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The Almighty Buck

Bertelsmann Looking At Pulling Plug On Napster 143

Posted by Hemos
from the deader-then-a-door-nail dept.
azaroth42 writes "The end of Napster has finally come according to the Guardian as German group Bertelsmann pull the plug on the already 'past its use by date' music service. And the same story on CNN."
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Bertelsmann Looking At Pulling Plug On Napster

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  • It's about time the antique was laid to rest.

    Besides, there are far more effective ways to share media, both online, and off.
    • 60 million users (Score:2, Insightful)

      by slashnot007 (576103)
      Antique? You must have an MTV sized attention span. 60 million users is how many napster claimed at its peak. Most companies would kill for that. I would be surprised if Lime wire could match that. And as for a distribution model, a bussiness model, having central index servers and distributed content servers lets the bussiness control the show. Gnutella does not have a bussiness capable model. Gnutella is mostly for the sector of slash dot populated by "free love free lunch" imbeciles who think is is "okay" to steal because they can.

      my guess is that when something copy protected replaces mp3 that gnutella could become a viable bussiness model, the company would just sell or rent you an unlocking key. But napster would still be a better idea.

      • How did they measure those 60 million users? The number of usernames in their database? If that was a valid way to measure users then Slashdot has over 600,000 users? More likely 30,000 and 570,000 troll accounts. I myself had 5 or 6 Napster accounts. I was always forgetting the damn password when I reinstalled it.
      • Erm - but how many users does it have now?

        Antique - last years news - dead and buried. Deceased. You do the rest...

        Also it might have been a good business model for a few months but it didn't have the staying power. A good business model needs to *succeed*.
      • Re:60 million users (Score:2, Interesting)

        by larry bagina (561269)
        60 million users who don't want to pay for anything. The companies that would have killed for that all went bankrupt when the VC was spent.
      • 60 million users is how many napster claimed at its peak. Most companies would kill for that.

        Yep, that's why none of us will let a company own something as important as file-sharing.

        And as for a distribution model, a bussiness model, having central index servers and distributed content servers lets the bussiness control the show

        See above.

        Gnutella is mostly for the sector of slash dot populated by "free love free lunch" imbeciles who think is is "okay" to steal because they can.

        Unfortunately 90% of the world population agrees with us. The other 9% agrees to pay someone for a CD/DVD they burned for them. The remaining 1% is you.

        my guess is that when something copy protected replaces mp3 that gnutella could become a viable bussiness model

        This will never happen, it is a physical impossibility. You cannot protect analog content, the only way to do this is to anti-design every general purpose computer/recorder on the face of the planet. And no that won't happen either.

      • >Gnutella does not have a bussiness capable model

        Gnutella certainly has a business capable model. That model, unfortunately, would require DRM.

        Simply have all the files DRM encrypted and let them be shared around. You can play them based on wether your computer/player is authorized or not. If it is, it plays. If it isn't, it'll either go into barker mode, or it'll ask you to buy the song.

        Of course, all the slashdot hating brainless CEOs think its okay to steal money from the workers because they can.

        Or do you want to stop trying to redefine stealing to be something so watered down it means "having more than the next guy without his permission and without any personal loss to anyone". Because if that's what you want it to mean, than any company is stealing from its workers by paying them less than their work is worth (if they were to pay the full value, at _best_ the company would break even).

        >my guess is that when something copy protected replaces mp3 that gnutella could become a viable bussiness model, the company would just sell or rent you an unlocking key.

        Well, thanks for echoing what I just said. Why did you take the non-opportunity to insult the community you deal with and at the same time completely negate what you said earlier?

        Oh, and BTW: .wma currently has the problem "locked up", so to speak. It takes more effort than your average non-slashdotter would put in to break it.
      • Ladies and gentlemen! I present to you, Another Slashdot Moron!!... by the name of slashnot007

        Gnutella is mostly for the sector of slash dot populated by "free love free lunch" imbeciles who think is is "okay" to steal because they can.

        For the 10 millionth time.... it isn't theft unless it's depriving it's rightful owners of it's use. For example, if I steal your tennis shoes, you can no longer use them. However, if I "steal" your software, or your music, then the only way I would be "depriving" you of anything (income) is if it stopped me from buying the software or the music. But alas, this isn't the case. I have nearly 300 CDs in my collection, roughly half of these I wouldn't have bought if it weren't for me having the capability to "steal" the music from the internet. The only case where I can think of, on a personal level, where my being able to download MP3s from the net resulted in a loss of a sale, was when the Andrew WK CD and video came out, and after downloading a couple of his MP3s I decided it was trash and didn't buy it.

        As for software, if it's useful enough to me to justify the cost, I will buy it. However, some software, such as Adobe Photoshop and Framemaker, are just too high priced for my budget, and since I would not profit directly from using either of these pieces of software, I would not be purchasing them, regardless of whether or not they were "freely" available on the net.

