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The Almighty Buck

AudioGalaxy Reaches Settlement With the RIAA 392

Posted by timothy
from the horse-head-stew-for-dinner dept.
blanu writes: "Today AudioGalaxy reached an out-of-court settlement with the RIAA. To sum up the settlement, AudioGalaxy will pay the RIAA a lot of money and from now only provide songs for which the copyright holder has specifically given permission."
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AudioGalaxy Reaches Settlement With the RIAA

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  • Even they didn't support Macs, they were a good system when I was able to access them.

    -----
    Apple hardware still too expensive for you? How about a raffle ticket [macraffle.com]?

    • by owlicks58 (560207) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:00PM (#3719035) Homepage
      Dude, Macsatellite has been around for a long time for classic, works fine. For OS X you can use Sputnix which is the best audiogalaxy client out there IMO, it's awsome
      • by pussycat (206606) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:24PM (#3719173)
        Author of Sputnix here -- thanks for your kind comment.

        Audiogalaxy is/was an excellent service, underrated by many because of the obnoxious spyware they unfortunately propagated. No other p2p music sharing comes close, especially when it comes to finding older or rarer recordings.

        We are a culturally poorer country for the damage the RIAA has inflicted on our rights to fair use. This is a sad day -- it's not O.K. to say, "well just use Kazaa/Gnutella."

        Support the EFF [eff.org].
        • Underrated? "Unfortunate"?

          Please, they got exactly what they were asking for.

          They may have garnered a little publicity steam if they hadn't abused the goodwill of their userbase. Good riddance, what comes around goes around, and all that. Good thing they're sitting pretty on their profits from licensing out those slots in the installer, they can laugh at the RIAA all the way to the bank.

          We out on the streets will go on with our lives, their death means nothing to anybody and is in no way consequential except to the RIAA's dying discourse.
    • by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Monday June 17, 2002 @08:09PM (#3719368) Homepage
      On the contrary, in my opinion, AudioGalaxy was the absolute best such service for the mac because AG didn't support it. AG was shit for windows becuase of the cruddy client, but for the mac it was great because you just used one of the non-supported third-party clients, all of which were excellent.

      This brings up my question, though: third party clients. Is there any reason the extant 3rdparty clients out there could not just be set to, instead of talking to the now-crippled audiogalaxy server, talk to some independent audiogalaxy workalike? How difficult would it be to create an open-source implementation of an AudioGalaxy server, given we already have many open-source third-party implementations of clients? OpenNAP meets OpenAG? Cut loose, the way GiFT has cut loose from kazaa.

      I am just curious.

      In the meantime, may i assume it would maybe be possible to take the idea behind audiogalaxy (everyone publicly queues stuff they'd like to download someday, and transactions are negotiated automatically as bandwidth becomes available on all sides) and someday recreate it as a wholly-decentralized gnutella-style network? Or do you need that central authority doing the negotiations for you to keep everything from falling apart? I would have to think about the idea some more. You could maybe do it. If you tried, how would the web page frontend thing be handled? Would we just have to throw that idea out?

      I always thought that was the most disappointing thing about AG-- their "featured artists" were pretty good compared to (say) napster's, but i always thought it would be really neat if AG fufilled its potential as a site with a message board for every song in existence. This would be a godsend for those of us who like to collect really obscure music, especially bootlegs and such-- it would be convenient if, upon running across a track labelled (say) "Nine Inch Nails - eraser (Utter Desolation Remix -- Unreleased)" i could type that into a website, and even if i couldn't download the mp3 from there i could see some discussion and find out "this is fake" or "this is from X bootlegs & rarities compilation" or "this is a b-side from the japanese single of Y, only they renamed it". Allmusic.com meets everything2.com, or something :) Could a community-run version of such a website somehow tie into a decentralized community-run version of the AudioGalaxy idea? How would the client and the website communicate? A browser plugin, maybe? It would have to be something sufficiently disconnected to stave off the Out of Court Settlement Smackdown.. perhaps each webpage on the website could have an ID number / checksum, and you'd just cut&paste that ID number into your OpenGalaxy Client? Perhaps the "download this song" thingy could be inserted via some kind of variation on thirdvoice [c2.com], and the people who run the website could just insist, honestly officer, we can't help it if the mp3 pirate people choose to use our database as a base for checksumming and such. We just run a message board. We aren't connected to those people. These aren't the bots you're looking for.

