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T O P I C
Revolution Maybe
May 1st 2000, 15:31 CEST by andy

Successful corporations deserve to be stripped of their assets by opportunistic thieves and criminal organisations. One of the more bewildering concepts put forward by the anti-capitalist mob, but once again it rears its ugly head thanks to the lock-pick of the wired generation - MP3. There have been a few recent stories of note...



The first major sign that music publishers could be successful in stopping commercialised MP3 piracy came last week when the Recording Industry Association of America won its case against mp3.com. The RIAA claimed that the company's 'my.mp3.com' service allowed and promoted piracy, and the judge agreed, stating that mp3.com was "liable for copyright infringement".

Although CEO Michael Robertson offered assurances that the ruling "will have no impact on the future revenues of the company", its share value dropped by 40%, closing on Friday at $7. Shares had previously reached as high as $105.

Two of the most successful acts in their respective genres, heavy metal band Metallica and rapper/producer Dr Dre, have initiated legal proceedings against the publisher of Napster, the software which allows users to share MP3 files stored on their own computers.

Metallica also targeted a number of universities which allowed students to use Napster. Yale was soon dropped from the law suit after banning the software, although it claimed the move was a precautionary measure and denied any liability. Indiana University revealed that Napster usage accounted for 53% of Internet activity by its students. The program was banned on campus and a protest group, Students Against University Censorship, was formed. (The SAUC page is currently lacking any useful information, but the IU Napster Ban page may be of interest.)

Napster defends itself against piracy accusations with the sort of disclaimer we've all seen a thousand time before: "Napster respects copyright law and expects our users to do the same." Hidden away on the legal page of its web site, the company also pleads ignorance with some innocent-sounding advice: "You should be aware that some MP3 files may have been created or distributed without copyright owner authorization. As a condition to your account with Napster, you agree that you will not use the Napster service to infringe the intellectual property rights of others in any way."

In stark contrast to this, the 'what the heck is Napster' page describes the software as: "An application that takes the hassle out of searching for MP3s. No more broken links, no more slow downloads, and no more busy, disorganized FTP sites. With Napster, you can locate and download your favorite music in MP3 format from one convenient, easy-to-use interface."

Broken links? Slow downloads? Busy FTP sites? Sure sounds like a pirate site to me. And if Napster is designed to let people locate their favourite music, that undermines the age-old argument of MP3 introducing people to new music from artists they've not heard before. It also casts doubt on the idea that Napster users will buy any CD's that they like.

Napster does have some artist support in the form of rock group Limp Bizkit. The band's frontman, Fred Durst, endorses the concept of downloading MP3 tracks as a try-before-you-buy measure: "It is an amazing way to market and promote music. The Internet is here, and the ones trying to fight that are the people who are living by certain standards and practices of the record industry - those are the only people who are scared and threatened." Napster is covering the $1.7m costs of Limp Bizkit's current tour.

Although Napster was first out of the blocks, it is likely to be overtaken by rival product Gnutella, both for legal and economical reasons. Gnutella was developed by Nullsoft, the team behind popular MP3 player WinAmp and net-radio service ShoutCast. which itself has been criticised for encouraging large-scale copyright infringement.

One Gnutella developer, Bryan Mayland, who admits to a quarter of his 4Gb MP3 collection being "illegitimate" copies of hard-to-find recordings, predicts that companies currently benefiting from MP3 piracy will not have their own way indefinitely: "Eventually, courts will side with big businesses and make sharing and perhaps even owning certain media streams illegal. However, I think that technology will always stay half a step in front of the legal system."

Nullsoft is owned by AOL, which refers to Gnutella as an "unauthorized freelance project". The current Gnutella team describes itself as "an independent group of people doing this to perpetuate the technology", and "not affiliated in any way with America Online, Nullsoft, or any of the original developers". Ironically, AOL is due to merge with Time Warner, and Warner Music has been the loudest voice in the argument against Napster and MP3 piracy. Things could get interesting...

While the likes of Napster, Gnutella and mp3.com continue to operate under the claim that piracy is a minimal problem that they play no deliberate part in, other companies, while still taking the moral high ground, openly acknowledge that they provide their customers with direct access to illegal copies of music.

One MP3 search engine, Palavista, advises users: "Use MP3s as a way to find the music you like, then once you are sure you want it, spend the money to buy the CD." Arguably an ethical view, but certainly not a legal one.

Palavista's parent company, ChangeMusic, promotes its service with the socialist mantra: "Comrades, the future of music is now in our hands. Join us in our fight to rebuild the music industry on a more just footing and return music to the people!" Elsewhere on the site: "ChangeMusic Network is a powerful new music network that provides the music fan and the music industry access to emerging artists and developing trends in the burgeoning digital music space." A noble sentiment, but it begs the question why instead of pointing people to the homepage of an unsigned band or self-publishing musician, the download guide on Palavista's site explains how to find the Madonna song 'Frozen'.

One of the more brazen of the so-called legitimate MP3 sites is seekmp3.com which prominently, on its front page, provides links to the top ten visitor downloads. At the time of writing, all ten are mainstream commercial songs. The page also carries a list of links that visitors have recently posted - again, all illegal copies of commercial songs.