        I suspect that you're either an entertainment lawyer, or a troll from the SPA or BSA. Either way, I would like to break your fucking nose. 'Nuff said.

        -Jeff
        • And for the 10 millionth time, you can use anecdotes all you want, but people like you on the p2p sharing systems are IN THE MINORITY!!!

          There are more people who are just downloading songs so they don't have to pay for them than using it as a sample-buy system.

          Now i don't frankly give a shit what anecdotes your using, but look at it from the point of the layman for a second. Person Y searches for song x, and downloads song x. To the casual observer, it would seem that Y wanted x, and therefore downloaded it. Therefore, we have an infrigement right there. He downloaded a song he has no "right" too.

          Now we don't know what happened after this person downloaded song x, he might have listened to it, thought it shit, and deleted it. He might have bought the cd. He might have kept the song on his HD to listen to. He might have put it on a cd. Who knows? We only know that he "illegally" copied the song, and therefore is in the wrong until he proves otherwise.

          Now that is the problem behind file sharing. You can spew endless zero sum arguments, its not "theft" argument and anecdotes from here to kingdom come, but to the average person, people that have control in society, it looks like you want a song, and you get it without paying for it.

          OH, and not having enough money as justification for using pirate programs is real smart. Your typing up comments on the fruit of capitalism, and yet you don't like it.

          Lastly, were all slashdot morons, you even more so because you made a physical threat on a comment board. Stop being such a fucking loser. You have the intellectual level of IF I EVER MEET YOU, I"LL KICK YOUR ASS people.

          FOAD.

          (Mod me down, dipshit moderators. Gotta hide the truth)
          • Reread what I wrote, fucknut:

            Either way, I would like to break your fucking nose. 'Nuff said.

            That's not a "threat." It's an opinion.

            And personally, I wish more people would threaten kicking each other's asses, and less people threatening to sue. Society needs to revert back go "Good ol' fashioned ass whoopins." But once again, that's just my opinion.

            -Jeff
            • So if i said i would like to kill you, you wouldn't take that as a threat?

              I would like for you to piss off and stop trolling slashdot but its probably not going to happen. I have no power to do that, just like you have no power to break the nose of your original posts parent.

              It was a fucking clueless statement, threat OR opinion.

              Have a nice day.
              • So if i said i would like to kill you, you wouldn't take that as a threat?

                I'd tell you to take a number.

                It was a fucking clueless statement, threat OR opinion.

                And damn! I thought that I was the barbaric, foul-mouthed one in this discussion. I thought you limeys were above that?

                -Jeff [nukeiraq.org]
  • by meringuoid (568297) on Monday September 02, 2002 @09:20AM (#4183557)
    ... How did anyone notice?

    Seriously, though, this isn't news. Bertelsmann got its tentacles into Napster when it was the biggest thing on the net. Now it's a set of servers with no users.

    Napster is, de facto, a stiff, bereft of life; it is no more. Bertelsmann have enough sense not to throw good money after bad.

    • On the other hand, this does mean that they're not trying to stop people from using any of the useful peer2peer networks out there (you know, the ones people actually use).. so its all good.
    • I beg to differ (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by tswinzig (210999)
      Bertelsmann got its tentacles into Napster when it was the biggest thing on the net.

      Bertelsmann bought Napster when it was already dead in the water. I know this because I remember thinking, WHY THE F*CK ARE THEY BUYING NAPSTER?
      • I know this because I remember thinking, WHY THE F*CK ARE THEY BUYING NAPSTER?


        I highly doubt they bought Napster for anything other than the name. I mean the software wasn't all that great and it defintely wasn't set up to handle a subscription based service.

        Bertelsmann figured that if they had the Napster name, people would flock to their new service. Boy were they wrong.
    • Napster was dead the day they shut it down. We really knew it was never coming back, didn't we? I hope all consumers continue to punish the recording industry for killing Napster, Gouging kids for up to $20.00 a CD, and worst of all, making copy protected CDs that won't play in a computer, by shunning its products. Boycott the recording industry. Don't buy CDs. [dontbuycds.org]
      • Since Bertelsmann was one of the factors that drove Napster into backruptcy and then they bought it, I would say that should be investigated by the appropriate legal authorities since it sounds like racketeering to me.
  • by Kid Zero (4866)
    I mean, wow. Napster offically dead. Yay.

    Who noticed?

  • Bertelsmann got a lot of free advertising out of this, so it is not like they lost all of thier investment.
    • Re:ADvertising (Score:4, Insightful)

      by meringuoid (568297) on Monday September 02, 2002 @09:31AM (#4183603)
      Bertelsmann got a lot of free advertising out of this, so it is not like they lost all of thier investment.

      Does that help, though?

