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The Almighty Buck

Metallica Vs. Harvard 315

King_B writes "Metallica is taking a stand against major universities by requesting a restriction on the use of Napster." I hear They Might Be Giants is gonna respond by going after universities that use NFS.
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Metallica v Harvard

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  • Dr. Dre is a doctor just like Dr. Laura.

    Read: not a doctor.

    The one and (thankfully) only,

    LafinJack
  • You paid 18.00 for a CD becuase that's what it was worth to you. Why should a company sell something for less than people are willing to pay for it? What sense does that make. The demand for music dictates the price.

    This is the way I look at it. I pay $20 for the "A Perfect Circle" album that just came out. Now I DID have the album on MP3 before it came out, but bought the CD the day it was released. I paid for it, and have listened to it maybe 50-60 times since I bought it. Counting the 50-60 times I listened to the album on MP3, that makes my cost around 20 cents for each listening. Now if I told you that you could listen to any album once for a quarter, you'd think it was a great deal. I mean, you pay $11 (CDN) for a movie you see once in the theatre.

    The fact of the matter is that CD's are WORTH that much becuase they provide long-term value. A CD lasts 10yrs+, and does not really degrade it quality. So the record company gets a one time profit from your purchase.

    If you don't think $18 is fair for the CD. DON'T BUY IT. Why should it be cheaper just becuase you don't want to pay for it? I want to buy a car for $10 but that's not going to happen. Should I use that for justification to steal?
  • I do think the MTV viewers know what they are doing... To some extent. About 30 seconds into introducing Blink 182 (the final act), Lars Ulrich got booed, and it didn't stop until he left the stage.
  • I noticed that part of their letter, too. Anyone who think about it will realize that library does allow copying and its called fair use.

    Hmmm... maybe the university should take the same attitude towards Napster. A "Napster card" where you prepay for the bandwidth you're going to use and they just trust you to "Do The Right Thing" (tm). Of course I'm being a little silly, but I think you get the idea.
  • You could just run your own DNS, or use someone elses non censored server....
  • Hmmmm. I seem to recall a line from a (can't remember) Rage Against the Machine that fits this quite well:

    "There's nothin propa bout your propaganda".

  • I guess I should have spelled the logic out.

    The 'logical or ethical' idea for the 'counter suit' would depend on WHY they blocked the ports in the first place. If they blocked Napster because they were sued by someone (a la Metallica), then the counter-suite would be both 'logical and ethical'. They (the university) are limiting artist X's desire to use the Napster service over artist Y's desire NOT to. Remember, it's not illegal to share files, it's illegal to share copyrighted files without the copyright-holders permission. Napster is no more illegal than HTTP, FTP, NFS, DFS, UUCP.... you name it. It's only illegal when it distributes illegal CONTENT.

    Now, if they blocked it because of bandwidth concerns, or some other non-lawsuit, End-user usage agreement, or related issue, then I guess that Artist X wouldn't have much of a case, and it would be between the students and the administration, huh?

  • If you want to hear TMBG's thoughts on Napster, take a listen to the Marketplace show [marketplace.org] with John Flansburg's commentary on Napster. It's some interesting food for thought, and it's nice to know that at least some musicians have a clue.

    You'll have to forward to about 11:20 in the RealAudio file to get to the right place.

  • ...wouldn't that be impeding my education by either raising my tution or dropping the quality of education I receive for it? I could sue for that. 8,000 student class action!
  • Actually, "education" in this context sounds more like "re-education" which in turn sounds like "either you do what we say or we send you off to Siberia..."
  • Not a reply really, merely adding some thoughts/facts.

    Of course its perfectly legal to photocopy stuff from books at a library - it's fair use.

    At least here in Greece, and in the UK where I studied for a few years, copying for personal use and research was specifically excempted from copyright restrictions. As a matter of fact, its the ONLY way to access journals at the library here, because you cannot loan them. You're supposed to photocopy what you want and return them within an hour - you cannot check them out under any circumstances.

    These exceptions are in place because frankly, they make sense. How on earth would one be supposed to study or do research otherwise? There's a reason library subscriptions or academic institution subscriptions are overpriced.

