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Napster: Ridiculous article on MSNBC.com supporting it

AndrewR

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
11,157
0
0
Check out this article:

Making the legal case for Napster
Ok, my first reaction is, What in hell are they teaching law students at Georgetown? Her legal argument is so terrifically flawed that it's appalling. The critical flaw comes in the part where she says that the Audio Home Recording Act allows a person to make copies of music to friends which she then proceeds to say is tantamount to how people are using Napster. So, suddenly I join Napster, and I have 20 million friends? Somehow, I think that's shredding that exception to nothing. Further, removing Napster as a means of "sharing" music does not nullify the ability to "share" music with your friends -- email still exists as do web pages and FTP sites.

Also, she discusses Napster as compared to Xerox in terms of the Digital Millenium Act of 1998. While it's true that Napster does not make copies of the music it catalogs, the comparison to Xerox is fundamentally flawed. The analogous comparison is a Xerox machine which contains links to copyrighted material on the internet. Sure, the Xerox machine doesn't retain the copies itself, but it certainly enables the copying of those works. Subsequently citing the fact that those works can be used in a minority of protected ways is a lame attempt at justifying the pirating.

The comparison with VHS/Betamax is also flawed. The key difference is the digital aspect of MP3s. Unlike VCRs which degrade with each serial copying, MP3s retain their perfect quality regardless of how many times they are reproduced so the 10,000th copy is the same as the 1st. The 10,000th copy of a VHS tape would be useless. The distribution of a perfect VHS copy of a movie does not enable the wholesale piracy of the movie without some serious equipment. Anyone with access to a computer can also purchase a common device, a CD-R, to produce an exact copy of an entire CD with minimal effort. VHS copying is more expensive, slower, and not as successful as CD-R creation (meaning that the copies are not perfect). So, while the movie companies distribute copies of VHS movies to the public for sale, anyone who buys one has a difficult time producing a copy compared to a music studio producing an MP3 file which could then be trafficked by anyone, even in CD form, without much trouble at all.

All that being said, I agree with the fundamental premise that the music industry needs to embrace the digital exchange of music because that is definitely the way of the future. Some companies have already embraced this medium, such as emusic.com (Nomad II anyone??), but the big producers have not. There are alternatives to MP3 available, such as Sony's encrypted format, but there has been considerable resistance to its adoption because of the inability to replicate the music.

There are ways to accomplish the acceptable "goals" of Napster while preserving the integrity of the copyright. Whether or not you hate the record companies, when you deprive them of money, you also deprive the artists. Saying that you are "fighting the good fight" against the tyranny of the record companies only ensures that they will fight back just as bitterly, and the music and artists will be harmed in the process. Basically, BOTH sides in this fight need to find a middle ground since neither side has an acceptable solution (wholesale copying vs. no digital distribution). No one wins in the no-compromise environment that exists now.
 

403Forbidden

Banned
May 4, 2000
2,268
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Napster Inc is offering compromises. Yet, the RIAA/record companies are not even willing to
have a "sit-down" with Napster Inc. Thus the RIAA will crumble from their own arrogance.






 

Cknyc

Golden Member
Oct 10, 1999
1,321
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In all my days, I have never used a program as useful as napster. First I had an ftp site (about 3 years ago), then used IRC, now napster. Napster by far is the greatest program that has ever been written. Next to MS-DOS. I dont dl most of the crap pop American Music that the RIAA is trying to protect. I use it for Techno music and Greek music. Though I do have crap American music too, most of it about 90% has been ripped from my 250+ CD's. The other 10% are 80's hits that you cant find on compilation cd's. The best thing about napstetr I find is that it lets you listen to new music that you may have never been exposed to and its so easy to use.


I also agree the RIAA will crumble because of their own arrogance. There is no way to stop napster. Just use napigator once napster goes down. There are dozens of 3rd party napster servers.

By the way I dont share my own music. I share the Techno/dance/trance/greek music I dl from napster. If I did share my music my dsl connection would get bogged down.
 

AndrewR

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
11,157
0
0
I won't cry if the RIAA is destroyed -- no loss there. Then hopefully the same will happen to the MPIA. I'm still pissed that digital tapes were never released because of the RIAA. :|
 

vi edit

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 28, 1999
61,339
5,186
126
If napster did/does get shut down, nothing would make me more happy than a huge boycott on the music industry.