      As far as I know nobody goes to the CD store and says 'Ooh, a new EMI album! Must have!' The valuable brands are the various McPunk skater kiddies or bubblegum plastic-pop groups, rather than the name of the record label itself. Being a recognised brand could help when signing new artists, but I doubt it helps sales of CDs directly.

      • Actually, when I'm browsing through CDs at my local music store, I'll often pick up a CD because it's released by a certain record label. Smaller labels, such as Saddle Creek, Jade Tree, or Shadow, tend to carry bands who share a similar style of music. If I like a couple of bands that have released albums through the label, I'll often buy a new CD from a band I've never heard of just because they're on the same label. I've discovered some great bands that way.
  • ...and yes, I know that Napster has been--uh, how do I put this nicely--"out of action" for some time, but it's still sad to see the thing go. Napster wasn't just the first and most important P2P service; as people tend to forget, it was also the one that worked the best. The Fasttrack network has yet to really live up to its promise (it's fine for searches of things that are popular on the network, but anything else tends to be more trouble than it's worth), and Audiogalaxy--in my eyes the most promising of the new networks--is of course no more.

    I can't help but view Napster's real death as something of an omen. The original is gone, but at this point, a quality replacement is still hard to find.
  • by SystematicPsycho (456042) on Monday September 02, 2002 @10:04AM (#4183701)
    alot of ppl got rich out of napster, and alot of other ppl got happy - the only groups that weren't happy was the music industry, doesn't mean they didn't get rich. I think everyone has an artist[s] they found through p2p that went out and bought there cd. Nevertheless a whole new breed of p2p systems are up and running, testing the legal system and giving alot of lawyers work. Basically business models that operate until the lawyers shut them down, then a new system that finds a legal loophole in the old.
  • by SystematicPsycho (456042) on Monday September 02, 2002 @10:11AM (#4183721)
    At least while napster was still in action (the good old days) these cartoons were still funny. Nevertheless if you hadn't seen them here the are -
    Beer GOOD - Napster BAD! [campchaos.com]
  • Is that what is happening to digital music
    will have a great impact on our lives.
    Napster started a revolution.
    Bertelsmann bought Napster either to shut it down
    or to try to profit from its reputation.
    Either way, they were 6 months too late.
    But their move was very important.
    Old media trying to keep control...
    Expect some bloodshed in violent revolutions.
    More interestingly: how will music adapt to use the Net?
    Simple file sharing/piracy is not viable.
    Someone has to create the content people want.
    People will pay for choice and quality.
    My guess? Look at the porn industry.
    See how they have adapted to using the Net.
    There are differences...
    but we have seen an entirely digital industry spring up in about 5 years.
    It may take that long for a digital music industry to emerge.
  • BMG, and the rest of RIAA, can sell something that no file-sharing app can get you. Legallity and legitimacy.

    There is a price-point where people will pay to have a legal right to the song that's allready illegally on their computer. If BMG can figure out the right price point, they can make a profit selling nothing but legitimacy.

    Personally, I'd give them my legal name, home address, and give them permission to track me until the day I die IF I can get a full legal title to the music I buy. I want to be able to get a "replacement media" discount on a new copy of my destroyed CD. I want to be able to download lossless song files to burn me a custom album, and have it be 100% legit.

    I won't pay $50 a month to do this. I would pay $5 a year. Somewhere in between those two, I would have to reserve judgement until the offer's been made.

    If BMG can provide what I want, I will buy from them.
    • BMG, and the rest of RIAA can sell something that no file-sharing app can get you. Legallity and legitimacy.

      Let's hope they remember to include portability and flexibility, by using the MP3 format instead of something that requires a special player.

      I'd also expect quality too, which is certainly something that's lacking on the P2P networks. Still, Kazaa (et al) are still a handy way to preview tracks when considering a CD purchase...
    • and for $5 I'd rather prosecute you for the thief you are.. because $5 covers absolutely nothing.

      $5 is not reasonable.. I would pay $100 for the year if it gave me unlimited downloading just like Audio Galaxy did, and with the same variety... Even if that means initially that they have to provide the content.

      Its about convience... Make it convient, I'll use it...

    • I still don't understand where this entitlement to digital media - to what is essentially someone else's property, comes from. I'm open to explanations, though (and please...it would be much appreciated if the the self-aggrandizing rationalization were kept to a minimum).
      • I still don't understand where this entitlement to digital media - to what is essentially someone else's property, comes from. I'm open to explanations, though (and please...it would be much appreciated if the the self-aggrandizing rationalization were kept to a minimum).

        Let's say book publishers started shutting down libraries. Then you started complaining. Then someone came up to you and said, "I still don't understand where this entitlement to media - to what is essentially someone else's property, comes from." What would you tell them?
        • Let's say a Slashdot poster posts a bogus analogy as a strawman. How should one respond?