      Ah well, idle wondering. In the meanwhile, i guess now i gotta go hit AudioGalaxy's site to find out how to inform them i give them permission to redistribute the music i own the rights to.. (Not that anyone *wants* to listen to my music.. just that it's the principle of the thing :) )
  • Meanwhile... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 17, 2002 @06:57PM (#3719018)
    WinMX [winmx.com] has just released v3.2! Get it while it's still not illegal and lame!
  • I liked AG. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by domninus.DDR (582538)
    Using a non-spyware client version, it was the only place I could find the live sets from internet radio stations like Tag and Digitaly Imported. Now I guess Ill have to leave streamripper on 24/7 >.
  • by I Want GNU! (556631) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:00PM (#3719040) Homepage
    Now that a copyright infringement suit has been settled, maybe the RIAA could agree to stop its illegal actions of price gouging and acting as a trust? And maybe they could stop bribing politicians as well?
  • by Jon Howard (247978) <howard,jon&gmail,com> on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:04PM (#3719057) Journal

    What about the MP3's I'm sharing of my music?

    I suspect it's going to be a bit of a pain in the ass to convince Audiogalaxy to allow me to share my band's music over their service. How can I satisfy them that I'm truly the copyright holder? If it's easy enough to make it painless, what's to keep others from attempting to get their favourite artist's music unprotected using the same technique?

    • by rhizome (115711) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:16PM (#3719129) Homepage Journal
      I suspect it's going to be a bit of a pain in the ass to convince Audiogalaxy to allow me to share my band's music over their service. How can I satisfy them that I'm truly the copyright holder? If it's easy enough to make it painless, what's to keep others from attempting to get their favourite artist's music unprotected using the same technique?

      As an independent artist, you're obviously illegitimate and not worthy of any exposure at all. Undoubtedly the only way around this little dilemma is to assign your copyrights to an RIAA affiliate for every means of distribution that they control.
    • Satire aside. Email them and find out

      http://audiogalaxy.com/info/help_about.php3?#conta ct

      Contacts

      How do I contact someone about:

      Adding my band or label to the site?

      music@audiogalaxy.com
      • I did that earlier today. Here's the response I just got:

        Thank you for your interest in sharing your music on the Audiogalaxy website. Unfortunately we do not have the resources at this time to verify copyright ownership of song files with 100% certainty. We hope to have a system in place in the near future.

        [TMB]

    • by sulli (195030) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:58PM (#3719327) Journal
      Are you the copyright holder? Well then:

      The settlement reached would allow Audiogalaxy to operate a "filter-in" system, which requires that for any music available, the songwriter, music publisher, and/or recording company must first consent to the use and sharing of the work.

      If you are the copyright holder, which you are unless you have signed your rights away to a RIAA member, then you should inform AudioGalaxy that you would like to allow your music to be shared that way. AG will be within its rights to distribute it, since you will have given permission.

      IANAL but I suspect that a letter signed by you claiming that you are the copyright holder should be sufficient. Or you could check to see what MP3.com does. Now AG may take a while to handle such things, but then again they are now actually in the world of all indie music rather than the world of claiming that it's all about indie music as a PR fig leaf, so if they don't they will be 100% instead of just 99% toast.

      • If you are the copyright holder, which you are unless you have signed your rights away to a RIAA member

        WRONG. If your recording is a cover of a published musical work, or even if it borrows a (surprisingly small) number of notes from a published work (see Handel v. Silver [everything2.com]), you are not the copyright holder, and distributing a recording of such a musical work infringes the copyright of the songwriter. You need to license the "mechanical rights" to the song from the music publisher, and AFAIK, that's both a pain in the ass and expensive unless you are affiliated with a major label.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      What about the MP3's I'm sharing of my music?

      I suspect it's going to be a bit of a pain in the ass to convince Audiogalaxy to allow me to share my band's music over their service. How can I satisfy them that I'm truly the copyright holder? If it's easy enough to make it painless, what's to keep others from attempting to get their favourite artist's music unprotected using the same technique?