    -W

  • Best TMBG lyric ever:

    Now it's over I'm dead and I haven't done anything that I want
    Or, I'm still alive and there's nothing I want to do
  • It seems to me that Universities wouldn't be liable for what travels over its networks. In the US, its my understanding that ISPs can't be held responsible for the uses that its customers put their bandwidth to. Why would a university be any different? Most charge a fee for ethernet hookup, thus becoming at the bare minimum a de facto ISP.


    But then IANAL. Could someone who is shed some light?

  • How 'bout we sue you for being an idiot instead.
    Yawhatever :b
    If you object to the refrence, I would expect a coherent response. the paralel seems good to me. Metalica is suing napster and the schools to recover their "lost profits"...
    Shure
    The songs were posted "without asking permision" thus making them "feel bad". The legal system in this country has come to the point where ANYTHING and ANYONE can be sued. for ANY reason.

  • I think this was a double joke on the part of the Taconater. First, that TMBG would NEVER do anything like that, and that blocking NFS is just as stupid and unlikely as blocking Napster ports. Or blocking IRC traffic. Or FTP's. MP3 will never die, etc, etc, etc, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    OK, I'm done now. :)

    The one and (thankfully) only,

    LafinJack
  • I don't know how to break this to you, but Commander Cody wasn't really a commander, Captain Beefheart's not a captain, and Screamin' Lord Sutch wasn't a peer.

    On the other hand, Dr. Seuss was a board-certified surgeon and Cat Stevens really is a cat.

  • Try to find thier recent "Don't Cross in the Middle' song on Napster though!
  • Agreed. They are using their weight (and a successful lawsuit) to basically bully the big "offenders" around. They are attacking the universities because they have the big networks. Let's see them go after some corporation that doesn't actually have napster blocked on their network.

    I don't think its right that they are basically telling universities what to do, and dragging them into Napster's legal battles. I hope the Universities can make their own decisions and aren't freightened by legal tactics.
  • I think that public opinion was shown by how Metallica was treated at the MTV Awards.
  • by (void*) ( 113680 ) on Monday September 11, 2000 @05:59AM (#788905)
    Good point. But students are smart. As educational institutes, the schools should always start with education first. Engineering solutions such as prioritizing network traffic should be employed, in the long term. A short-term solution such as closing down napster for a week might work too to give the students the idea that non-academic activities really should tempered with common sense.
  • Before any of you go off please read all I have to say. I do think napster should be banned fron UNIV's. Why? Well for starters most of the stuff on napster is there illegaly or downloaded illegaly meaning eitehr the person offering it does not have the original music or the person downloading it does not. Now that doesnt apply to all music as there are plenty of internet only musicians

    Second, the bandwith. Walk onto a univ and measure how much bandwith is being taking up by students leaching off napster alone. This bandwith is ment for students to be able to do vital research in a manner much faster then a conventional library. With the bandwith being sucked away by napster this is not so fast and on some UNIV's it's even faster to use the library.

    I know many of you think you have valid arguments aginst what Ive said, but you dont. Almost all of these UNIV's are State and Federaly funded wich means my tax mony is going to keep the bandwith at the UNIV's up. Im not aginst napster far from it. I just think if you want to use napster dont use the UNIV to do it, get a dialup account or something. Or maybe try studdying.

  • by DzugZug ( 52149 ) on Monday September 11, 2000 @04:47AM (#788907) Journal
    This is a copy of the email I just sent to the president of my university.

    President Rupp,

    It has recently come to my attention that Columbia has or will shortly receive a letter from Howard E. King, attorney for Metallica and Dr. Dre, regarding the fact that Columbia students can access Napster's servers via the Columbia network. I know there are many qualified people in your office and I'm sure that the University will consult with legal counsel before taking any action. However there are a few things I feel should be considered.

    First let me say that I do not support the stealing of intellectual property. Individuals (students included) should be held accountable for their actions. It is important to note, however, that caving to the demands of Mr. King sets a dangerous president. First, it suggests that a third party can regulate what information Columbia provides to its students. Second, it is a restriction on resources (like library materials) provided by the university to students. Thirdly, it gives credit to the claim that Napster (and eventually other file sharing tools) have no significant non-infringing uses. To comply with this demand is like complying with a demand by a publishing company to have all photocopiers removed from the libraries because students use them to photocopy magazines, books, etc.