Covering the more respectable side of the MP3 revolution we have RadioSpy - previously known as mp3spy - which helps users to find live Internet broadcasts. Although some of these broadcasts infringe copyright by playing full albums continuously, RadioSpy's parent company declares: "It is the policy of GameSpy Industries to respond expeditiously to claims of intellectual property infringement. GameSpy Industries will promptly process and investigate notices of alleged infringement and will take appropriate actions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other applicable intellectual property laws."

It's good to know that GameSpy takes the issue of piracy seriously, and it would be a shame if employees or management were allowed to use company facilities for illegal activity. So after being active for at least six months, let's see how long it takes for this site to be shut down...

C O M M E N T S
Home » Topic: Revolution Maybe

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#1 by "David Long"
2000-05-01 15:49:07
ogv@gamestats.com http://ogv.gamestats.com
I've beaten this horse to death at Evil Avatar and my own site. But the bottom line here in my opinion is a total lack of education among the people that pirate MP3s, games or other digital copyrighted media. They have no understanding of copyright law or choose to ignore it in favor of their own "needs". They all believe they are entitled to listen or view the products for free. When challenged, they will always use straw man arguments such as free speech or "if I own it, I can do what I want with it" which are both simple justifications for their own wrong doing.

There isn't too far to go with this topic since you either think it's unfair and illegal or you don't. Artists like Limp Bizkit who justify it are simply stabbing themselves in the back. When they discover all the lost revenues on their next CD that fails miserably at the retail counter and they're back stringing telephone wires in their neighborhood, then they'll change their tune. Either that or they'll lose their record contract by endorsing MP3s to distribute their music freely because no big label will want their subversive ways.

Education of consumers is the only thing that can stop this from continuing and that education will never happen. Society says you must acquire material wealth at all costs and by any means. Just look at The Sims (promotes material gain to increase your "happiness") as an example. Until we teach people that just because you CAN do something you SHOULD do something, there will be rampant piracy of all digital media.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#2 by "David Long"
2000-05-01 15:51:10
ogv@gamestats.com http://ogv.gamestats.com
Dammit, that last line should read "just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD do something".<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#3 by "SiliconVortex"
2000-05-01 16:04:42
siliconvortex@mailandnews.com
Well.  I view mp3's and piracy this way.  I have an extremely large mp3 collection, but I still buy cd's when I can afford them.  At least for me, mp3's have opened up a whole lot of new music styles and groups.  The official line is that everytime someone downloads a mp3 they(music industry) has lost a sale.  That is completely false.  At least in my case, they may have gained a sale.

The way music is obtained and artists are compensated has yet to be decided.  No matter which side wins, if either, the legal battles distribution and compensation will be changed.

As to the legality and morality.  It is currently illegal.  The morality of it is a different question.  There were some who drank to the day of prohibition, put the bottle down for four years, and gladly took it up again when it became legal again.  It would have been illegal for them to drink, as many did.  But would it be immoral?  

I think artists like Limp Bizkit and the thousands of other artists that haven't been lucky enough to get officially sanctioned by MTV are on the right track.  They should not have to accept and take the kind of shit the record companies hand down on them.  Anyone who has tried to be a musician in the modern era knows what I'm talking about.  You do it their way, or no one ever hears your music.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#4 by "undule"
2000-05-01 16:05:05
undule@tampabay.rr.com http://www.planetunreal.com/undulation
As crass as it may seem, I take great edification from the internet's massive music piracy problem. The article's subtle authoritarian graces and snowed snubs at socialism aside, it is an accruate slice.

Mp3 formatted music, like most warez, is of course illegal but it does consitute a rather curious act of rebellion on the part of the capitalist mob. I find it odd that so many internet users, most of them stalwart captilists, should breeze right into the practice of nabbing free shit at the first opportunity. I mean -- what a place to cave your ideals.

Freedom of music distribution indeed -- more like tons of free shit for sugarnookies. I have seen people use Napster that share the same babylike glow of manic shoplifters and warez hoarders -- you know the type, the one who really has to have that new 3dmax but will never have an inkling of how to use it . . . The question here being -- why so many thieves? And how is this behavior justified? Anyone remember blank audio cassettes?
#5 by "SiliconVortex"
2000-05-01 16:12:25
siliconvortex@mailandnews.com
Well.  It seems that Metallica hasn't taken a step off the deepend.  Tomorrow, Tuesday at 5pm pacific they're gonna do an online chat about the whole napster/mp3 deal.

http://www.artistdirect.com/metallica/

This should be really interesting.  At least they are taking the time to listen their fans, not just their lawyers.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#6 by "El Asso Wipo"
2000-05-01 16:13:27
dickcheese@hotmail.com http://www.bluesnews.com
I rarely buy CD's and I listen to radiospy all the time, I've used Napster to download MP3's.

I would guess that listening to an MP3 is no different than listening to a song on the radio, you just get the "Choice" of when you want to listen to it.

When I have used Napster, I searched for extremely obscure songs, and/or artists.  I've only downloaded Britney Spears once, and the song sucked so I deleted it.  Big loss for her, I found out how bad she sucked and will NEVER buy any of her crappy music on Cassette, CD or 8-track! (remember those)
#7 by "David Long"
2000-05-01 16:16:52
ogv@gamestats.com http://ogv.gamestats.com
Bad example of MTV sanctioning there Silicon Vortex. If anything, Limp Bizkit was/is and MTV favorite son. Right now, they could care less if people pirate their music because they're young, stupid and "rebellious". They're selling CDs and selling out shows because they've had the "corporate backing" to do so.