      No problem, just get published by a major label that's a member of the RIAA and your music can be shared too.
  • Audiogalaxy has been a good source for music online. I will now have much greater difficulty finding and trying out new bands. This will of course result in fewer purchased CDs. Again, too bad.

    Ciryon
  • NNTP (Score:5, Funny)

    by m0rph3us0 (549631) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:07PM (#3719073)
    Wait until the RIAA discovers NNTP, or IRC. Soon we won't be able to chat or recieve news in the name of copy protection.

    I wonder what the RIAA would do if they found out that you could copy a CD and use a car to transport it.

    DOWN WITH CARS!!!

    m0rph
    • Re:NNTP (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I've started using the postal service for my music swapping. For a few cents, I'm able to mail CD-RW's to people almost anywhere, and for a few cents, they're able to do the same back. It's great!

      I figure eventually the RIAA will find out, and try to battle the USPO. It should be an entertaining fight.
    • Better make wireless networks illegal too. No centralized control. People aim their antennas to help improve peering. Communication among small communities pooling their resources is increasing. These wireless networks don't require a internet gateway as they can be a truely local resource out of the Recording Industry's reach. Just like local bands that play at the city's bars and faraway country barns near you, these networks are virtually free from political control.
    • Lag time... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Pollux (102520) <speterNO@SPAMtedata.net.eg> on Monday June 17, 2002 @09:27PM (#3719758) Journal
      Don't worry about it. Here's my personal history with MP3s:

      First discovered them in 1997, when I heard someone in my high school computer club playing "Walk Like an Egyptian" on a computer at school. I thought he was playing a CD, but instead, he told me about "MP3s." Three months later, I was looking for the same stuff online with my own computer. They were everywhere.

      Music Industry's Response: "What are you talking about?"

      Had a small collection of my favorite music (couldn't build up a whole library, thanks to my whoppin' 850MB hard drive) by 1998. Many of the sites appeared and disappeared quite fast, so I started searching for search engines. I soon stumbled upon (and stuck with) Audiogalaxy in 1999.

      Music Industry's Response: "You mean people are getting our music for free? Where? Napster? Shut it down!"

      I enjoyed Audiogalaxy, because there was no security threat of using P2P software (aka Napster / Gnutella), plus there were a lot of nice leech sites posted all over on their FTP search list. Sure, it wasn't as quick and as easy as Napster, but Audiogalaxy was flying under the radar, while Napster wasn't. There have been other websites, but none as direct. That is, until the industry finally found them.

      Music Industry's Response: Hey, there are places out there besides Napster that hand out MP3s. Let's get everyone while we still can!

      My point: It took the music industry four years to realize that there CDs were being transformed into MP3s. It took them four years to find Audiogalaxy and shut them down.

      Whatever you find, I'd say it has a staying power of 4 years, unless they're quite public about it like Napster.
    • by xee (128376)
      Fortunately the DMCA protects Usenet servers. If the messages are not routed to your server specifically, and are not necessarily intended to be downloaded specifically by users, then the data can not be considered infringing. Basically you're a repeater, or a cache server. Like a web cache server running squid. The content is merely there because it is in transit to someone.
  • So... they settled to do just what it seems they were doing before the lawsuit. Only now, they are less the settlement money.

    Isn't is "wonderful" how the world works?
  • by hymie3 (187934) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:07PM (#3719078)
    Wow. Is it just me, or has every single song on audiogalaxy just been yanked? Other than featured artists, everything seems to be "permission denied".

    I *know* that there's indie stuff being shared that *was* okay to be posted (all of the SXSW demos, for example) but are now "permission denied" even though the artist in question has made the MP3s freely available.

    Soooo, at a whim, the RIAA can chmod -r all songs offered through audiogalaxy, even those that they have no control over?
    • by Manitcor (218753) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:39PM (#3719251) Homepage
      One wonders if that might be one of the hidden motivations of RIAA other than simple pirating.

