that's one thing, but they aren't. What's more is that's not what Napster is, so excellent idea, just doesn't pertain to reality.

[This message has been edited by Jon Griffith (edited 07-28-2000).]

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How about the copy machine- does it not encourage copying material, such as sheet music, and using it illegally. Who among us is not guilty?

so now we have

1 dual cassete machines (with high speed over dubbing too)

2 copy machines

Minidisc makes a microphone that fits on the glasses- why? so anyone can record a concert in digital stereo format virtually undetected.

According to my understanding Napster is not the Thief, it's the people who download.

Also, if anyone thinks the recording industry is concerned about protecting the artist OR giving the public everything it wants-guess again. It's like the orphan drug problem. ( drug companies research and develop only meds that will pull in huge profits, and ignore treatment for rare diseases)

I side with napster

I'd bet too ,that as soon as napster gets shut down, the industry collaborates and offers the service, and reaps blockbuster profits, again victimizing the upstart artist who believes in his stuff, and wants to get his name out there without selling his soul.

Anyway you look at it the recording industry calls the shots, and controls who gets out there, under the current M.O.

[This message has been edited by fiddlefaddle (edited 07-28-2000).]

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how can any of you actually say napster is "theft"?? so is listening to the radio and recording whatever song you like also "theft"? so how is recording off the radio different from napster? and yet you still have such a range of radio stations on the air, why aren't they being sued for infringing copyright laws? (it's like saying recording tv programmings so you can watch it at your own leisure is illegal -- which one of us don't do that?)

and let's say that one day on the classical station, they play rabin's rare recording of the wieniawski concerto, wouldn't you want to stand by and record it on tape? or is that infringing his copyrights too (even when you can't buy the recording anywhere on the market)? music should be for enjoyment. and recording artists should be working to benefit the consumers (and while at it, try to make a profit), not slapping everyone who didn't pay for their cd with a lawsuit. imagine lawyers and recording artists standing outside a record store to sue everybody that comes out (because they just heard songs played on the speakers and didn't pay for it). it's ridiculous! and so is the lawsuit against napster.

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Lydia et al, but...

Personally have not downloaded from Napster.

The packaging may be "the way it works", but that doesn't mean it has to stay that way.

The technology is changing (ie. buggy whips, slide rules, 8-track, record albums)and consumers are demanding more as noted by the popularity of Napster and many of the other MP3 sites.

Bonuses? I can't, with an honest conscience, think of many of the extra "songs" on the CDs as "bonuses" just as I don't consider "bugs" in my soup "bonuses".

Agreed (and without a doubt), it’s only right to pay the artists/producers/etc for their work. But the music companies should allow the consumer the choice of which work they want to pay for (ie. like sheet music).

Capitalism I can understand. Price fixing I can't.

[This message has been edited by mthss (edited 07-28-2000).]

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quote:

Originally posted by Lydia Leong:

There is ZERO difference between copying an album off Napster, and shoplifting it from a CD store, other than the fact that the latter person at least has the guts to take a risk and hopefully isn't trying to make weenie excuses to himself "justifying" his actions.

Au contraire...

When purchasing the CD, not only does one purchase the music on it, but also one is paying for cd cover, plastic little packaging, images/photos within/on the cd, the lyrics that go with it, the whole package. In a similar sense, when one goes to the symphony, one does not only pay for the music but also for the musicians to get dressed up, the nice seats, the atmosphere of the symphony...There are many halls where you can sit in the lobby, not pay for a ticket, but still hear the entire program and not be punished for it. What's the difference? Where do you draw the line?

Let's say that Bob just bought the brand new cd by Group X. Bob's 3 roommates all get to hear this brand new cd whenever they want to because Bob has bought it. Sometimes they even take it away from Bob and pop it in their cd players themselves.

Is this theft?

Bob lives in a crowded apartment complex, and he is very close to all of his neighbors. Soon, everybody on his floor is listening to his cd whenever they want to, either from their own rooms (because Bob plays the music so loudly) or by paying Bob a visit. Bob is a great host so he doesn't mind having all the people coming in and out of his apartment.

Theft?

So where do you draw the line.

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Some people think that it's a theft, but I wouldn't go that far. It kind of gets very messy because of the copy right issues, but I don't think it should be a concern for the music industry. I don't think the average internet users have high speed access to download those files. Even if you download them, most of you probably won't have the right equipment to play them on your audio. I use ADSL, so I can download those files quickly, but personally, I don't think I would get rid of my CDs because of this. I would listen to the excepts from a CD before I buy it. I think there is nothing wrong with that. If you bought something that is not right for you, you should be able to exchange or refund it, but because CDs need to be opened to be heard, it is not possible. If the industry insists on banning those web sites because of the loss of revenue, I think they don't really repect our right. We have the right to protect ourselves from buying a wrong product.

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The reason Napster is a problem is that it permits the theft of music on an unprecedented scale.

It used to be, if you wanted to record a piece of music and you didn't want to buy it, you would wait for it to be played on a radio station and hope to be lucky enough to tape it. Napster, on the other hand, for most popular music, allows you to get a copy of that music (at better than broadcast quality) "on demand".

Napster is allowing mass reproduction of copyrighted material. There was a concern about the Xerox machine in days of yore, too, but making copies of books is very slow and impractical. Napster allows the average person with basic computer literacy to mass-reproduce music.

There's nothing wrong with the technology itself, but the world has clearly shown that it cannot responsibly use that technology. It is clear that the digital music revolution has been unleashed, though. Record companies were already looking into how to provide on-demand music in a secure manner; this process has no doubt been accelerated by Napster and Mp3.Com.