They're going to find out the hard way. Besides, if they're tour is backed by Napster, what else are they going to say but "it's ok, rip off our music all you want, as long as Napster pays our 1.6 million tour bill".

It's easy to say that record companies/game companies/movie studios are doling out "shit" as you say. They're faceless and the band is not. Consider that for all the MP3's that are stolen, there could be 10 to 20 more jobs being filled at those companies. Maybe someday you'll want one of those jobs or a friend will LOSE one because of piracy. What do you say and do then? Do you still cling to your corporate raider mentality?

Everytime you take another MP3, ask yourself why you do it. Is it because you really needed to hear that song? Or is it just another way to fulfill your need for something, anything that is "new"? Many warez pirates are doing the exact same thing as you are. There's no difference whether it's music or games or movies, it's still robbing someone else of a dime.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#8 by "scud"
2000-05-01 16:18:09
scud@counter-strike.net http://csnation.counter-strike.net
Here's the thing I don't get. And I've seen it said somewhere else.

By having napster.and otherprogs artists are given more FREE exposure to people who may think they're only so-so. So they may buy the album because of the mp3 they listened to. I know I bought a few albums after listening to some tracks from said album.

And. Finding live songs in mp3 format is nothing different than bootlegs of shows. It's just on your computer istead of people trading them via mailing lists and what-not.

So the argument is also moot because they can shut down napster, or the whole damn thing but it won't matter now that the napster source has been released and there are "opennap" servers up now.

I think the artists who think that mp3's are wrong. Well...need to learn that they aren't..an d they need to embrace the mp3's and also distrubute mp3's themselves.

--Scud
#9 by "David Long"
2000-05-01 16:18:26
ogv@gamestats.com http://ogv.gamestats.com
Christ, you'd think I'd learn to re-read my posts by now. Nothing worse than terrible usage of they're/their/there.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#10 by "SiliconVortex"
2000-05-01 16:27:15
siliconvortex@mailandnews.com
<b>#7</b> "David Long" wrote...
<QUOTE> Besides, if they're tour is backed by Napster, what else are they going to say but "it's ok, rip off our music all you want, as long as Napster pays our 1.6 million tour bill".</QUOTE>
Actually, from an interview I heard with him, that was what he said.  It was something along the lines of, "We love it, anyway the fans can get their hands on our music is fine with us.  We just love making music and love people listening to it.  We'll worry about making money some other way if need be."  Not a direct quote, but the essence is there.

As to saying they were not sanctioned by mp3, obviously my skills at punctuation showed up there. :)  I meant to say Limp Bizkit, along with all of the musicians on the net that are releasing their music in mp3 format.  There are also other signed artists that support a more open distribution, I just picked Limp cause of the Napster concert tour.

Change happens.  Digital music is going to be the major format of music in the near future.  It will be some form of open format such as mp3 or another format unless the record companies stop trying to swim against the current and change.  The movie industry hated, and fought as hard as they could against vhs, saying that it would ruin the "night out at the movies."  In fact more people go to see movies now, rentals are just huge, and end sales are rather huge as well.  If the record companies can adapt, then they will remain where the large amounts of money collects.  If they can't, there are just too many people in the world.  It is sad when and industry dies, but when no one wants to buy steam engines again, there is no need to make them anymore.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#11 by "SiliconVortex"
2000-05-01 16:31:18
siliconvortex@mailandnews.com
Ah...to avoid futher confusion, I really need to re-learn the english language before I post again.  Second paragraph, the first mp3 should be MTV.  And if there are any other mistakes that make it seem like I'm wrong.....well they're mistakes, I'm not wrong. ;p<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#12 by "SiliconVortex"
2000-05-01 16:54:01
siliconvortex@mailandnews.com
One last thing.

People claimed that concerts were dead when recorded media and radio became popular.  People thought that radio was dead when TV became popluar.  More recently there has been VHS destroying the movie industry.  The net was suppost to kill TV, long distance phone calls, radio, and pretty much anything that can be transmitted across electronic signals.  Industries change, but where the money goes so does business.  Some companies may refuse or be unable to change, and sadly their employee's will not have a job anymore.  But there will be an equal number of new jobs to cater to where the money went.  I'm not saying that mp3's is where digital music will end up, but I'm pretty sure it's clear that it's not going to stay the way it is now.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#13 by "Karl Palutke"
2000-05-01 17:10:23
palutkek@asme.org
<quote>They're faceless and the band is not. Consider that for all the MP3's that are stolen, there could be 10 to 20 more jobs being filled at those companies.</quote>

Of all the arguments I've heard against the distribution of pirate MP3s, this is one of the least effective.  To me, record companies are a necessary evil (made unnecessary by MP3).  I'm all for buying CDs, and I buy most of the music I listen to, but I'd buy more CDs if either (a) the prices were lower or (b) the artists typically get a bigger cut of sales.  IMO, the overhead/promotional expenses are one of the reasons that CDs cost so much more than they cost to produce.  To say "If people bought some of the music they downloaded, we could have even MORE people working at the record companies" doesn't make me want to go out and start buying a ton of CDs.
#14 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-05-01 17:26:16
http://hammer.prohosting.com/~badcrc/
All the figures I've seen show that not only aren't MP3's killing the CD industry, but sales are continuing to grow.
 
how can they explain this?