I have seen several studies that have shown that cd sales have INCREASED since napsters inception. Well, now that napster is shut down, I don't have a way to preview artists that interest me. I'm too cheap to throw away $15 on a chance. I'm sure that there are tens of thousands of people just like me across the US. If a service such as napster is shut down, my cd purchases will take a significant drop. Instead of buying 5 cd's a month, it may be like one every two months.

If enough of us could gather together and blacklist cd's, we could pretty much give a big FSCK YOU! to the RIAA.

I was just in Sam Goody the other day. They wanted $20 for a cd! $20 freaking dollars for 42 minutes of music. I know that I can go over to best buy and get the same one for $13, but not everyone has a Best Buy nearby.

The RIAA had really better get their act in gear. Eventually bands are going to start getting smart and start bypassing them completely. With the explosion of the internet, the higher amounts of people logging on the the net everynight, and the increasing availability of high bandwith solutions, artists will be able to directly market their music right off of the net.

There will be no need for a bloated, greedy monstrosity known as the RIAA.

The sooner this happens, the better.
 

JellyBaby

Diamond Member
Apr 21, 2000
9,159
1
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Anybody ever purchase songs directly from the musicians? I have. This cuts out the middleman/RIAA altogether and to be honest I felt great about that fact when I clicked "submit order". That's what record companies fear. They're milking a cash cow now, but they don't want that cow to mosey on out onto a pasture they don't control. Basically, I'm all for supporting artists. Whether or not record companies survive isn't relevant to me.

One of these days we?ll have a universal standard for purchasing encrypted music online. But if I can?t make digital copies of the stuff I?ve purchased, well then I won?t buy into it. And as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, hackers will break the encryption. How to fight that? Well, just have some sort of built-in dynamic encryption to stay ?one step ahead?. Or just realize it?s gonna happen and live with it.
 

piku

Diamond Member
May 30, 2000
4,049
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<< Napster Inc. >>



Right there is the problem. That is it. They are trying to make Napster a company, when it clearly isn't.
 

403Forbidden

Banned
May 4, 2000
2,268
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<< Right there is the problem. That is it. They are trying to make Napster a company, when it clearly isn't. >>




Sir, I don't know what you are talking about. Napster is a legally
incorporated company, thus the &quot;.inc&quot; at the end.

It was smart of Napster's creator to form the corporation...doing so
insulates him (and any of his partners) from personal financial liability.


 

highme

Golden Member
Apr 22, 2000
1,691
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DINASOURS WILL DIEthis is not a test on the emergency broadcast system this is the real thing sit back watch it crumble, see the drowning watch the fall i feel just terrible about it, that's sarcasm, let it burn i'm gonna make at toast when it falls apart i'm gonna raise my glass abuv my heart then someone shouts that's what they get! for all the years of hit and run for all the piss broke bands on vh one where did all their money go don't we all know parasitic music industry as it destroys itself we'll show them how it's supposed to be music written from devotion not ambithicin, not for fame zero people are exploited there are no tricks up or sleeve were gonna fight against the mass appeal were gonna kill the seven record deal make records that have more then one good song the dinosaurs will slowly die and i do believe no one will cry i'm just fvcking glad i'm gonna be there to watch the fall prehistoric music industry three feet in la brea tar extinction never felt so good if you think anyone will feel badly you are sadly mistaken the time has come for evolution fvck collusion kill the big five what ever happened to the handshake whatever happened to deals no one would break whatever happened to integrity it's still there it always was for playing music just because a million reasons why all dinosaurs must (will) die-

NOFX
 

Killbat

Diamond Member
Jan 9, 2000
6,641
1
0
Mp3 sources:

Napster
Scour/other sharing services
Mp3z sites
FTP
IRC
newsgroups

Do they really think that if they kill Napster, Mp3 distribution will go away? :)
 

3putt

Senior member
Mar 3, 2000
277
0
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I have a question did anyone ban Metallica? I know when I watch the MTV Music awards I could hear booing from the crowd when Lars walked up to the mic. Did Lars just screw Metallica for life?
 

