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Re: Napster (aka: The New Digital Realm)

I'm usually quiet in regards to letting others keep their opinions, but... 
have to say.. This is an outdated, and unfortunate attitude towards
electronic delivery of music..

I'll bet if you were around 50 years ago you would pick up your picket sign
and walk the line in front of the NBC or ABC towers in protest of them
transmitting your music over the AIRWAVES..  Or maybe 20+ years ago when 
home recorder was introduced allowing people to RECORD what they hear over
the radio?! Oh no, how are you going to make money now?!

Listen... This is a new world, and a new thinking has to be accepted or you
will die off like a dinosaur.  Have you realized that with the advent of 
MP3 market - CD sales INCREASED by nearly 20 BILLION DOLLARS last year?!
Anyone who believes that FREE mass distribution is a bad thing should ask
Linus Torvald about how he's doing.  Man this irks me.. Something like the
Internet comes around - offering EVERYONE the same distribution footprint 
the big boys, and all people do is whine about not being able to nickle and
dime their audience.

I'm going to re-post something I sent a couple of weeks ago (to which 
replied ), and I hope someone somewhere realizes the change in the
atmosphere of the musician's world.

---------------- insert previous thread ---------------
Jeff asks:
>Hi Ken-
> So what does this do to those of us who would like to make a living by
>selling our creations via digital media?
> Other people seem to be able to make a living by practicing their
>trades, why is it the artistic folks always have so much stacked against

Well, Jeff..

It means setting up a web site, marketing your product - and giving away
free samples at a lower sample rate than a CD.. That's a good start... 22k
MP3's sound good enough to give people a taste of the music's flavor..
(Think about it - that's radio quality, not CD quality..  People have been
taping off the radio since personal recorders came about - did it hinder
tapes from being bought?!  I argue it advanced their distribution by
creating a needy market..)

Now, say you sell the CD's (44k) on your site, and stream the 22k MP3's as
samples.   If you market well you can make a living off of the digital
front.  It won't stop people from making real MP3's from your CD's, but it
will at least give them an avenue to purchase your work.

You guys (i've been in music 27 years, programming for 20) are just 
to feel the burn that software programmers have been feeling forever.
People have been copying and distributing pirated copies of software since
it was possible to duplicate.  Does this mean that software companies went
out of business?  No! - it means they had to change their 1:1 product:money
ratio mentality.  Now companies offer crippled versions of software (IE:
lower sample rates)  Free trials of their software, that expire (not yet
implemented for music).  And simply GIVING away the software, (MP3 
/ RADIO / etc.) knowing full well that 80% of the copies that are on the
market are going to be pirated, but the fact that their product is being
distributed, talked about, and wanted by those who are in the know means
that those who can't/won't copy/steal will get caught up in the frenzy and
BUY a copy.  These companies SUBSIST on the other 20% of the populace who
buy the product, causing income to actually be generated by a pirate
distribution methodology.  These are the companies that will survive in the

Nothing is stacked against anybody.. The biggest hurdle in any artistic 
is to be the one with the biggest audience, right?  The bigger the 
the bigger the revenue - no matter WHAT.. If you get caught thinking that
the only way to survive is to sell each and every CD you press for $10.00,
then you've lost the game already.  Giving away art is the best way to get
it heard.  Once you're heard, you're known.  Once you're known, you're
gigging.  Once you're gigging, you're generating REAL revenue based on REAL
effort, not a snapshot of art (CD's), which is always pale in comparison to
the true stage of the artform.

Now imagine that your MP3's are distributed (pirated) across the world, and
millions of people (who you think unfortunate because they didn't pay for
the initial recording) liked your work.  Now some of these people WILL pay
to go see your gig.  WILL pay to buy your t-shirts.. WILL pay to get a copy
of the limited edition release with your signiature, and have a much higher
probability of BUYING your next CD to own a real copy etc etc etc...

We can't allow ourselves to be boxed in by the feeding frenzy of the modern
capitalist world.  We must allow music to flow freely, and as the artist 
is creating these ever changing realms of music and altering the mood and
minds of the listeners - we must not throw spite at those who can't afford
to buy.  We must focus on those who CAN.

That's just my .02 on the matter.. (please keep the flames private)

------------------------- exit previous thread -----------------------


-----Original Message-----
From: steve lawson <steve@steve-lawson.co.uk>
To: Loopers-Delight@annihilist.com <Loopers-Delight@annihilist.com>
Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2000 11:47 AM
Subject: Re: Napster

>>>>A bit off topic, but I just got Napster from my friend and it is
>spectacular!!  Basically, Napster is a program which establishes a network
>of mp3 users.  Since everyone is sharing, you can get pretty much 
>Completely free, no hassles, search by artist.  It is simply amazing.<<<
>Hey, save yourself the bother - just break into people's houses and steal
>their CDs - amounts to the same thing.
>If napster catches on, you can say goodbye to anyone making any money out
>recording music, and therefor having any money to invest in getting
>thanks very much for hammering another nail into the coffin of the
>collective careers of all the world's musicians.