 
I'm not a big music fan, but for a while, I got a few bootleg movies off the net, and as a result, I ended up liking a few and purchasing them,  dollars these studios would have never seen otherwise.
 
Does that justify it legally?  probably not.  Morally?  for me, yes. for others, no.
 
But it is something that does need to be considered as part of the whole picture.
#15 by "enyak"
2000-05-01 17:29:31
enyak@numonium.de
Has anyone else here read the last paragraph of Andy's article?

-enyak
#16 by "David Long"
2000-05-01 17:30:41
ogv@gamestats.com http://ogv.gamestats.com
Ah but your argument falls apart when you consider that without the record companies, you have no distribution and no marketing. How would you even know that a band exists. More importantly, how would that band make any money to create more music? The answer is that they wouldn't make more music because they could get paid more riding a garbage truck all day.

Every single person who defends the free distribution of something always discounts the fact that money is needed for the artist to survive. People cannot survive on handouts alone for long. MP3s do not eliminate the need for someone to distribute them for money. In fact, that's the crux of the issue. A Napster  will eventually be receiving fees (and already does via advertising) from material they do not own. They're circumventing law to make money. So record companies are NOT made unnecessary by MP3s.

Once again, your argument centers on a supposition that companies are bad and artists are good and there is no middle ground. That's just plain wrong. The company is an organization run by people to promote people's work. Take away the promotion and distribution and you take away the people's work.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#17 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-05-01 17:41:32
http://hammer.prohosting.com/~badcrc/
<quote>"Ah but your argument falls apart when you consider that without the record                                  companies, you have no distribution and no marketing. How would you even                                  know that a band exists. More importantly, how would that band make any                                  money to create more music? The answer is that they wouldn't make more                                  music because they could get paid more riding a garbage truck all day. " </quote>

Hardly.  ever hear of concerts?   Bands with popular MP3s could still make MILLIONS by touring.  
 

<quote>Has anyone else here read the last paragraph</quote>

ya, that site was already gone when I read the article.
#18 by "El Asso Wipo"
2000-05-01 17:43:22
dickcheese@hotmail.com http://www.bluesnews.com
The site is not gone, you just don't have access to it, they have setup an IP identification system for access.  I would guess that's where they burn MP3's off of CD's.  Is that legal?  

Who farted.
#19 by "Karl Palutke"
2000-05-01 17:51:56
palutkek@asme.org
I see your point, but I don't think I did a good job expressing mine.  I recognize that there needs to be some mechanism for paying the artists, and that promotion/marketing is necessary, and I agree that there is a middle ground.

My belief is that the current system is not the ideal compromise.  Neither is the unrestricted distribution of music in MP3 or any other form. . . but instead of trying to find that middle ground, the record industry is relying on lawsuits and lobbying to preserve their business model.  They'd be better of paying tech people to find a solution instead of lawyers.

If I could pay $5 - 10 to download an album, I'd buy a lot more music . . . elminating the need to produce a physical product, ship it to a retail store, and take up shelf space while it's unsold should cut out a significant chunk of what a CD costs.  

Yes, marketing and promotion are still necessary . . . for some artists.  The last CD I purchased was <i>Wiggle</i> by Screeching Weasel.  How much do you think their label spent promoting that album?  Yet it costs the same as albums from artists who get the full PR pimage.

The intent of my original post was to make the point that the record companies won't just hire more people just because they're selling more albums.  And they won't hesitate to lay people off if they think they can manage to do without them.
#20 by "David Long"
2000-05-01 17:52:08
ogv@gamestats.com http://ogv.gamestats.com
<quote>Hardly. ever hear of concerts? Bands with popular MP3s could still make MILLIONS by touring.</quote>

Bzzzt... actually, they don't make much at all. Touring is extremely expensive. They make their money by selling t-shirts, CDs and other paraphenelia. Touring ain't worth a whole hell of a lot. Why do you think so many bands don't or won't tour?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#21 by "David Long"
2000-05-01 17:54:24
ogv@gamestats.com http://ogv.gamestats.com
To add to that, the only successful tours (and these are rarely that successful either) are the ones with like 10 bands. Ozzfest for example is one place bands can tour and find an audience. On their own, it's useless to even try anything more than some club dates.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#22 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-05-01 17:55:25
<b>#20</b> "David Long" wrote...
<QUOTE>Bzzzt... actually, they don't make much at all. Touring is extremely expensive. They make their money by selling t-shirts, CDs and other paraphenelia. Touring ain't worth a whole hell of a lot. Why do you think so many bands don't or won't tour?</QUOTE>
 
I'd be terribly interested to know where you gained this profound knowledge....
 
I'm not saying I don't believe you, I'm just asking for something to back it up.
 
Not some crap band, I'm talking a real band here...
 