DABANSHEE

Banned
Dec 8, 1999
2,355
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Well the whole concept of Patents/copyrights/Trademarks are relativelly new in human history, the've only been arround about 100 years in there current form &amp; in Asia only for the last few years. So its not as if the whole world will change if they go the way of the dinasor, things were ok before they were conceived &amp; things will be ok when they are gone, not they'l even be gone entirelly. But when corporate lawyers go overboard pushing the boundaries of Patent/copyright/Trademark law (like Amazon filing a patent on one click shopping; Apple saying they have a copyright on 'look &amp; feel' when there are competing planes &amp; cars that look more similar to each other that the similarity between Imacs &amp; those E-machines - gez imagine claiming a copyright on using transluzent plastic on a certain type of product; &amp; finally 'Cobalt Computers' claiming they have a trademark on the term 'Cube' as far as computers are concerned &amp; are/were sueing Apple over the matter), it just makes everyone react against it..

Anyway whats with the US govt making Copyright infringements a criminal offence, its obviously covered by civil law &amp; has always been covered by civil courts in the past, obviosly those RIAA people have a lot of polies in their pocket.
 

Dedpuhl

Lifer
Nov 20, 1999
10,371
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I think that Dr. Dre and Metallica are in the pockets of the RIAA. The artists make a few cents per cd sold. The RIAA has the most to lose...not the artists...
 

loogie

Banned
Oct 18, 1999
2,478
0
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I really won't miss napster when its gone, its implementation is not that great and it was not the first (Abe's Mp3 finder was out before napster, afaik). Anyway, I think that the reason RIAA is going after napster is because they want to go into digital distribution. With Napster, and its buddies, around, RIAA would not be able to monopolize digital music sales. That being said, the assumption that this is being done because of cd sales lost is incorrect (imo), but rather, it is being done so that the RIAA can make more money through digital distribution. I liken it to Microsoft and its internet software. Microsoft realized it was behind, so it scrambled to get into the browser business, using questionable means to do so. Similarly, RIAA realizes it is behind in the distribution of digital music and feels that in order for their means to be successful, they must eliminate the &quot;free&quot; competition such as Napster, Scour, and other knockoff programs. When Napster falls, the others will as well, and in a quicker manner, because there will now be legal precedent. Of course, there will always be gnutella.

On another note, there are some people who claim that they only use napster to &quot;sample&quot; music. While that may be true, there are thousands for that one who use it for the sole purpose of pirating music. I don't &quot;sample&quot; music, I pirate it, occasionally (I still do buy CDs). *shrugs*
 

Stark

Diamond Member
Jun 16, 2000
7,735
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<< Unlike VCRs which degrade with each serial copying, MP3s retain their perfect quality regardless of how many times they are >>


Just a refresher on the whole mp3 technology... by compressing a cd track to mpeg-3, quality is lost. Most mp3s traded on napster are 128-160K files, significantly lower than cd-quality.
 

loogie

Banned
Oct 18, 1999
2,478
0
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<< Mp3 sources:

Napster
Scour/other sharing services
Mp3z sites
FTP
IRC
newsgroups

Do they really think that if they kill Napster, Mp3 distribution will go away?
>>


Yeah. You fail to realize that the beauty of napster was its simplicity and ease of use. Scour and other similar software will suffer the same fate as Napster. RIAA will go after them next if they win the Napster case. Mp3z sites are constantly in limbo, struggling to not be shut down. They rely on idrive and other &quot;internet hard drives&quot; and rarely possess their own servers that would even possess sufficient bandwidth to cater to the masses. Because of their reliance on free web storage, the files are more difficult to attain, and they are removed frequently. The remaining options are gnutella, FTP, irc, and newsgroups. These remaining options, however, all suffer from the fact that lack &quot;user friendlyness.&quot; Napster was appealing and successful because a moron could use it, and the majority of computer users, are, morons.

If napster goes down, we will either get a more intelligent group of end users, or mp3 trading will fall. I am assuming that it will be the latter and I don't mind one bit. The only mp3s I download are niche mp3s that I cannot even locate in record stores, so Napster doesn't really serve me well anyway.
 

loogie

Banned
Oct 18, 1999
2,478
0
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<< Just a refresher on the whole mp3 technology... by compressing a cd track to mpeg-3, quality is lost. Most mp3s traded on napster are 128-160K files, significantly lower than cd-quality. >>


Refresher, the quality of the mp3 itself, is not degraded. Although there is quality loss when converting to mp3s, the quality of the original mp3 remains intact in subsequent copyings.
 