    If you wish to discuss my opinions further, you can reach me at this email address. I am also the student representative from FFSEAS to the University Senate and I sit on the External Relations Committee.

    Thank you for your time, -Brian London

    I sugest others do likewise

  • being sued by Metallica, a Crabgrass League band.

    EMUSE.NET [emuse.net]
  • Um. Not to defend Metallica, especially since they seem to be completely brain-dead on how to deal with digitized music and the internet, but they are NOT the same as the record companies. They have, in the past, filed suits against the record companies, Amazon.com and even Victoria's Secret. I tried to find more details, but all searches resulted in Napster news. I hate to nitpick, but let's keep our bad guys distinct. On the one hand we have a bunch of lawyer-loving suits at the RIAA who may never have played a note of music trying to preserve their ability to make a buck off starving artists. On the other hand we have some starving artists who made it (way too?) big and have encountered too many legal issues on the way to be able to have a clue remaining as to how to deal with new legal issues.

  • So, Jrod5000 at RPI, what do you plan on doing? Staging a bitchfest somewhere on the internet? No one outside of slashdot takes this place seriously. Go out and DO something and stop whining and bitching at your keyboard. If you believe so strongly in this, then get off your ass, go outside, spread the word about the evils of copyright, and make a change.

    You just look like an ass when you do nothing but post a complaint to a message board on the web.
  • metallica be warned: if you even try something like that at RPI, you'll have a nice little rebellion on your hands...
  • Oh great, the records companies (like the lads of Metallica came up with this idea) have decided to call in a new layer of legal action. I wish we had a government which could decide this issue, one way or the other, and make the decision stick.
  • by FascDot Killed My Pr ( 24021 ) on Monday September 11, 2000 @03:33AM (#788917)
    Please don't kill NFS, that's how I get all my TMBG songs! How'm I gonna survive without CD quality copies of "(Going Down to) Cowtown", "Exquisite Dead Guy" and "Number Three"?
    --
    Linux MAPI Server!
    http://www.openone.com/software/MailOne/
  • I certainly agree with you on your point. Perhaps they will be doing something like that in the future.

    When I worked there in '93/'94, UT was trying to get itself fully fiber connected. The entire infrastructure is now fiber within the university (well, not all the way to the machines, but everyplace else pretty much).

    Anyway, I hope that they work a bandwidth limit solution (limit bandwidth, not content) so that the students doing real work may have access to the resources that they are paying for.

    Visit DC2600 [dc2600.com]
  • To paraphrase TMBG's inter-song banter:
    "This next song is brand new, it's not on any of our albums, nobody's heard it [sarcasm]execpt those of you who are bootlegging our songs by mp3, and lip-syncing to songs that haven't been released yet! DAMN YOU![/sarcasm]"
    Streaming Radio TMBG from wiredplanet.com! [wiredplanet.com]
  • by Crutcher ( 24607 ) on Monday September 11, 2000 @04:54AM (#788935) Homepage
    Umm, does anyone else find it hillarious that "Metalica" has come to represent the 'Establishment' to the point were they sue those crazy rebels at HARVARD?

    -- Crutcher --
    #include <disclaimer.h>
  • Can't remember the titles, but love the lyrics :) Another favorite from the Godzilla soundtrack: "Rambo, too has a dope pair of Nikes on".
    Coincidentally, their concert was the best I had ever been too...continues to be so as well.

  • They are fine with trading bootlegs and such, but when music they own started circulating before the officla release they got kind of mad. I can't blame them for that. Say you were making some kind of secret product that was to be released next month. I come in and steal a prototype and have 1000 copies made and start giving them away. I bet you wouldn't be too happy.

    Its not about money, its about music being released on their own terms. Don't you understand that?
  • Well, that is what I meant to say, but you said it a lot better. Thank you.

    Visit DC2600 [dc2600.com]
  • by vulgrin ( 70725 )
    From the article:
    "They ought to seriously address this issue of intellectual property. They certainly aren't allowing students to copy books in the university library."

    Um, when's the last time they were at a University library? Most of the ones I've been to have banks of photo copiers and charge you to use them. (Which could be construed as copyright violation right there) Better yet, some have copy facilities that you drop off items at and wait for the copies to be made.