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#23 by "David Long"
2000-05-01 18:15:29
ogv@gamestats.com http://ogv.gamestats.com
I probably should have clarified that remark. Only the biggest of the big tours make money. If you're anywhere below "stadium-level", you won't make anything.  The big corporate sponsors of these tours is the reason that a lot of them can happen. Between insurance, travel and lodging and manpower necessary as well as promotion and ticket sales, the costs outweigh the gains UNLESS it allows you to sell more CDs/merchandise.

I've read it in the music industry print trades that it's very difficult to put money in your pocket from tours. You make your real dough from the sales of music and the merchandise that goes along with it. Touring is a vehicle to "spread the word".

I'm looking for the hard data in a web link for you though.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#24 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-05-01 18:19:38
when's the last time you bought a ticket to a concert?  multiply that $$ by the number of people there, and compare it to the price of any other show in the same venue, which has the same number of support staff to make that happen...
 
I've heard many bands talk of how much they hate touring, but that they do it because it makes loads of money.  Like you, I have no proof of this, but since I know what I've heard, I tend to believe my own experience.
 
Whether the big profit is from admission, or T shirt sales at the concert, I don't see a big difference in the net result...<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#25 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-05-01 18:21:48
<b>#24</b> "Bad_CRC" wrote...
<QUOTE>I've heard many bands talk of how much they hate touring, but that they do it because it makes loads of money</QUOTE>
 
Oops, forgot the tendancy towards excessive nitpicking here.
 
I was, of course, referring to hearing interviews with large bands on television, not implying that I am lounging around backstage with Metallica talking in person about money matters, which I've never done, and have no plans on doing.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#26 by "David Long"
2000-05-01 18:25:02
ogv@gamestats.com http://ogv.gamestats.com
But that ticket price doesn't end up in their pocket. It's money that goes to the venue, the promoter, the record company, etc. etc.  The band sees very little of that. What they get is the t-shirt and merchandise sales and even then everyone else is taking their cut.

Most bands don't tour for the money, they do it for the fans and the love of playing live. They get a little bit of cash, but they aren't out there to make money, they're there to spread the word and get you to buy CDs. That they get off on the experience is just a bonus.

Always remember when you buy something that much of that dollar never finds its way to anyone that actually created it. Ticket sales are the worst offender. Remember Pearl Jam refusing to handle ticket sales through TicketMaster?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#27 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-05-01 18:26:53
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#23</b> "David Long" wrote...
<QUOTE>I probably should have clarified that remark. Only the biggest of the big tours make money. If you're anywhere below "stadium-level", you won't make anything. The big corporate sponsors of these tours is the reason that a lot of them can happen. Between insurance, travel and lodging and manpower necessary as well as promotion and ticket sales, the costs outweigh the gains UNLESS it allows you to sell more CDs/merchandise.

I've read it in the music industry print trades that it's very difficult to put money in your pocket from tours. You make your real dough from the sales of music and the merchandise that goes along with it. Touring is a vehicle to "spread the word".
</QUOTE> From what I can tell there is money to be made touring, at least for smaller bands. I know a few different people/bands that make a living touring combined qith CD/T-shirt sales.  Note that these bands are relatively small, make a modest living and are more based around skill/popularity than hype. I have also known at least one band (mid-sized not popular outside Australia ) who have paid so much in advertising, venue, management etc that they lost money .... So I guess it goes both ways ....                          Side note ... The new version of CrapSize doesn't seem to like enters ... it won't let me put ibn new lines :/<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#28 by "RahvinTaka"
2000-05-01 18:27:03
donaldp@mad.scientist.com
<b>#23</b> "David Long" wrote...
<QUOTE>I probably should have clarified that remark. Only the biggest of the big tours make money. If you're anywhere below "stadium-level", you won't make anything. The big corporate sponsors of these tours is the reason that a lot of them can happen. Between insurance, travel and lodging and manpower necessary as well as promotion and ticket sales, the costs outweigh the gains UNLESS it allows you to sell more CDs/merchandise.

I've read it in the music industry print trades that it's very difficult to put money in your pocket from tours. You make your real dough from the sales of music and the merchandise that goes along with it. Touring is a vehicle to "spread the word".
</QUOTE> From what I can tell there is money to be made touring, at least for smaller bands. I know a few different people/bands that make a living touring combined qith CD/T-shirt sales.  Note that these bands are relatively small, make a modest living and are more based around skill/popularity than hype. I have also known at least one band (mid-sized not popular outside Australia ) who have paid so much in advertising, venue, management etc that they lost money .... So I guess it goes both ways ....                          Side note ... The new version of CrapSize doesn't seem to like enters ... it won't let me put ibn new lines :/<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#29 by "David Long"
2000-05-01 18:29:12
ogv@gamestats.com http://ogv.gamestats.com
Here's one article I was able to find for club level acts. Still looking for more...

<a href="http://www.getsigned.com/reality14.html">http://www.getsigned.com/reality14.html</a><I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#30 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-05-01 18:34:07
<b>#29</b> "David Long" wrote...
<QUOTE>Here's one article I was able to find for club level acts.</QUOTE>
 
Club level acts are exactly the ones who are already desperate to have people distribute their MP3s, it's an incredible opportunity for them.
 