          Libraries are /not/ P2P networks. Libraries maintain a strictly limited number of copies of works, /each/ purchased legitimately (and, in the case of journals, they often pay a much higher charge than an individual would). Libraries do /not/ create infringing duplicates, nor do they distribute them.

          Contrast that with P2P businesses trying to make money of of mass copyright infringement.

          So how is your post relevant?
          • I'd love a service that lets you share music without making infringing duplicates. I legitmately own thousands of songs. I've got stacks of CDs in my closet. I haven't touched them in months.

            I think it would be terrific to have a system where i can share my music with the world. Even if only one person could listen to each of my songs at a time, there's still a lot of music.

            In return, when someone else has an album they're not listening to at the moment, i'd like them to share it with me.

            • That's all well and good...but what are you (or better, what are people) most likely going to do until one of these systems exist? Won't this entitlement mentality continue? And if it does, where does the right to this entitlement come from?
              • Before i buy a book, i read some of it in the bookstore. Sometimes that makes me not buy the book.

                Before i go see a movie, i'll see what the critics say. Sometimes that makes me not see the movie.

                Before i buy a band's music, i'll download some of it and see if i like it. Sometimes i won't like it, so i won't buy the music.

                There have been plenty of bands who i discovered by "stealing" music. Because i "stole" their music, i've bought their albums, seen their shows, and introduced my friends to them -- oh, i'm sorry, i mean i let my friends "steal" their music from me.

                Had i not "stolen" their music, they'd be poorer and i'd have a smaller music collection.

                Therefore, downloading music off the internet makes the world a better place for everyone.
            • To be honest I've never used a p2p network for stealing IP. But I would use a network with millions of songs avadiable for download @ a nominal (1-2$ per).

              Most CD's today don't even need a real studio to get the shit edit/sampling job they do. They need one editor, a hi-fi sound system in thier computer, and a few hours per song. Total cost ~1k per song. Advertisment is a joke, basically the CD's are adverts for the concerts, and the form of a CD provides nothing to me except a reliable distribution/replay media.

              Remove the CD and I'm now paying ~1k for the editing, a few K (10?) for the required MBA's/marketers (they would spend at most 2 weeks on a song, except one MBA who would be like an "agent" in holywood is to actors; pop hits would be diffrent, but this isn't a discussion of pop hits), and the salaries of the artists (2-6k+ per member per song, but dependant on sales [assume people would continue to release ~10 songs per year]). Throw in 20k for inital distribution of a new song(internet and radio) (more for the first song a label released).

              Now, songs that you hear constantly on your local "radio" station obviously have more costs, but they are going to make more money. In fact I'd venture to guess if it only cost a dollar or two and a bit of afk time to get them, they would make significantly more money.

              I see no need in this total cost of $41,000 to be shelling out 17$ per disk for 5 songs I like. Assuming a fan would buy on average 5 songs per 10, they would only need to maintain a fanbase of 82,000 in order to be breaking even @ $1/song. Sam Goodie could then move into the buisness of distributing "pristine" mixes, that they press themselves. The song producers themselves have no need to be doing that, they are in the buisness of making music. Everyones happy, and I'd probably end up spending more on music than I do now.

              While the current form of P2P is absurd to the extreme. I see a definate shift in how music is made over the next decade or two, slowly consumers will realize that there is no need to force the initial distribution through a heavy/large/expensive physical medium, and recording studios will slim down.
      • I find it funny how you so-called champions of intellectual rights always post your self-righteous, condescending crap. Like you're really that important, that I want to spend more than the minute it took for me to write this post to point out why people like you are idiots.

        Think about it. Is anyone stealing from you? And don't lie.
        • I find it funny how many Slashdotters are so off that instead of refuting arguments, they post ad hominem attacks.

          As for theft -- it is not theft in the traditional sense. However, it is certainly a violation of an implicit agreement -- to abide by all the laws and specified restrictions upon entering a transaction as a citizen and a consumer. Much as working in this country generally introduces a coincident requirement to file a tax return (save for those whose total earnings are very low indeed), purchasing a work includes an acceptance of the copyright restrictions as they are unless explicitly waived by the copyright holder.

          If you don't accept them, you can either (1) not purchase the work and not procure it in any fashion, or (2) take the civil disobedience route, buy one, publicly infringe on it, and summon and surrender to the authorities to arrest and fine/imprison you, or (3) go write your politicians and do something constructive about it. Otherwise, you're no better than an oathbreaker.
          • As for theft -- it is not theft in the traditional sense.

            Not in the sense that I walk away with a physical thing, as I would had I stolen a car. But the legal definition of theft does cover more ambiguous methods of acquiring something without paying for it.

            If you don't accept them, you can either (1) not purchase the work and not procure it in any fashion, or (2) take the civil disobedience route, buy one, publicly infringe on it, and summon and surrender to the authorities to arrest and fine/imprison you, or (3) go write your politicians and do something constructive about it. Otherwise, you're no better than an oathbreaker.