      If an artist can easily get worlwide distrubution and play without them. What happens to RIAA. Granted it would take many years. I could see a world where bands are all distrubuted on the net and the only thing we pay for is a live preformance.

      Of course this has been discussed to death in the past.
      • One wonders if that might be one of the hidden motivations of RIAA other than simple pirating.

        Yes.

        I just did some searches for indie artists that I know personally. Every single one of their songs is no longer downloadable.

        This is not about "saving" RIAA artists. This is about trying to cripple those outside of their member companies.

        This is utterly insane. There is music produced by people who are no longer alive and is out of copyright. Who is going to write to Audiogalaxy authorize their music?

        "Shut up kid, and buy what we want to sell you!

  • by SirKodiak (585894) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:07PM (#3719081)
    From article:
    "The message is clear - there is no place on the Internet for services that exploit creators' work without fair compensation," added Edward P. Murphy, President and CEO, NMPA.
    And thus, this sad chapter of history has ended. No longer can rufians download music on the internet, making the delivery channels of CD, tape, and vinyl the only channels, ensuring that the copyright holders recieve their fair compensation. The brief period of anarchy is at last over, likely forever.

    Or, possibly, just possibly, decentralized services with no way to be shut down are still around, and will always be around, and the RIAA is trying to close the cell doors after the inmates have already taken over the prison.

    Well, good luck to them. As they kill those services that have any sort of control mechanism in place, all that will remain is those services that they can't control, which are precisely those services which can't be used to make money for the publishing industry. What may have taken a decade of evolution from central-controlled P2P to fully-distributed P2P is being encouraged to take place in a couple of years. The dinosaurs aren't just being replaced by mammals, they're encouraging them to do it as quickly as possible.

    • ``decentralized services with no way to be shut down are still around, and will always be around''
      Conclusion: the RIAA is continues to fool those who really think they're protecting artists and whatnot, while in the meantime filling its pockets with what they win in the courtrooms. I have to admit the courage they have to do this kind of thing right under everyone's nose...
    • As they kill those services that have any sort of control mechanism in place, all that will remain is those services that they can't control, which are precisely those services which can't be used to make money for the publishing industry. What may have taken a decade of evolution from central-controlled P2P to fully-distributed P2P is being encouraged to take place in a couple of years.

      Hilarious, isn't it? This is exactly like those Soccer Moms who wipe every surface with low-grade antibiotics and insist the doctor give their rugrat antibiotics for their every cold. It's utterly useless, and the only result is to produce stronger and tougher viri.

      They killed Napster, which allowed them to see what music millions of people collected. They just killed AudioGalaxy which gave them the same information. Any businessman with a fractional clue could have figured out how to use that information to build a profitable business. Now, they've lost the potential for getting any information at all.

      Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  • Audiogalaxy, as proficient user, was lightyears ahead of Napster and way way beyond Kazaa & the crowd. When you had it working for you, it would provide the most amazing music sent TO you by groups of people with similar interests, guaranteed to be good. Their biggest liability was that they didnt have the money to compete with the RIAA. They're not in violation of anything besides listing whats on your hard drive; but legally, it would take millions to prove a simple point. All they ever sold was AG t-shirts. God bless them for trying; music will be as free as language (look at us reading without paying $$ for it) some day. No executive deserves 500k/yr for making children behave like Britney Spears. Fuck 'em for being soulless, immoral and soon to be dead.
  • by Chardish (529780) <chardish&gmail,com> on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:12PM (#3719108) Homepage
    I'd like to see this:

    Today AudioGalaxy reached an out-of-court settlement with representatives of a class-action spyware suit. To sum up the settlement, AudioGalaxy will pay the spyware victims a lot of money and from now only provide programs for which the user has specifically given permission for the program to install"
  • IIRC (Score:3, Funny)

    by loucura! (247834) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:12PM (#3719109)
    Didn't they only provide songs that the copyright holder gave them permission for? From what I've heard and seen, Audiogalaxy removed songs that were copyright violations quite quickly, and had filtering software that blocked them from coming back.