The lawsuit against Napster is not, ultimately, really about the Napster technology itself; it is about whether or not Napster has the responsibility to provide some safeguards against the misuse of their technology. (It is also about recording companies trying to protect their profits, but hey, that's a legitimate thing. These companies are publicly owned, after all -- they have a responsibility to their shareholders to make money.)

Cremona, there are laws about public exhibition that define in a coherent manner what is and isn't permitted. For instance, if you show a movie on your VCR for a couple of your friends, that's all right; at a certain point in time, though, it becomes a public exhibition, though I don't recall the specifics on it. That covers the case of Bob and his neighbors.

And fiddlefaddle, re: your example of drug companies... Charity is a matter for the individual. In our society's perhaps-dubious wisdom, we set up corporate systems of governance that make public companies' first priority to make money for their shareholders. Therefore, they do things that make money. I'm inclined to believe that individuals have a right to complain about corporate greed if (a) they own no stock, directly or indirectly (i.e., no mutual funds, etc.) and (:) they work for a non-profit providing charitable services, for no more compensation that is necessary to meet their basic living needs.

It's funny how we go on about how other people should give us things for free, when virtually all of us expect to be paid for the things we do ourselves.

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A lot of people rip music tracks off CD's, and then put them on Napster. This is where the problem is. It's fine if it's simply mp3's that artists have agreed to be distributed this way.

Well, does anyone think that ripping tracks off CD's and storing them on the computer as against the law?

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I find this topic very interesting because in the long run I think it will cause a number of changes to the way music is distributed. I don't download any music from Napster as I think it is theft. I also don't buy a CD in a music store if there are a lot of songs on it I don't like. I feel it's kind of like going to the grocery store to get a can of chicken noodle soup and being told I have to take these ten cans of clam chowder as well and I have to pay for them all or I can't have the can of chicken noodle! We have to remember that someone has to make money from the distribution of the music or everyone will go bankrupt. I, personally think most of the money should go to the artists, but we know that's not what happens when the 'middle man' gets in there. It's the same thing that happens to farmers when they sell their cattle at market. They get, say, one dollar a pound for the animal, but by the time it gets to you as a hamburger or a steak or a roast you are paying upwards of twenty dollars a pound depending on the cut. The consumer has no choice unless they have the opportunity to go directly to the farmer to purchase the product. If recording artsists are smart they will make the technology work for them and come up with some way that the consumer can purchase only what they want for a reasonable price. Napster may have unwittingly done us all a favour by giving the music industry a wake up call, but that doesn't mean I agree with their methods.

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Lydia-

Orphan drugs have nothing to do with Charity. First of all, most of our medical system is socialized -price controls, awesome and trivial regulatory demands, often serving and motivated by lawyers and politicians. EXCEPT certain key elements.The uninsured middleclass(who work, but do not qualify for medicade but cannot afford private pay), also those impoverished and unable to "sign up" because of drug problems, alcoholism ,domestic abuse, ignorance , illeteracy, etc (who by the way are also our most self abusive sectors, and hence most demanding of medical care). AND diseases that have not caught the spolight as AIDES has, but still ruining many lives.I will not list these but they are legion. This burden is born by hospitals , doctors, and unfortunate families.

What does this have to do with Napster -Here's what---Capitalism BOSCH!! this is social favoritism.

The government and politicians protects those who are in favor. And that doesn't include the struggling young artist, without a mainstream venue, hopeless of a recording contract, BUT WHO DOES STAND A CHANCE with internet distribution. Government will protect the price fixing monopolistic control of major companies AT the expense of these voiceless minorities. Yes -the Internet provides them an unprecedented opportunity. Let's not nip it in the Bud. Through the Internet distributed product the PUBLIC SPEAKS- not the CEOs of major industries!! And Democracy trumps Capitalism any day!!

Wow, I surprised myself -Howdya like them apples ? laugh.gif

[This message has been edited by fiddlefaddle (edited 07-29-2000).]

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fiddlefaddle,

Sorry, I don't think that the freeloading that occurs on Napster has anything to do with social justice. People use it because it provides a convenient way to take what they haven't paid for, without running the social risk of shoplifting.

I agree the Internet allows the otherwise unpromoted artist to reach a wider audience. However, this could be done just as easily through, for instance, Mp3.Com; indeed, arguably, Mp3.Com is a more efficient distribution and promotion method. (After all, you need to know something is there, before you can download it from Napster.) But based on download data, it's very clear that without the marketing that can be done by a megacorp, the independent artist is still not getting significant traffic driven to his Web-available property.

As an aside, I don't believe in speaking of "big corporations" and "government" as if they were monolithic entities with minds of their own. Ultimately, they are run by individuals. And individuals choose to invest in those big corporations, and vote for those in power. You can argue that society's ability to choose has been corrupted by the media, but ultimately, it comes down to, "people are sheep".

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Lydia

I share some of your feelings, using "they " in an ambigious manner has peeved me all my life.

Also I profess , and thus surrender,any intellectual stature to which I may have imagined myself attaining, not to know the difference between Mp3.com and napster. Oh boy -laugh now

However, Politicans (lawyers) and CEO's have enough generic characteristics - Powermania, Greed ,etc. found among them in higher concentration than the general public, to warrant the way I used the terms.

Government-I was pointing out a characteristic feature of our present Gov.-

Social Favoritism. I like that term, I just made it up. Trendy, Obsessed, with image above substance,dripping with egomaniacs devoid of humility. And yes, that is a product of our times . Historians will argue from whence it came. And is there any doubt that our leaders are prone to following the money?

I'm not sure what tattered bits of an arguement I have left.

Better let HKV know about The different formats too, because I may have tempted him to go Napster.

So listen up HKV. crazy.gif ~-co

[This message has been edited by fiddlefaddle (edited 07-29-2000).]

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