            Exactly. 100%. This is the way the system was designed to work. And it does. : )
      • Okay, sure, I'll take a crack at it. First off, I think we can pretty much dismiss the legal arguments. I think most adults here would agree that less than 5% of all MP3 trading on the P2P networks falls under the protection of Fair Use. So that leaves the moral, ethical and psychological arguments, which in my mind all kinda blur together.

        When I first dove into the Napster scene (the same day I got a cable modem and registered this slashdot account) Most of what I downloaded was music I had purchased over the years but no longer physically had, due to the shrinkage of a CD collection over time that we're all too familiar with. My justification was that if the record companies wanted to view their product as IP, then the physical medium was irrelevant, and having "licensed" vast amounts of music over the years, I was still entitled to those albums, both ethically and legally.

        Now mind you, I don't steal. Anything. Ever. Not even candy as a little kid. I've handed back excess change to cashiers, coerced friends into returning things they'd shoplifted, etc. Yet as much as I tried, I just couldn't see it as stealing when I started downloadng albums I'd never purchased. Why not? Because, having gone about seven years without purchasing any new music, I knew with certainty that my downloading something wasn't going to result in any lost revenues. And as the shady contractual doings of the record companies became common knowledge, I had to admit that I felt absolutely no moral conflict in grabbing whatever music I felt like, knowing that I was expected to pay ~$15 to the record company and less than $1 to the artist (and about as much to the retailer). So does that make me a hypocrite? I'm sure some would say yes, but I truly don't think so. I don't listen to new music, so everything I download has either succeeded of flopped, and isn't gonna get any of my money whether I listen to it or not. So what exactly is the reason for me not to hear it?

        Personally, I'd rather download only music for which I could pay a *reasonable* amount directly to the band, or free-as-in-beer music. But where do I find it? I don't donwload much anymore because I've already got all the music I've ever liked, and am burned out on most of it. My biggest problem is finding new music that fits my taste, but I didn't make use of AudioGalaxy while it was still around. There's got to be hundreds of bands playing music that I like, but unless they sign with the old boy network, individuals like me have almost no chance of fiding them. I'd gladly pay for some means of getting around that paradox.

        Okay, so this isn't nearly as coherent, concise or persuasive as I'd hoped, and is undoubtedly redundant, but dammit, it's how I feel. I believe that if Zappa were still around, he'd be fine with my having almost his entire collected works even though I've only spent about $75 retail on his stuff over the years.
        • My justification was that if the record companies wanted to view their product as IP, then the physical medium was irrelevant, and having "licensed" vast amounts of music over the years, I was still entitled to those albums, both ethically and legally.

          I would consider this a reasonable argument.

          Yet as much as I tried, I just couldn't see it as stealing when I started downloadng albums I'd never purchased. Why not? Because, having gone about seven years without purchasing any new music, I knew with certainty that my downloading something wasn't going to result in any lost revenues.

          What leads you to believe this? What about production, distribution, and promotion?


          And as the shady contractual doings of the record companies became common knowledge, I had to admit that I felt absolutely no moral conflict in grabbing whatever music I felt like, knowing that I was expected to pay ~$15 to the record company and less than $1 to the artist (and about as much to the retailer).


          And this is going to accomplish....?

          Personally, I'd rather download only music for which I could pay a *reasonable* amount directly to the band, or free-as-in-beer music.

          An equally important question: Why aren't bands making their music available so that they can accommodate this?

          Okay, so this isn't nearly as coherent, concise or persuasive as I'd hoped, and is undoubtedly redundant, but dammit, it's how I feel. I believe that if Zappa were still around, he'd be fine with my having almost his entire collected works even though I've only spent about $75 retail on his stuff over the years.

          Are you saying that you've paid for everything of Zappa's that you now have?
          • Yet as much as I tried, I just couldn't see it as stealing when I started downloadng albums I'd never purchased. Why not? Because, having gone about seven years without purchasing any new music, I knew with certainty that my downloading something wasn't going to result in any lost revenues.
            What leads you to believe this? What about production, distribution, and promotion?

            Those costs are the same whether I buy the album or not. If I'm not gonna buy the album, they don't incur any higher costs.

            And as the shady contractual doings of the record companies became common knowledge, I had to admit that I felt absolutely no moral conflict in grabbing whatever music I felt like, knowing that I was expected to pay ~$15 to the record company and less than $1 to the artist (and about as much to the retailer).
            And this is going to accomplish....?

            Nothing at all, unfortunately. Other than saving me almost $20 that can go towards living expenses. Frankly, I feel that's a better use of my money than handing it to a bunch of millionaires for the privelege of hearing a thirty year old Beatles song.

            An equally important question: Why aren't bands making their music available so that they can accommodate this?

