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Month: July 2000

Why the music industry has nothing to celebrate A great article on Salon about this whole Napster shutdown. My favourite part:

“For music lovers, the bad news today is that if and when Napster shuts its servers down, we will have to find our music through other channels. The good news is that the brain-dead, colossally wasteful, artistically homogenizing old order of the recording industry is committing collective, time-delayed suicide in court.

Good riddance, I say. These institutions have never served artists or listeners well. Once they’re gone or rendered irrelevant, maybe there’ll be room for a new, better order.”

Oh my god… I know exactly what I’m getting my dad for Christmas this year…

Here it is! the best example yet of the phone/palm device convergence. This is why I’ve been waiting to buy a phone:


Ok… here’s why I think the whole recording industry is screwed (aside from the fact that they screw artists and consumers on a regular basis): It’s not that I disagree with the fact that they have a right to control their copyrights. Intellectual property does need to be protected to a degree. But they’re the ones that sat back while technologies such as Napster set the standards for the future of online music distribution. They sat on their hands hoping that this was all just a ‘passing fad’, or hoping that everyone would just wait for them to get to the table. Well, sit idly by they did… Now Napster is 20 million users strong, and there are a dozen other programs just like it waiting to take its place. When they do, there won’t be much the industry can do about them – most of these programs are open-source and/or set up as distributed networks, meaning there is no central server, and no company to sue. Another thing that should be mentioned is that in the past year that Napster has been around, the recording industry has been showing record profits. In other words, the recording industry just pissed off 20 million people who were sampling music online and then buying… any bets on a boycott? I know I won’t be giving my money to the major labels anymore… screw them!

Here are a few articles on the topic: Do it!!!

Study: Fans will find new ways to download music

For Napster Fans, the Best Things in Life Are Free

Napster shutdown seen as potential boon for competitors

No Matter Napster’s Fate, the Software Is Out There

Complete Salon Technology coverage of Napster

Poor Smokers

A conservative Canadian think tank has produced a study asserting that higher income, not legislation, is responsible for reducing the number of smokers in North America. The report observes that people with money are more likely to quit so they’ll be healthy enough to enjoy spending their wealth. A cancer society spokesman, however, rejected the conclusion: “There is very significant evidence, including admissions by tobacco companies, that higher taxes and other regulations have reduced overall smoking.”

Of course anti-smokers are going to refute such claims: they won’t be happy until smokes are taxed out of existence. But hasn’t smoking always been sort-of considered a “poor persons” habit? If so, then are higher taxes on smokes really just keeping the poor poor?

Napster is being shut down. Wednesday afternoon, U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Patel granted the recording industry a temporary injunction to pull the service. This is certainly a bad sign of what is to come… Napster still has a shot at trial, but this injunction certainly reflects poorly on their defense strategy.
Score so far:
record company profits: 1
consumers and artists: 0

Star Trek tech not far off? it seems Force Fields and ‘Plasma’ Sheilds are a near-reality. According to this story on space, “cold plasmas” are capable of shielding satelites and other spacecraft, or making them invisible to radars.

So Napster gets its

day in court

today. The RIAA is seeking an injunction to shut Napster down citing copyright violations. Napster argues that it’s users are not doing anything illegal, but that the file-swapping falls under “fair use”… I think they’ve got a chance- it would be nice to see the music industry on their knees.