    Is this a practice that doesn't occur any longer? (been a while since I've been to a college library)

    Vulgrin the MAD
  • Ideology aside, forgetting for a moment who is right or wrong, we should be very concerned that a company is dictating policy at a University. If the illegal act of making and distributing files on the Internet is of major social concern, it is the responsibility of the justice department.

    Yet, there are no arrests, no fines. No statement saying "What you are doing is illegal and if you are caught, you will be punished." Granted, enforcing the law on a wide and free network is difficult, and we aren't quite sure how to do it effectively yet. However, something that effects all of our rights in a legal sense is being battled by advocates for corporate interests (Napster Vs. RIAA, in this case). The people, on the other hand, have no advocates, even though it directly effects them.

    If this trend of determining matters of legality on the Internet by companies instead of law makers, we will end up with a set of 'unwritten' laws developed by whomever has the most persuasive lawyers (read: money) and detach the citizenry from the lawmaking process altogether. The democratic process may be slow, and might not make sense all the time, but at least can be accessed (in theory) by the people.

    If a University can be forced to change it's policy by a company for fear of a lawsuit, regardless of the legality or ethics of that policy, we could all be in big trouble.

  • There was a lawsuit. The universities lost.

    Would you happen to have any more information, like which case this was? I was searching for information on the internet and couldn't find much, although I did find this, which was a case in which those coursepacks were NOT illegal, after a long battle:

    http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~women/threads/pack.html [msu.edu]

    I am personally interested because I was working on software to help university bookstores track those copyright clearances. I haven't touched the project in a long time though. I'm trying to decide what I think about that now based on this information.
  • Quoted from the letter sent to universities quoted from the article:
    I believe that you can easily recognize the irony of encouraging your students to matriculate in the creative arts, while engaging in behavior which, if unchecked, will make it impossible for those students to earn an income from their future creative efforts.
    The argument that most modern music isn't creative aside, let's ask ourselves a simple question:

    How many music stars are college graduates?

    Now, I admit that I'm not very up-to-date or hip with the latest music trends. But I've heard names talked about by friends and on the news (and at Burger King?). So, I'll run down the list of the names I know, and let's analyze them a bit.

    1. Britney Spears - Not old enough to be going to college, and probably not going anyway.
    2. Rick Martin - I'm guessing not.
    3. Metallica - Pretty sure that's a no.
    4. NSync - I highly doubt it.
    5. Back Street Boys - See NSync.
    6. Rob Zombie - Yeah, right.
    7. Marilyn Manson - I can't imagine him finishing.
    8. Any of the 5 or so rappers that have died lately - Even when they were alive, I don't think they were attending college.
    9. Dr. Dre - Hmmm. He might become a nuclear physicist.
    10. Alanis Morset - Studying to become a trial Lawyer, perhaps?
    Ok, that's not an exhaustive list, just the people that I could think of at the top of my head. As far as I know, not one of them has graduated or even been to college. If I'm wrong on any account, let me know.

    If you can think of any others (perhaps someone knows more about country music?), then add to the list. Let's see how affected college-graduate musicians would be affected by Napster

  • by goliard ( 46585 ) on Monday September 11, 2000 @05:15AM (#788980)

    Um, dude. That was a cunning oblique referrence which couldn't possibly be misconstrued by any university.

    One of the biggest copyright cases in the late 20th cen. had to do with universities providing students with photocopied books or compilation books of photocopied articles, without paying for the rights to republish. Professors were going to their university copy shops and handing them a stack of academic articles or a text book, and saying "Make a copy of this for every member of my 30 person class, and sell it to them when they come in." So in that case, instead of (or in addition to) going to a bookstore to buy a textbook, you go to, say, the campus Kinkos and buy your photocopied book from them.

    There was a lawsuit. The universities lost. Universities generally don't pull that stunt any more -- while they may photocopy, they pay for the rights to do so. (If you want photocopy rights, generally one can buy them through the Copyright Clearance Center, and organization which administers rights precisely for that purpose.)

    So that line about photocopying was actually an oblique threat: "We won over the wholesale photocopying issue, we can win over Napster."
    ----------------------------------------------

  • ...if some of Metalica's lawyers are the alma matter of Harvard. I'm sorry, I don't know Latin so I don't even know if that's the proper word use.