            Good question. I imagine it has something to do with the RIAA and pals asserting total control over every possible means of widespread distribution under the guise of curbing "piracy." That, and the assumption on the part of the bands that if all those other guys became instant millionaires from playing rock and roll, why shouldn't they too? But I couldn't tell ya for sure.

            I have managed to convince one musician, a close friend of mine, to relase some of his music that way. He's got studio time scheduled and tells me that once he's got new stuff recorded, he'll attempt to do that.

            Are you saying that you've paid for everything of Zappa's that you now have?

            Nope. I think I've legitimately purchased only four or five Zappa CDs over the years, and have approximately five times that much of his music in my MP3 collection. But I'm confident that if he were here to comment, he'd be okay with it. In all seriousness, anybody know of anything he's said or written that would indicate otherwise?
  • by dotgod (567913)
    The end of Napster came as quickly as the Mozilla 1.0 release did.
  • Day of infamy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the bluebrain (443451) on Monday September 02, 2002 @10:37AM (#4183814)
    So I'll get shot down in flames for the quote in the subject line ... but I believe there is indeed a quite historical aspect to this story:

    Most /.ers will have read some SF (that *Speculative*, godamit :) tome on the subject of the Valhalla machine (or whatever you want to call it): the end of the age of scarcity, thanks to "universal replicators".

    The "IP" version of this is the "celestial jukebox" ... which Napster would have become, but for the stumbling blocks.

    I can imagine business / law majors a couple of decades down the line pointing out to us, back here in the time well, just where we went wrong & what we *should* have done - how it could have worked.

    Music & films nowadays *can* be replicated & distributed for nothing more than the very cheap transmission & storage costs - thing is of course, they *aren't*.

    I am very aware of all the linkage - artists & crew having to feed families & suchlike - but nonetheless, humanity almost had it, but somehow couldn't quite manage to organise things in such a way as to enjoy the fruits of the labour of previous generations & share the luxury of entertainment & education all round the globe.

    Grand-style napsterisation of anything & everything digitizable *will* come ... and Shawn Fanning's legacy may be just that: the word.
    Hopefully it won't acquire any more negative connotations than it already, illegitimately, has.

    ----

    "and they say that I'm a dreamer / but I'm not the only one"
    • No mod points available, but +1 Insightful anyways.
    • Good post, I agree that for now the monopolistic powers have prevailed only with the force of dated legislation. Hopefully in the near future more efficient distribution systems will overcome. Businesses can't ignore that the cost of distributing music and video is now almost zero.
    • The question I'd ask is whether the entire concept of copyright makes sense at all. Though right now, its the only way to compensate artists (and, more importantly, middlemen, laywers, and producers) so I don't see it going away anytime soon. But if someone could come up with a way of ensuring the same ends (artist compensation for giving their work to the public) and sneak it into legislative existance...

      Oh, and transmission costs aren't always low. Why? Look at who you're transmitting through - local cable company? Owned by media giant. Local telco? Has business arrangements with media giant.

      Gee, I wonder if it might be in their interest to keep bandwidth costs for the average citizen artificially inflated? (And otherwise restricted - after all, you don't want Joe Average running his own web page. That's already resulted in embarassaments like small news sites beating the big names on a breaking story.)

      • Obligated compensation is slavery, look at poor people who need major medical services once in their life and spend the rest of it paying for it.
        • My only problem with the current system is that the bs that is health "insurance" isn't insurance at all, but very socalistic, filled with kickbacks and price fixing.

          In a real free market the prices would be lower, and insurance would have a deductible that would rarely be hit, if ever, the way insurance is supposed to be. You don't make a homeowner insurance claim every time a doorknob breaks or a window cracks, why should you have health insurance kick in at $20? That's no longer insurance, that's socialism, and it allows doctors, insurance companies, and hospitals to collude to screw over the consumer. There is little real competition, because there is no real free market, due to effective price fixing through insurance.
          • However; we must also think of a future that does not have money/credits--whatever, and that was what the parent or grandparent post was alluding to. In an economic model without an inherent scarcity there is no "market" of flashy gizmos and services we don't need, only an endless selection of the mundane, common, and ordinary. I think I (for one) can do without talking toilet paper commericals. The presumption that if there were no free market that ideas would stagnate is a bit heavy handed, I would imagine that a product/material/services-rich world devoid of monetary profit would be a much more cultured place with even greater oppurtunities, correct me if your vision of the future differs in a "scarcity-free" society.
      • But if someone could come up with a way of ensuring the same ends (artist compensation for giving their work to the public)

        Personally I would rather not pay an N-Sync tax.

        There are plenty of other social structures which would work wonderfully for production of popular music. Currently academia is the best example we have of information being produced which is generally used for the public benefit of all, and where people are also able to feed their families.
    • Yeah the only thing that brought this down was Capitalism.

      "Remember When you download MP3s you're supporting Communism."