Like the web in general, MP3s are a great equalizer.   Instead of finding a publisher to spend millions on promotion, a small band can now become popular from MP3s based on their talent alone.
 
The fact that a club level band isn't going to make loads of money shouldn't suprise anyone.   Since they aren't losing any money on CD sales, and MP3s benefit them more than they could possibly hurt them, They probably aren't applicable to this example.

 <I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#31 by "Vengeance[CoD]"
2000-05-01 18:35:14
rhiggi@home.com
First, let me just say its good to be back.  I was getting too good arguing with my self.

Now on to the matter at hand:

I nab mp3s every time i get the chance.  I even have some shareware I haven't bought.  Hell, last week I rolled through a red light and for some reason I just cant manage to feel bad about it.  I sure am glad that Andy and Company are taking up the good fight, to protect the RIAA from viscious criminals like myself.  With CD sales down as they are, I wonder if the RIAA will be able to stay in business. /end sarcasm

<quote>
Covering the more respectable side of the MP3 revolution we have RadioSpy - previously known as mp3spy - which helps users to find live Internet broadcasts. Although some of these </quote>

HAHAHAH.  I actually had to read who wrote the article twice and then again just to make sure. Either the pod people have taken over Andy or hes forgoten the threads on mp3spy in the past.  Of course, the last time we covered this I took a different position so I can allow that opinions change.
How bad, morally, is it really?  How much damage has really been done?  Ohhh I'm sure the RIAA could come up with some figure, but I'm thinking of a number minus the BS.  Radio wasn't the death of music and Napster wont be either.  It just an excuse to spend a whole lot 'o money on lawyers, thereby keeping them out of hospitol emergency rooms across the country (ambulance chasers for those of you who are a little slow :p) and another reason to hate them.

The whole Napster arguement is kinda funny really.  If you buy a gun you don't have to sign anything saying you wont go on a shooting spree.  You don't have so say anything at all, and you shouldn't.  Should the gun manufactors be liable if you do something stupid?  Should your PC manufacturor be liable for providing you a platform that allows you to commit copyright infringement. Would anyone like to make a list of all the people/groups/comapanies that could be held liable.  I can burn music CDs on my CDRW.  I can cook live cats in my mirowave (just have to remove the shelf in the middle).  Should whirlpool be held responsible for providing a device that allows the torture/death of small animals.  How many deaths a year do cars cause? How about alcohol?

You write a long article about the plights of the music industry.  You and others, imply that napster is responsible in part for copyright infringement.  If your logic holds true, then where is your article against o' say beer companies for instance?  Ohhh, thats just killing people.  Silly me, sometimes I loose sight of the important issues people face in life.  Next thing you know I'm rambling on about nothing....


V
#32 by "Karl Palutke"
2000-05-01 18:35:42
palutkek@asme.org
I remember reading (no, I don't have any reference either) that the bands that make BIG profits touring are the ones that are high-profile enough to attract corporate sponsors for their tours, offsetting some of the logistical expenses.
#33 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-05-01 18:37:06
finally read that link.
 
I didn't even know that Epic Games' lead programmer was also a bigtime music promoter.
 
<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#34 by "Karl Palutke"
2000-05-01 18:44:53
palutkek@asme.org
<quote>I didn't even know that Epic Games' lead programmer was also a bigtime music promoter.</quote>

Of course.  After speaking in public, he frequently jumps into the crowd and starts selling copies of Unreal for $10. :]
#35 by "Sgt Hulka"
2000-05-01 18:52:41
sgt_hulka@yahoo.com http://www.hulka.com
Since we've got CrapSpy, I hereby call for someone needs to make CRAPSTER for us to use.  This way we won't get caught up in all this Napster brew-Ha Ha! HAAAA!!!!!!!

Hrm..  That gamespy link isn't working for me, what's it supposed to be?

Man, I post a game idea on Planetcrap last week about killing endangered animals, and 3DRealms annouces Duke Nukem: Endangered Species today, coincidence?  I've got to learn to keep my big yapper shut.  

P.S. I live in a van, down by the river!
#36 by "SiliconVortex"
2000-05-01 19:27:43
siliconvortex@mailandnews.com
Hmm.  You must know a different music crowd than I know.  Touring and playing clubs is the only way that unknown artists can make any money.  Sure, it may not be the glamorous rock-star life style, but it is making music for a living.  Even those that can make some cd's really don't roll in the dough for it.  If they don't keep touring, they cannot make any money, because no one outside of their local fan base has heard of them.  Radio won't touch them, so the only way they can spread their music is through what they can sell out of the trunk of their car.

If I'm looking for something to do on a weekend, I'll go check out a $5 dollar show.  If I hear of a band comming into town that I've heard and liked, I'll pay the 20 bucks for sure to see them.

While I've never tried to make money off of music, I do follow music.  It is THE reason why I collect mp3's.  I don't keep mp3's that I don't leave in general rotation on my computer.  Metallic and other large bands may think that they need no more publicity, and should make as much cash as they can while they can, but I've been suprised quite a few times by groups which I only thought I wouldn't like.  I then end up spending money on them.

Sure, there are a whole lot of people abusing mp3's right now.  Mainly because they can and they see no reason not to.  Most people would gladly pay what music is worth, and it's starting to hit them that right now cd's just are not worth the $17.