    Hmm.. Lawyer suing his old law school? Can universities revoke diplomas and degrees once handed out? :)

    Not that I like napster except as a civil disobedience tool against the RIAA, as well as a way to sample songs, but I have never used it. I don't support copyright infringement. Sharing or loaning a CD to a friend is legal, but making hundreds of copies and distributing them to anyone that wants them is not, and I believe unethical if it weren't for some of the RIAA's actions.
  • There's still an important difference between reselling the copyrighted works and simply making them avaialbe to someone else to copy as fair use.

    IANAL, but that seems like a huge difference to me.
  • From the article:
    Virginia has tried to educate students about the copyright issues surrounding Napster rather than block the program, a tactic that many campus administrators say clashes with the freedom-of-inquiry ethos of a university environment. They also say they doubt blocking it will work anyway in the long run. "My biggest personal concern is whether [blocks] will be effective for the goal that they are trying to accomplish," Mr. German said.
    I'm glad to see that *someone* at one of the universities is actually thinking, rather than buying into the knee-jerk reaction of just trying to shut down Napster...
  • Copyright law contains a lot of broad exceptions for legitimate academic libraries, so that's not really the same thing. I'd give you specific references, but I've forgotten the address of that handy U.S. Code database, and I don't feel like searching for it again right now. (I should probably bookmark it, huh?)

    That's not to say that that wasn't a stupid comment, though. I'm sure if the corporate types ever noticed those provisions for libraries, they'd be gone pretty quickly.
  • OK, anyone want to place bets on how long it'll take Metallica and cohorts to bring lawsuits against ISPs to block Napster? My guess is that that's the next logical extention of their policy. I myself think it will be interesting to see Metallica butt heads with ISPs - a battle of coroporate interests.
  • Metallica's college tour. Get your tickets today!

    __________________________________________________ ___

  • Snoop Doggie Dogg has a masters in business
    administration.
  • <i>It is important to note, however, that caving to the demands of Mr. King sets a dangerous president.</i>

    Better get that email back before you find out that people at Columbia support George W. Bush. :)

    Funny or Flamebait? Moderators, you decide!
  • Do not taunt Happy Fun Lars.
  • Hmm, copies should also probably go to:

    • Elizabeth J Keefer, General Counsel
      412 Low Library MC 4308
      ejk at gc.columbia.edu
    • Provost Jonathan Cole
      205 Low Library MC 4313
      jrc5 at columbia.edu
    • Elaine Sloan, VP for Information Services and University Librarian
      517 Butler Library MC 1101
      sloan at columbia.edu
    • Vace Kundakci, Deputy VP, AcIS
      612 W 115th St MC 6001
      vace at columbia.edu
    • and possibly any friendly administrators, if there is such a thing. If it looks like they're actually going to do this, there would probably some sympathetic faculty who could be found.
    mike castleman
    --
  • so if I create a music library and allow duplication that is not as good quality as the original and only digital, is that permissable?

    (this is just a question, not a statement)

    again, I'm questioning the restrictive properties of the original as the reasons for not-perfect-quality copies
  • It's important to remember that there's nothing about Napster that's especially interesting technologically. What happens when the RIAA learns people use, say, ICQ to trade MP3's? How's that different from Napster? Don't get me wrong; I personally think Napster has become the most egregious waste of computing resources since Pong. I just can't see how it could possibly be illegal. My question is, simply, where does it stop?


    The difference is that Napster was designed from the ground up to violate copyrights and traffic copyrighted MP3s. Everyone seems to think that Napster is similar to IRC, or ICQ because you can transfer MP3s across those, but the only real similarity is that they transfer files. NApster transfers a specific kind of file, and it was designed to transfer specific files that are illegal. ICQ was designed to transfer any file, of any kind, and of any legality. Everyone seems to think the Napster deserves common carrier status, but it is anything but. It is the difference between a public bus line that will allow anyone, and a taxi service that caters to carrying criminals away from a crime scene, but occasionally carries an innocent person too. Napster chose to focus on illegal MP3s (unlike MP3.com who chose to carry legal MP3s, at least until they started My.MP3.com). If I choose to have a yard sale and invite people to sell stolen goods, I WILL be held accountable, even if there is one person selling legitamate goods.