      Yeah Capitalism
  • The company is in talks to sell the Bol.com network of sites to e-tailing giant Amazon.
    Damn, I was hoping that this would mean that I can use bol.com, but sadly no. Bertelsmann were Nazi propagandists (and gained their current status as Europe's largest publishing company because of this) and now Amazon are patent abusers. Ho hum.
  • Once the judge dropped the bomb on napster, it gave users a chance to switch to gnutella or other file sharing networks that had better technology but less publicity. The end result was that we got more progress in P2P technology. Plus other services got a chance to reach critical mass.

    A dying napster also helped keep the flames off of the newer services. While the RIAA still got into the act of attacking everyone associated with P2P, it seemed like the rest of the news media was still assigned to cover the 'napster story.' Thus, they covered the whole Bertlesmann fiasco, the so-called re-release of napster (remember all the silly reviews?) and diverted attention away from the other services.

    Now that Napster's really dead, stories like the release of the Two Towers or of Episode II hitting the net before it opened are going to be attributed to Kazaa, WinMX or whoever the current popularity leader is. Then the techno-faddish (i.e. your local congressman) will have a concrete target to attack.

  • Question (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mr_Silver (213637) on Monday September 02, 2002 @11:49AM (#4184124)
    Now Napster is (or was for a long time) dead, and audiogalaxy has gone to a land far far away ...

    What else can I use to download MP3's? I'm not really interested in a multiple media job, just straight MP3's.

    I did try WinMX but found it sucked, you had to queue for everything and the interface was horrible.

    Any suggestions? I'm rapidily finding it more and more difficult to try tracks before I buy albums.

    • Grokster? LimeWire? KaZaA Lite?
    • Re:Question (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Your top choices:

      1. Usenet -- fastest, but you pretty much have to
      take what's there.
      2. Gnutella -- heavy overhead, slow to search, but
      eventually you'll get what you want.
      3. FastTrack (KaZaA) -- the current popular
      leader; avoid the KaZaA client itself (loaded
      with spyware and worse) in favor of KaZaA Lite
      or something.
      4. eDonkey2000
      5. Direct Connect
    • The best solution would be if the cd websites were allowed to and did publish medium-quality streams of the albums they sold. The RIAA could also do their part, by making an easy-to-use availablility/price comparison utility for selling CDs online. I listen to some stream, I click a link, and I get a list of the places I can order the CD and/or download the song for a small fee.

      Then again, they seem more interested in keeping their current infrastructure. Oh well.
    • Re:Question (Score:2, Informative)

      by dmarx (528279)
      Try the Gnutella network. You can find a list of clients at Gnutella News [gnutellanews.com]. Also, try KaZaA. Don't use the official client; it has spyware and adware. Use KaZaA Lite [kazaalite.com] instead.
    • Re:Question (Score:2, Informative)

      by syknes (30153)
      I don't recall which earlier slashdot article twigged me to it, but SoulSeek [slsk.org] (seems to be flaky today) is pretty outstanding for electronic music, and no slouch on other styles. Naturally, you'll get more enjoyment out of it if you donate to the author (he's set up a download priority system which gives *major* benefits to contributors).
      HTH
    • Re:Question (Score:2, Informative)

      by ogre2112 (134836)
      I use Kazaa Lite (Make sure to use the Lite version, do a google.com search for it--no spyware in Lite)

      Or Gnucleus is very nice too.

      Don't know about Linux clients, as my linux box is 100% server. 150 days of uptime Gawd I love my linux box. Like a rock I tell ya.
  • As I've said before... what the music companies need to do is give us something AS GOOD AS Napster and Audiogalaxy were.

    The problem is not the "pay" part.

    The problem is the "as good as" part.

    And that means: ALLOW FILE SHARING. There is no way in the world that a consortium of music companies pitching their collective Top 40 is going to cater to my oddball individual interests. (And EVERYONE has oddball individual interests--this is not an elitist thing).

    Napster and AudioGalaxy have shown me that there are PLENTY of people out there who share my fondness for, say, Billy Murray cylinder recordings, or Bernard Cribbins singing "'Ole in the Ground," or Johnny Standley's "Grandma's Lye Soap." And are willing to take the time to rip and upload them.

    There's no way a for-profit company is going to bother with this sort of thing. Which, while it may or may not be under copyright, is of negligible commercial value.

    So, what they should do is LET THE FANS DO WHAT THEY LIKE and charge a REASONABLE fee, like the "blank media" fee on VHS cassettes or home audio music CD-R's, to compensate music companies and artists for their use.

    This isn't very different from what ASCAP and BMI have done for years with radio stations, where a flat fee is charged, based on the radio station's audience, which gives them the right to broadcast as much as they like of the licensed material.

    Just set up something like Napster or AudioGalaxy, and charge me the appropriate ASCAP fee for an audience of one.

    • OH MY God!

