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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 This is an outdated, and unfortunate attitude towards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..

Thanks for letting me know...

>Listen... This is a new world, and a new thinking has to be accepted or 
>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 
>dime their audience.

I've no idea who Linus Torvald is, and my concern about Napster is not to 
with sympathy with Big Record Companies.

Philosphically, I have a problem with a piece of software specifically
designed for the distribution of unlicenced duplicated music. I think
Streaming Audio is great - I've got Real Audio files on my site, and I hope
that it enables some people who otherwise wouldn't hear what I do to hear
it, and allows others who might have bought it thinking it was good to hear
it first and change their minds and not waste the money. I'd get pretty
pissed off though if someone else took my album and converted it to MP3
format and was distibuting it without asking me. If an artist wants to give
their art away, that's cool, but if they don't, I think it's bad news when
there's a program like Napster around that makes it possible for anyone to
make that decision for them. Nothing to do with Record companies, this is
about artists being in control of their own art, which under current
copyright law is still supposed to be the case (exploitative publishing
deals notwithstanding).

As much as I can see the inequity in Lars Ulrich crying over a loss of 
when he's worth millions already, I still can't see how that justifies the
(as I see it) theft of the music. Sure, lobby the industry for a drop in CD
prices, same for gig ticket costs, support underground music - whatever, 
still not into the 'Robin Hood' approach here...

>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 
>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 

And what seems to have happened is that a few corporate clients who pay 
price for licenced software are keeping those companies in business, but
also keeping the price of software way high, due to the piracy, making it
near impossible for anyone to be 'honest' in their purchasing of software,
unless they are making a shit-load from using it. I don't have any
sequencing software, cos I can't afford it and really don't want to use it

>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 
>effort, not a snapshot of art (CD's), which is always pale in comparison 
>the true stage of the artform.

Except that for a small time solo artist, each and every CD sale is crucial
to keeping going. I'm about to press up a live CD - the difference between
700 and a 1000 sales is big in terms of my financial commitment. If, as was
the case for cassette copies (supposedly) in the 80s, 2 copies are made for
every one sold, then I'm gonna be working to a much smaller budget with
regards to pressing, artwork etc. Now whether or not that copying will
eventually do me good is not the only issue. I'm still in the position of a
load of people taking my music, without asking, reaping the benefits of my
hours and hours of labour, or practice etc... I know so many great 
who aren't making a living and due to time constraints aren't reaching 
potential as musicians - it's really sad.

>Now imagine that your MP3's are distributed (pirated) across the world, 
>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 
>of the limited edition release with your signiature, and have a much 
>probability of BUYING your next CD to own a real copy etc etc etc...

Imagine that your initial scenario of low res MP3s/RA files are 
by you - maybe you'd sell more 'real' copies, have a few less MP3 copies
being used in replacement to CD purchases. It's not the technology I'm
objecting to in some luddite way, I just think that if someone wants to
benefit from my music, then it seems sensible that I should be reimbursed
for that, hopefully allowing me to invest more in the next project, making
it better, giving me more chances to market it etc. etc...

>We can't allow ourselves to be boxed in by the feeding frenzy of the 
>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.

But it's not even an issue of those who 'can't' afford to buy anymore,
that's never really been the issue here - we are talking about computer
owners for a start, which puts you into a certain demographic, and those 
have the time on line... largely students, who have access to CD libraries
anyway (hey, they could make CD copies, or MDs or whatever - the difference
that that technology was not developed  solely for the purpose of
distributing illegal copies of music - I wonder what percentage of Napster
traffic is 'legal' in any sense of the word...)

And as for those of you who have bought CDs after hearing the MP3 - you're
artists, of course you're far more likely to do that. Everyone I've ever 
who objects in anyway to home-taping has been a musician, or closely 
to one - as a breed we tend to be slightly more caring about such things. 
are not the norm on this one...