Stark

Diamond Member
Jun 16, 2000
7,735
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The original quote stated that mp3's are of &quot;perfect quality.&quot; Anyone who downloads mp3 knows this is not the case.
 

Dedpuhl

Lifer
Nov 20, 1999
10,371
0
76
I wonder who will get mad when DVD-RW are introduced to the market for use like a VCR. That will be damn near perfect quality recordings....
 

noxipoo

Golden Member
Aug 12, 2000
1,504
0
76
never used napster. don't really need it. it introduced mp3s to the ignorant masses and then into the eyes of RIAA. bah to them.
 

AndrewR

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
11,157
0
0


<< The original quote stated that mp3's are of &quot;perfect quality.&quot; Anyone who downloads mp3 knows this is not the case. >>


No, I buy my music and ensure that it still is made as a result. I do convert some of my songs to MP3 for use in my Nomad II while I run.

Anyway, the fact is that the quality is so near to CD that only audiophiles really hear it, and those people tend to have money to spend on their equipment and therefore will also buy songs (hell, true audiophiles use turntables and speakers made out of rare wood from Southeast Asia).



<< I wonder who will get mad when DVD-RW are introduced to the market for use like a VCR. That will be damn near perfect quality recordings.... >>


Big problem there is media cost, from what I understand. Unlike CD-R at about $1 per disk for retail, DVD rewritable disks are over $20 apiece. Of course, that could be a question of critical mass (since CD-RW disks used to be $7.50+ each), but I don't know. They'll probably introduce some sort of watermarking, but they've also crafted an encoded signal for digital TV signals that prevents recording -- probably similar to Macrovision.



<< Well the whole concept of Patents/copyrights/Trademarks are relativelly new in human history, the've only been arround about 100 years in there current form &amp; in Asia only for the last few years. So its not as if the whole world will change if they go the way of the dinasor, things were ok before they were conceived &amp; things will be ok when they are gone, not they'l even be gone entirelly. >>


Now that's a whopper. The relative youth of intellectual property law can be justifiably attached to the relative youth of industrial society and now to the Information Age of computers. It's non-existence prior to that can be attributed to the lack of literate people, the lack of cost-effective media (Guttenberg Bible, anyone?), and the lack of time in which to pursue either a profession in such a trade or the time to enjoy its fruits (reading, etc.). That youth has no bearing on the worth of the laws by any means because just as a craftsman is entitled to pay for the creation of a carved statue, so is the wordsmith entitled to pay for his book. Implying otherwise is ludricous.

Since it is now widely recognized that information equals power and wealth (discover the cure for cancer and see how much information is worth), the protection of information is becoming more and more important, not less. The whole world would change if intellectual property laws were abandoned. Venture capital would cease to flow to companies with new ideas, since those ideas could be copied wholesale upon introduction without the need for lengthly investment to develop the ideas. We all lose if that happens. Why invest in R&amp;D when someone will just come along and steal your idea when you're done? Talk about a dearth of innovation!

Yes, some of these companies do use intellectual property in odd and strained ways. Largely, they are unsuccessful however. People and companies try to exploit the law in many ways, but that doesn't make the underlying laws invalid.
 

Stark

Diamond Member
Jun 16, 2000
7,735
0
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<< No, I buy my music and ensure that it still is made as a result. >>

You're assuming that people only download pirated music. Go to mp3.com and you'll find thousands of artists giving away music for free. If you like it, you can buy it on cd. These same songs can usually be found on napster.

If you stick a cd in your computer and compare the output to an mp3 file of that same music, there is obvious and significant loss in sound quality. Saying that mp3 is a perfect copy is simply untrue, just like saying that a realmedia or windows media copy of a dvd is &quot;perfect&quot; quality.
 

AndrewR

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
11,157
0
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But, with the advent of broadband connections that can hit 1MB/sec (I had one), downloading perfect quality CD copies is basically here. It's not widely used, granted, but it is possible. As bandwidth increases, the problem will only worsen to where CD quality music will be commonly distributed.



<< You're assuming that people only download pirated music. >>


Oh, come on now -- how many people go online to use Napster for unknown artists or for a handful of &quot;legal&quot; MP3s? How much does that number compare to the twenty million Napster users? I know there are legal uses of Napster, but you cannot honestly say that the majority of people who use it are doing so for legal purposes. That's like saying that people who own little propane torches with small metal pipes use them for carmelizing sugar instead of heating crack. ;)
 

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