If it wasn't technically illegal, would you feel the same way?
#37 by "Houston"
2000-05-01 19:40:13
houston@lanparty.com http://www.www.www.www
Isn't this a conversation that's been had a few billion times before?

*sigh*
for the days of pure GameSpy ripping :)

Random Spoutings on the MP3 issue:

- the format is not illegal, the content (apparently) is.. but, the format/filetype gets blamed.

- Free internet distribution (ala MP3.com) of low/no circulation music is a great way for unknown and garage bands to show their stuff and get some exposure

- The record industry makes a schload of money, wonder how much is profit, and where the cost is (besides all the lawyers fees).

- Using yourself as an example in a debate does nothing for your position.  For instance, I would never... err.. scratch that, self-references rule (as long as they refer to me)

- I'm a cucumber, I'm a cucumber, I'm a cucumber, I'm a cucumber, I'm a cucumber, I'm a cucumber, please don't take me to the pickle farm. bum.


The MP3 topic, at least to me, is nowadays old and stale.  But, if we are going to discuss the free and illegal distribution of copyrighted material over digital media, let's go with that whole playable DIVX format movie thing in comparison to the whole MP3 vs. RIAA showdown.  Who's been putting the bigger shakedown on the haX0rs out there distributing things we were 'supposed' to pay for the right to hear/see.
#38 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-05-01 19:42:47
http://hammer.prohosting.com/~badcrc/
" You must know a different music crowd than I know. Touring and playing                                     clubs is the only way that unknown artists can make any money. Sure, it may not                                     be the glamorous rock-star life style, but it is making music for a living. "
 

I'm not sure who you are disagreeing with here, but I think the point was made that this discussion about MP3s forcing Kirk or Lars or James to work on a Garbage truck just isn't a reality.
 
Tiny bands are pretty much insignificant in this discussion, (from what I gather), as it is a fight between big rich corporations, who want to keep fans paying $20 for a CD, and fans, who can access the music in alternate methods now.
#39 by "deadlock"
2000-05-01 19:52:07
deadlock@eircom.net
<quote>You and others, imply that napster is responsible in part for copyright infringement.</quote>

It's not really an implication, it's a fact - napster and the other programs, whether the developers like it or not (and regardless of whether or not they admit it and (finally) in spite of their disclaimers), is used widely to pirate music that belongs and is distributed by someone else. This is a fact.

That out of the way, onward. One thing that's occurred to me is that a lot of people who download mp3s are people who wouldn't otherwise buy music - the industry therefore isn't losing a sale: they wouldn't have had one anyway. Personally, I prefer to buy CDs. I know they're expensive and in one week I've often spent 60/70 on them, but that's just me. I am a huge music fan, but I'm also a collector: I like to have the genuine article, know what I mean ?

With regard to just touring, instead of marketing your album, i agree that most bands don't make much money out of this. The ones that do are the ones that have already made their fortune and established their own record company. Admittedly the major labels are still making money (as the distributors), but at least the artists are themselves making (more) money.

Even smaller bands that do support mp3 distribution only do so because it's a means to an end: it is a form of self-promotion and a way to get your music heard. The ultimate goal, of course, is to be heard by A&R men and signed. Then, you sell <b>CDs</b>.

deadlock
#40 by "scud"
2000-05-01 19:58:57
scud@counter-strike.net http://csnation.counter-strike.net
Interesting stuff as per usual but here's what I'm thinking.

I know of a few somewhat small-time bands. One of them called <a href="http://www.ecolon.com">everything</a>. Now they're one of those bands that toured up and down the east coast like crazy. I mean a ton of shows, and they're are a lot of bootlegs of their shows. And they know it..and they support it, because they know they're an act that performs better live more often than in a studio. And if you go to their site and look under songs they have maybe 10 mp3's of live stuff. And I've posted on their offical mailing list, which the band reads about putting up a bootleg of a show in mp3 format. No word against it.

Because they know that by doing that we're only helping to spread the word.

I mean come on..the record industry rips people off like mad. How much does it cost to MAKE (physically make) a CD? A dollar. we all know that from burning CD's ourselves. True the other 12-13 bucks in the price of a CD go towards studio space and the band. But to sit there, and cut off a form of getting your music out totally just because you don't have 100% lock and key on it is dumb.

I mean if you were to think that way then why the hell would they EVER put a song on the radio, or on a CD. both forms can be ripped and then given out to everyone and their brother. And yet they sue napster for well doing the same thing. Seems like an oxymoron to me.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#41 by "scud"
2000-05-01 19:59:49
scud@counter-strike.net http://csnation.counter-strike.net
D'oh..forgot to mention that everything IS indeed on a major lable record deal, so they're not small-time anymore.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#42 by "Rantage"
2000-05-01 20:06:55
rantage@hotmail.com http://www.steelmaelstrom.org
Hmmph.  Apparently <B>ripnburn.gamespy.com</B> is now not allowing anybody to have access.  Funny, that.  I was kind of hoping to read up on all the "ripping goodness" I could find.