  • by mrfiddlehead ( 129279 ) <mrfiddleheadNO@SPAMyahoo.co.uk> on Monday September 11, 2000 @03:37AM (#789031) Homepage
    Is this band (or more likely their fearless leader, whatshisname) stupid or just plain stupid? Does he have no idea how damaging his (their) reputation would be if they were successful with this?

    I've never been much of a fan of Metallica which I found a bit too commercial (how true that has proved to be) preferring the likes of Black Flag, Motorhead, No Means No among others during the glory days of hardcore metal in the 80's, so it's no loss for me. But I suspect there are soon to be ex-fans of Metallica at 11 major American Universities.

    As bugs would say, "what a maroon!"

  • Just great, now we have the great intellectuals Metallica going after our centers of learning to restrict the software they use.

    I was a Metallica fan but this does it for me. When a bunch of hick rock artists can blow into town and demand restrictions on the use of software in Universities it's time to put them in their place.
  • by acomj ( 20611 ) on Monday September 11, 2000 @07:02AM (#789039) Homepage
    Its easy.
    1) Broke students (I was a broke student...) who REALLY like free stuff, and have enough time to search for music they want.

    2) Big bandwidth (back in my day we had a vax cluster that was neat,and gopher! now I hear they have really really fast interntet, but I digress) by making universities stop allowing napster et al. server set ups you reduce the number of high speed connections to mucic.

    3) Single point of responsibility for many people. Let them deal with there students.

    Personal responsibility? The law doesn't punish individuals for their violations (yet....) So they're trying anything


  • I'm just so baffled by this whole Metallica thing. Can't they see that they are only making themselves look more and more like pricks?

    It's always disapoints me to see a good band become just another greedy money grabing machine. They should be greatful for what they've got and how big they've become. Most people and bands would give anything to have an audience as large as theirs and most wouldn't give a shit about the money.

    Fuck Metallica and everything they stand for...
  • by redhotchil ( 44670 ) on Monday September 11, 2000 @03:39AM (#789046) Homepage Journal
    On the topic of napster and schools: With a couple thousand students 1 opennapster server located within the school would suffice for the campus and allow students to transfer mp3 at the speed of the lan instead of wasting net bandwidth. It would please the students and the network admins!
  • You think Motorhead isn't "too commercial"? And since when has Black Flag been hardcore!

    I'm personally sick of the trendy "Metallica is not a real metal band" nonsense. They're always either "too commercial" or "not hardcore" or "a bunch of sellouts". What crap.

    You don't have to like Metallica, but don't use the copout excuse that it's because they're too wussy for you. Metallica is entertaining: their popularity is a direct result of this.
  • What people seem to realize is that most Napster use is stealing. You can't get away from that with any number of free speech claims. I'm glad that Metallica is taking a stand as a concerned artist in this matter. Unlike most major label bands, they own the rights to all of their songs, and are therefore more directly affected by the free-distribution that is possible under Napster. Under US copyright law, if you don't try to protect your copyright, chances are you can lose it.

    While I don't agree with Metallica on all counts (ie: Napster is not 100% evil and bad for artists, although it is mostly) I'm glad that they're taking the initiative as an artist to bring this issue into the light. With Lars on one side and Chuck D on the other, we can have a good, open debate about the future of music in the digital realm. Presumably Napster is only the beginning, so it's good that this is on the table now rather than later when it's too late to assure that artists still get paid, which I think we can agree is a Good Thing (tm).

    _pete
  • By this letter, we ask you to also promptly ban
    access by your community to any copy machine,
    for they are being used to copy milions of books


    i wonder, where will it stop ?
    And i like to nominite Metalica for the "being the biggest sellouts in the history of music" award !
  • At my small liberal-arts college, the administration has yet to take any stand against Napster. What the network people have done though is to limit the bandwith taken up by traffic on the Napster port. During the day, it's limited to 10% of our total bandwith. Since this step was implemented, I've noticed a dramatic increase in daytime transfer rates.

    It's hard to believe that so much traffic, nearly all of it illegal, has been going through our lines. Soon the recording industry might not be the only ones looking to squelch Napster use on campus. I can certainly see university administrations cutting back on Napster's bandwith rather than buying expensive new internet connections.
  • by b0z ( 191086 ) on Monday September 11, 2000 @03:39AM (#789062) Homepage Journal
    I wanted to flame them and say "These guys are just like J.P. from antionline now that they are threatening Harvard with no real legal backing." but I won't say that, even if it is true. :o)

    It does seem pretty dumb from a logical point of view, but it falls into the same category as many other lawsuits and such nowdays -- Sue whoever is easiest to get the most money from rather than suing the guilty party.