    Basically the settlement should read: AudioGalaxy settles with RIAA, buys protection, and avoids cement boots, and Guido.
  • by shut_up_man (450725) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:16PM (#3719128) Homepage
    In compliance with the RIAA's wishes, Audiogalaxy.com has made its service almost totally useless, paid out most of its funding in fines, and ensured that the great percentage of its users have fled to another, as-yet-unknown, music sharing system.

    Film at eleven.
  • When Napster was bombarded by suits and started to slowly die, many of the users moved to Morpheus (known as MusicCity at the time and running their own OpenNap network, IIRC). So who did the RIAA attack? Kazaa/Morpheus, of course.

    AudioGalaxy is yet another of those sued by the industry, and yet another source of music is destroyed. What will this mean for users of the service?

    They'll move to another service, such as BearShare, iMesh, or WinMX. Very few of them will bother finding true alternative sources, such as IRC channels or FTP servers. And what does RIAA do best? Look for popular services and nuke them.

    This is in no way a flame towards those who decide to move to other services - however, it just seems to be becoming a trend for the RIAA to hurt larger services first.
    • They'll move to another service, such as BearShare, iMesh, or WinMX. Very few of them will bother finding true alternative sources, such as IRC channels or FTP servers. And what does RIAA do best? Look for popular services and nuke them.

      Just curious, has anyone heard of any attempts by services such as these to buy copyrights from artists and challenge the RIAA as a legitimate (competing, rather than RIAA-owned) distributor on legally even ground? If not, would anyone care to speculate as to why not? At first glance I would guess revenue would be a problem, but surely there would be some artists out there willing to trade a few songs for shares of the company. This type of business also could prove once and for all whether MP3 downloaders are being freeloaders or just loath the middle-man. After a little more thought I think the biggest obstacle would be the difficulty in acquiring enough copyrights to pose a threat to the RIAA. Any thoughts?
      • Just curious, has anyone heard of any attempts by services such as these to buy copyrights from artists and challenge the RIAA as a legitimate (competing, rather than RIAA-owned) distributor on legally even ground?

        It's a nice idea, but it doesn't work like that. I'm sure that artists may be amenable to the idea, but major artists simply aren't going to be able to do that. For albums released by major labels (smaller labels as well, IIRC), the artist/songwriter owns the song, but NOT the actual recording of it that appeared on the album. So all those tracks that came off an album are owned by the publisher, not the artist - and there's a snowball's chance in Hell that you'll get them to sell that (or license it, either - they can't even agree on fairly doing that between themselves for their lame online music services, let alone fairly licensing it to some young startup whippersnappers).

        "Okay," you say, "so the artists don't own the actual recordings (that particular performance that's on the album) ... so why don't they re-record it (since they own the song itself) and sell or license that to someone else?" Unfortunately, most major artists are under contract to large record labels - so if they record a new version, their label gets first dibs. That also includes "official" live recordings, too. BTW, live bootlegs, even if the band turns a blind eye to their existence, are theoretically just as illegal as pirated album tracks, since the label the band is under contract to should get a chance to make money off the band is going to release it (and the band to get some royalties from it).

        Lastly, don't blame the bands for making these "deals with the devil" - yes, it handcuffs them to have the rights to their next X albums' worth of songs locked into a big nasty music label - but when you're struggling to make it, the offer of financing to make albums, distribution networks to get you on the radio and in Tower Records is nothing to sneeze at. They're just trying to make it when they sign these deals - nobody else right now can offer them the same things that the major labels can.

        Maybe the real hope lies in bands that use the big labels to get popular, then after their contracts expire use the 'net intelligently to reach their fans. But unless rock stars start reading Slashdot daily (or someone can convince them that there's a really solid plan for not losing their fiscal shorts in the effort), we may be waiting a while.

  • Just a thought (Score:3, Interesting)

    by oPless (63249) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:17PM (#3719135) Journal


    RIAA ... Monopoly ?

    They certainly think they are, because they seem to be "representing" bands that are unsigned

    So are they going to stump up the cash to these indie bands? ho ho ho.

    Can some of these indie band file a class action lawsuit against the RIAA for anti-trust ?