Perhaps they're just waiting for the DNS servers to be updated with <B>www.planetpiracy.com</B>?<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#43 by "Apache"
2000-05-01 20:16:09
apache@warzone.com http://www.voodooextreme.com
please kick up a gaming topic :-)
#44 by "Vengeance[CoD]"
2000-05-01 20:18:54
rhiggi@home.com
<quote>
It's not really an implication, it's a fact - napster and the other programs, whether the developers like it or not (and regardless of whether or not they admit it and (finally) in spite of their disclaimers), is used widely to pirate music that belongs and is distributed by someone else. This is a fact.
</quote>
Thats a factual statement I agree.  That does not mean Napster is responsible for the actions of others.  Two totally seperate things.  I don't mind saying I download mp3's.  I just dont understand why anyone would want to hold napster responsible for it.  Theres a legitamite repsonsible use for it, the users make that decision.  I could do the same thing with IE or a ftp program or MIRC (hello).  If Napster dies, it wont kill me, I just disagree with the idea about whether or not people are solely responsile for thier actions.  If you disagree with that, then explain to me why its ok in this one case and not all the others.  The RIAA is just protecting their cash cow, I dont blame them for that.  One the other hand, I don't have to pay unreasonable prices for a CD, so I don't.
V
#45 by "scud"
2000-05-01 20:24:09
scud@counter-strike.net http://csnation.counter-strike.net
<b>#43</b> "Apache" wrote...
<QUOTE>please kick up a gaming topic :-) </QUOTE>

oh shush up apache..you just want something you can rant on! well get in the know and rant on this too! :P

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#46 by "SiliconVortex"
2000-05-01 20:40:26
siliconvortex@mailandnews.com
Arrg.  Human to human idea sharing has failed me again! :)  Anyone know a language easier than english?

I was trying to point out that mp3's are about the little bands.  I'm really interested in what Metallica is going to say after they hear from their fans, not just their lawyers and their label.  Music is all about recognition.  You cannot spend money on what you don't know you like.  The record companies know this.  They dangle a few artists at a time in front of your nose, all controlled by them, so that they make the most of the money.  Don't take the word controlled too harshly, they decide which bands to spend the publicity on, so they decide which bands 90% of the public ever sees.

I may be in the minority, as most people have been saying that nothing but stadium size concert tours make money.  I happen to think the opposite.  It's a whole lot harder making money on medium to large size tours than on smaller gigs.

Most band start out hoping that they will make music that people want to listen too.  I want to listen to music.  Digital music is the best way so far to connect bands with listeners.  Proper compensation hasn't been worked out all the way yet, and people are stumbling around.

I won't be too suprised if the RIAA manages to slam the door on most mp3 trading on the net.  Leaving it in the hands of only the most daring 1337 d00ds.  But I'll be really suprised if in the next 5 years at most another format doesn't spring up that's twice as clear and half the size.
#47 by "Diseased"
2000-05-01 20:43:20
diseasedanaimal@yahoo.com
Well, I just gotta say...Viva la mp3!  Frankly 'm sick of shelling out $15 for an album with 1 or maybe 2 decent songs with all the rest filler.  And the margins on each CD is absolutely enormous.  Bands that put out albums with only 1 or 2 decent songs have the most to lose from mp3s, but those that consistently put out filler-less high quality stuff are going to have their CDs bought.  It confounds me that Metallica is at the forefront of the attack.  I guess they had to prove that they're sellouts after all even if their music is decent.
#48 by "Rantage"
2000-05-01 20:50:34
rantage@hotmail.com http://www.steelmaelstrom.org
<b>#47</b> "Diseased" wrote...
<QUOTE>
It confounds me that Metallica is at the forefront of the attack.  I guess they had to prove that they're sellouts after all even if their music is decent.
</QUOTE>

Would somebody please provide me with the definition of "sellout"?  After all the bitching and moaning from the pro-MP3 crowd, the only definition I can come up with so far is "somebody who doesn't agree with me".

<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#49 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-05-01 20:59:48
<b>#44</b> "Vengeance[CoD]" wrote...
<QUOTE>I don't mind saying I download mp3's. I just dont understand why anyone would want to hold napster responsible for it. </QUOTE>

And that's the crux of the issue.
 
At what point does a tool become responsible for the crime?
 
You can use Napster for many legitimate purposes, and if you are a law-abiding citizen, you will only use it for obtaining legal files.  When does it become napster's problem that most people are crooks?
 
Most warez are downloaded with an FTP program.   How soon till someone decides that program is a tool for piracy, and tries to shut down FTP?  That step is smaller than it may appear at first.
 
Our country, and the whole planet, is gaining a tendancy away from individual responsibility.   Right now, it's legal to use napster to get some files, illegal to use it for others.  
 
You would be very hard-pressed to try and show that all, if not a majority, of users who are getting illegal files are unaware of the implications of what they are doing, yet, somewhere along the line they have lost individual responsibity for their actions. <I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#50 by "Andy"
2000-05-01 21:01:33
andy@planetcrap.com
<b>#46</b>, SiliconVortex:
<QUOTE>I'll be really suprised if in the next 5 years at most another format doesn't spring up that's twice as clear and half the size. </QUOTE>
I read somewhere the other day that Microsoft's retail format is about half the size of MP3 and slightly better sound quality, but I don't know any more about it apart from that someone cracked the encryption within a few days.
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