      Bernard Cribbins? Is there any artist who would be more appropriate to Slashdot? I mean this guy helped Dr Who defeat the Daleks....

      Anyway this is a huge problem with the online subscription services - they're only listing stuff that they've legally cleared. All new contracts contain some sort of digital clause, but older contracts require a lawyer digging through paperwork and finding the rights holders. All of this takes time and money, and for many older artists the return on this investment isn't going to happen in a reasonable time.

      The US needs some sort of compulsory license for old and out of print media - soemthing that ensures the these things are never lost to the world.
    • > Napster and AudioGalaxy have shown me that there are PLENTY of people out there who share my fondness for, say, [ ... ] Johnny Standley's "Grandma's Lye Soap."

      Thanks. You just brought back 20-year-old memories of 10 minutes of side-splitting laughter when I was a kid. Another track I now have to find and download. You bastard. I hate you.

      (...but I guess that's OK, because, well... no reason really... umm, it's in the book.)


      1. So, what they should do is LET THE FANS DO WHAT THEY LIKE and charge a REASONABLE fee, like the "blank media" fee on VHS cassettes or home audio music CD-R's, to compensate music companies and artists for their use.
      Why should everyone have to pay a fee which would ultimatly go to record companies for buying blank media?

      Very few of the CD-R's I buy get used for commercial music, infact most of my blank media gets used for distributing demos of a couple of unsigned artists. I would really have a problem if I knew that part of the money it was costing us to distribute demos was going to record companys who are not doing very much at all to support us or any other new alternative music in anyway.
  • Now no one will be confused and I don't have to worry about trademark infringement when I say "downloading from napster".
  • So if i understood it right Bertelsman bought Napster. So they've basically thrown away all their investments when they pull the plug out of the napster network? Why o why did they buy Napster in the first place? Not a rant, but just a question. Apparently the Bertelsman company (one of the five biggest mediatycoons, isn't it?) has so much money to burn that they can invest in a broad range of "hard-to-predict" new bussinesexperiments (as we shall call them) and then abandon them just as easy. OR they thought they could do something constructive with the Napster network, something that was legal (as opposed to (still) illegal mp3 swapping). Oh btw, as a reply on the AudioGalaxy / Napster subsitute question: I heard good tales about SoulSeeker. It's said to be the best mp3 sharing program out there at the moment now AG is gone.
  • Napster has been dead for awhile. Whatever happens to it now will be a mere formality.
  • Wow, I figured Napster disappeared a long time ago since no one uses that thing anymore.
  • People very much overlook IRC as a source for MP3 downloads. Everything you want is there, you just have to know how to find and get it, and you have to be patient about it.

    First, grab a copy of mIRC [mirc.com]. After installing that, download a copy of AutoGet [wildstar.net]. AutoGet is a set of scripts that facilitates finding and downloading files from IRC channels. As users advertise their MP3 list triggers, AutoGet downloads them. You can then search or browse all the lists you've collected and add songs from them to a download manager. AutoGet handles requesting and downloading the songs.

    If you are patient, you will get just about everything you put in your queue. Trust me.

    And don't forget to share what you download! The author of AutoGet also has a serving system called OmenServe [wildstar.net] that works very well.

    I'm not sure if similar systems exist for clients other than mIRC. If anyone knows of any, I'd love to hear about them.

  • Napster is the icon of the internet at its best. Better for Bertlesman to mercifully kill it than revive it as a pointless shell of its former self. This way, we'll remember Napster as the app that delivered the promise of the net and revealed the rotten nature of the entertainment biz. We'll remember Napster as our martyr.
    • by adolf (21054)
      I highly doubt that Shawn Fanning is thinking much about martyrdom, as he brings one of his paid-in-cash exotic sports cars in for its weekly tuneup and detailing, before heading off for another day of doing whatever the fuck he wants to.

      More likely, he's probably just thankful that his free money went into lining the Ferrari family's pockets, rather than those of some executive at Worldcom.
  • ... and in other news:

    - mac os is doomed! says a windows fan

    - accoding to confidential sources, Amiga predicts releasing "a computer. or an OS. or a layer over the OS. or something", sometime soon, they hope

    - industry expert says "linux is good enough to run web servers on"

    - unsolicited email, marketing fad or here to stay? we discuss it with a professional sysadmin

    stay on for more shocks and thrills, after these messages from our sponsors...
  • It is not surprising that Bertelsmann is paring back its internet ventures. What will be really interesting, is what the German high command does with Zomba Music, parent of Jive Records, the largest independent US record label. That sale is supposed to go through toward the end of the year.
  • Don't tell me a large company bought out a smaller competitor, just so they could kill them!

    Next you'll be telling me MS has been buying up small companies to save them doing research or that Disney has been buying senators so they don't have to produce a useful product!
  • than to fall into the hands of the enemy...

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk

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