    Just a thought... IANAL
  • by vkg (158234) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:18PM (#3719145) Homepage
    In case you haven't been paying attention

    THESE MOFOS ARE GOING TO TRY AND DO THIS TO THE ENTIRE INTERNET

    Filtering of all content, on the backbone, to remove anything without DRM flags indicating it's OK to transmit is both technically feasible and completely coherent with increasing government demands to be back in control of the internet.

    Welcome to the future of the internet: we call it television, and we'll tell you what you can see!
    • As long as traffic is encripted (a la freenet) they won't be able to tell what is what.

      So no, this won't work.
      • Default-deny, remember? If its encrypted, it won't have the DRM bits set, won't be part of an Industry-Approved Connection, and so won't be let out. And if it does have the DRM bits set, you'll get thrown in jail for violating the DMCA, SSSCA (or whatever they call it next week), and Europe's inevitable alphabet-soup "we just gave control over your life to the media industry, enjoy!" law.

  • by Roy Ward (14216) <royward770@actri[ ]o.nz ['x.c' in gap]> on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:23PM (#3719167)
    I got this when trying to look at the press release on RIAA's web site:

    >HTTP Error 403
    >
    >403.9 Access Forbidden: Too many users are connected

    Sums up their whole approach really.

  • "The message is clear - there is no place on the Internet for services that exploit creators' work without fair compensation." --Edward Murphy, NMPA

    Of course. The recording industry would much rather let the record labels, executives, managers and lawyers do the exploiting of musicians, as always.

    "This is a victory for everyone who cares about protecting the value of music," said Hilary Rosen, Chairman and CEO of the RIAA.

    And by value, she means dollars, not musical or technical merit. But she doesn't mean the dollars spent in "payola" fashion to radio directors who decide which songs are put into rotation in key markets (and you thought your phone calls and emails picked which songs got played)... nor does she mean the dollars spent on flawed copy-protection schemes. She means .001% of the dollars on an executive's quarterly report. That's the value of music, kids.

    I'm left to wonder; where's the AG press release?
  • I believe that now is the right time to unleash a file-sharing IIS worm! What are they going to do? Drag Microsoft and thousands of NT server owners to court for providing software for file sharing?
  • Is this the beginning of a new business model for the RIAA? The steps:

    1. Someone starts a p2p service.
    2. Users of said service trade copyrighted material.
    3. RIAA sues said service to prevent copyright infringement along the service's (virtual) pipes.
    4. Service pays RIAA, files bankruptcy slightly later.
    5. Goto step 1

    Hmm, is it just me or is this a *really* big waste of venture capital and angel investing? You are paying the RIAA for the ability to trade priviledged material. The thing is, your copy is still illegal and someone is picking up your tab.

    -Sean
  • ...cause the same thing worked *so* well for Napster!

    AudioGalaxy is dead.
  • by rice_burners_suck (243660) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:33PM (#3719214)

    I strongly believe this is an unacceptable settlement. An acceptable settlement is one where a business arrangement is reached whereby both parties benefit from the agreement. For example, a deal whereby some small fee is paid to the RIAA for each copy of a song downloaded or sold, in exchange for RIAA marketing muscle supporting the scheme. This would most likely bring more benefits to both parties than the current scheme, which will screw over AudioGalaxy and give no extra profit to the RIAA.

    Conclusion? The boring, gray-haired old men in charge of the RIAA have absolutely no imagination whatsoever. Only a lot of greed. And greed is their downfall. Case in point: If music (and indeed, other "content" such as movies) was sold for much cheaper, I believe the RIAA would increase volumes tremendously and make more profit than under the current scheme, where laws are passed left and right to protect the alleged right of the RIAA to eternal profit. Suppose an album you wanted cost $8.00 to $10.00 (USD), rather than the outrageous $18.00 that many albums cost nowadays. I believe that most people would find it so much more convenient to buy an album than to download 300 copies of a song in search of a good quality rip. Further, I think that music should be sold online, for extremely low prices. An album that sells for $8.00 in the store might go for $2.00 if downloaded, as the buyer doesn't get a nice shiny CD, case, booklet, and all kinds of other stuff. The copy available at the store would include all sorts of cool stuff (including coupons to direct customers to other music they might like), giving people a good reason to actually buy the music.

    Finally, I think everyone should fight for their fair use rights. If you buy a CD, you should be allowed to make as many copies as you want for your own use. For example, I never take my original CDs into my car, as they could get jacked or lost or melted in the heat or something. It would be even more convenient if my stereo played MP3 CDs, so I could put all my albums on a few discs and not have to endanger myself and others while driving to change CDs around.

    But like I said, those idiot gray-haired old geezers in control of the RIAA have no style or imagination. They're a bunch of boring old men with no goal in life other than to make themselves appear elevated by crushing others.

    • by Stonehand (71085) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:55PM (#3719312) Homepage
      And it would be convenient, to, for Mercedes-Benz to only sell cars at cost, but they are under absolutely no obligation to you to do so.

      If AudioGalaxy weren't profiteering off copyright infringement, perhaps they wouldn't have gotten into this mess in the first place, any more than a thug or any other criminal deserves an "acceptable settlement".

      The RIAA is entitled to charge whatever the market can bear -- and whether or not the market is truly involved (as in -- is it a price-fixing cartel?) is an actual, but completely separate, issue that does not justify willful infringement on their property except by judicial action if and when they are found to be being anticompetitive.

      In any fair transaction (*), neither party can impose terms on the other -- there is always the option to walk away. You, as a customer, may choose not to buy a CD -- but you are not then entitled to the music in any form if you reach no agreement. The copyright holder may choose not to sell at a price or in a form that you desire -- but it is then not entitled to seize your money. Both sides may negotiate, but the main principle of reasonable theories of entitlement is an informed consent -- both sides should properly disclose their terms, and no transaction takes place unless agreed upon.

      (*) Determining the ethics of state transactions is often hairy. So, for that matter, are nigh-automatic transactions such as pollution; in that case, determining compensation becomes a problem.
      • I agree. Musicians are under no obligation to license their works to major labels, they choose to do so. Yes, I think said labels use and abuse their artists. If the artist's work isn't profitable, the label will drop them in a heartbeat. It sucks, but it happens because there is a market for it. The artist and the musician sign a contract because they both feel that it is to their benefit. Sometimes both are wrong. Sometimes one of them is wrong. And very rarely, both of them are right.

        Likewise, the price of these copyrighted works is set by demand. The fact that someone may feel that the price is too high, or that the RIAA is evil absolutely does not entitle that person to violate the IP rights of the owner. We are not a captive group; it's not like the RIAA has a monopoly on clean water.

        Thoughtful discussion on this topic is welcome.
  • FUCK!!! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Groucho (1038) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:35PM (#3719227)
    God damn those dickshitting chancre-eating mongo fuckers!

    Last night I heard a great new artist on a shoutcast station (another non-approved media outlet that they're trying to shut down) and today when I go to sample a couple more tracks, I find everything is locked up.

    Audiogalaxy was truly the best. It had just about every non-mainstream artist I'd ever heard of and then some. I've been buying CDs for the past two years exclusively based on stuff I've been able to sample from them.

    Compared to Audiogalaxy, Gnutella, Limewire and Kazaa users have nothing but crap. You might as well try and shop for interesting music at Walmart.

    Mainstream media can go BUTTFUCK ITSELF IN THE MOUTH. I'm still going to try and find stuff that gooses my juices but it's going to be harder to find and I won't therefore be buying as much. Not that the RIAA gives a bearded hag's ass--they only notice when someone buys the ten godzillionth unit of some spastic fucking living dead Franken-pop they sewed together out of Elvis Presley's anal warts and scraps from the dumpster out back Michael Jackson's plastic surgery disaster clinic.

    Fuck. I reiterate, FUCKKK.

    G
    • if they're non mainstream and therefore non RIAA, would they not have the ability to give AG permission to distribute? "Opt in" is a phrase that comes to mind.
  • She desperatly NEEDS it. She MUST teh way she's trying to fuck all of us.

    I'd care but I prefer silence.
  • by NanoGator (522640) on Monday June 17, 2002 @07:54PM (#3719307) Homepage Journal
    The RIAA is making matters worse. If they truely think that the internet is responsible for them losing money, the worst thing they did was sue companies involved out of business.

    If the RIAA had figured out a way of turning Napster/Audio Galaxy into a business, then the majority of music downloaders would be there using the service legitimately.

    What has happened instead, is they shut down the popular way of getting music. The result is that the people hooked on this service are going to go underground and acquire music through alternative means. If they can't get music from Kazaa, then they'll head to IRC or other de-centralized sources.

    They basically blew up the central location for music swapping, forcing everybody into smaller cells. Now, if the RIAA does ever provide a service, few people will head towards it.

    Oops. Songs will still get traded, but now the RIAA has little to no hope of ever getting money for it. I'd feel sorry for them if they didn't call me a thief because I own a CDR-drive.
  • When I used Audiogalaxy it was specifically to get live recordings, mostly of artists with a pro-trading stance (Bruce Hornsby, lots of indie artists, etc). Since the settlement is opt-in not opt-out for the copyright holders, am I going to lose that access unless the 'copyright holders' (meaning the record companies 'acting on behalf of their artists, yes?) specifically say it's ok?

    That's a pain.

    Triv
    • When I used Audiogalaxy it was specifically to get live recordings, mostly of artists with a pro-trading stance

      If you want to restore access to works by recording artists who 1. write their own songs (click here to see why [slashdot.org]) and 2. authorize public trading of live recordings and/or studio recordings, then by all means, contact the artists and ask them to put their songs on New Napster and AG. If you can't find them, put up a web site listing the names of the artists you can't track down, and then ask Slashdot [slashdot.org] if anybody else knows how to contact them.

  • Do you know a user how is, or just has lost access to this? Start looking.

    Image how much of a difference we can make if each geek that wants to stick it to the RIAA helps 2 people get hooked up to real P2P networks, that aren't controlled by companies like that.

    I use LimeWire myself, although I think it attaches adware to IE. While your at it, switch them to mozilla so they don't see that crap. They will love you.

    Help a friend, and stick it to the RIAA an Microsoft at the same time. :-)

    -Pete
  • http://www.riaa.org/Contact.cfm [riaa.org]

    Instead of -- or perhaps in addition to, depending on how pissed off they are -- perhaps someone should start an open letter to the RIAA. Have enough community knowledge of and input on it, and it could easily get tens of thousands of (virtual) signatures. Then, maybe, just maybe they would start to give a shit.
  • > ... from now only provide songs for which the copyright holder has specifically given permission.

    Have they really agreed to not broadcast any songs that are out of copyright? If so, the RIAA has really won something significant.

  • The header indicates that a substantial sum was paid. How much was that? I have my doubts that it really was substantial. In this kind of dispute, 100k is chump change, although quite a real sum to me personally.

    Anyone know?
  • There are several CDs I own that have several of the tracks scratched resulting them being nearly unintelligeble. I've been planning for a while to go to audiogalaxy to download the damaged tracks and burn a new working CD, guess that's out now :(

  • The next logical step is to kill kaaza...but then what? Gnutella? How does the RIAA expect to kill it? ISP-side measures here we come.

    The thing that pisses me off the most about this is that I was paying for Audiogalaxy's gold membership. The RIAA could have asked Audiogalaxy to charge $6 instead of $3 a month and ask for half to cover royalties and such.

    The idoicy in all of this astonishes me.
  • I'd only started using Audio Galaxy a week ago, via OpenAG. I was amazed at the depth, speed and reliability. I found pretty much everything I looked for. It was like the heyday of Napster.

    It was good while it lasted. Thanks, Audio Galaxy people - you made one of the truly worthwhile things on the internet.
  • Since I can't run anything from my work computer I need to resort to installing something in my Linux account and ssh'ing to there and using that.

    Since I used to run the audiogalaxy satellite on my Linux box and control it via the website - it worked rather well.

    As I can't do that any more, can anyone suggest an alternative? Note that it needs to be runnable from a Linux terminal - so no graphical display (unless you control it via the website) and I absolutely positivily cannot install anything on my work PC.

  • Wait a minute, wasn't the RIAA not too long ago trying to get a ruling allowing them to not have to bother getting permission from the copyright holder songwriters on the songs they want to broadcast online? Now they want others to run around getting that individual permission.

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