    Nevermind that it is the students at the schools, the majority who are over 18 and thus legally responsible for themselves as adults (In the U.S.) However, we all know this type of stupidity works in the courts. We have too many previous examples of these things already and I'm sure Metalligreed will win if Harvard doesn't bend over for a buttrock band of elderly hicks. After all, Lars' rights are more important than those of a college or the students that don't do anything wrong (both of them.) Nevermind that if there is a big settlement to Metallica, or if they win in a court case, that the schools will raise tuition and make everyone unable to afford school, and drop out, get a job at McDonalds, and listen to Metallica music while complaining about how much life sucks and how they can't make any money...but then again, maybe that's the idea.

    BoZ - who would be leaping for joy if a giant meteor was heading directly to destroy the Earth.

  • Actually, today there was an article in the student newspaper claiming that Metallica has gone after UVa as well now. Speaking of which, to gain internet access, you must take a short "responsible usage quiz," on which there is a question about whether or not you should use napster.
  • What you MEANT to say was: "If Napster is being used for fair use by even one person, anywhere on earth, even if that person is a hermit living in a cave with magical electrical and internet hookups who has no other contact with the outside world whatsoever, to the point where no one's even completely certain he really exists, you have a case."
    Since it is, he does. The legitimate use is NOT secondary, damn it all, even if it's less common.


    So in other words, no one should ever compromise anything, ever. There may be one guy who has a legitamate need for anthrax, so we should all be allowed to have it. One guy in a cave may really need a nuclear weapon to protect himself, so it's okay for everyone to have it. HEll, there may be one guy who really needs to drive but can't pass the drivers test, so it's okay if everyone drives without a license. Everything in life is a compromise. If something has little (bordering on no) legitimate use, then it shoudl be treated that way. That's why guns are treated differently than knives, knives have a myriad of legitamate uses, while guns have few. Just because one person can find a way to use something in a way that is justidied doesn't mean we should just throw up oru hands and say that it's obviously a great and useful tool. Why are lock-picking tools illegal (except for locksmiths)? Surely there is one guy who has a use, but overwhelmingly that is not the case. The same rational applies here.

  • There are a lot of real issues which we, as a society, are involved in at the moment thanks to the "information revolution" to use a Katzian phrase. Definitions of intellectual property may need changing, the concepts of copyright and patent law need adapting, and the issues of freedom on the net is something that we need to think about extremely seriously.

    And then there's Napster. Whilst there are many arguments used, both here on /. and in the current court case, to justify what they're doing these arguments are all sophistry designed to avoid the conclusion that Napster is designed to facilitate the piracy of copyrighted materials. We know it, Napster knows it, and the RIAA sure as hell know it. Why are we defending them when they do nothing but harm for other, more worthwhile causes?

    Napster has done almost irrepairable harm to the concept of online digital media. The RIAA and MPAA now feel that they have no choice but to defend their artist's rights in every way they can, and hopes for a meaningful solution that pleases everyone dwindles rapidly. And it has become rediculously easy to paint geeks as "pirates", "theives" and "hackers" devoted to bringing down the foundations of our capitalist economy. And by using Napster, you're proving them right.

    These colleges will fold and deny Napster to their students, and they'll be justified in doing so. Whatever else they are, these places aren't designed to be platforms for piracy, and the high-speed network connections they provide aren't meant for illegal uses. More to the point, they're a privilige rather than a right. And thanks to Napster, they're a privlige which could be withdrawn. The last thing these establishments need is legal trouble through no fault of their own.

    We really need to boycott Napster, it does nothing but harm our image and those causes worth fighting for. Otherwise, Napster will be the excuse used for organisations and government to implement repressive controls over the net the same way Columbine was used to implement repressive controls over firearms.

  • That's the solution! I'm beginning to feel that the only group of people that are actually benefitting from this lawsuit are the lawyers. I'm wondering who is pressuring who to sue and whether in fact the law firms own the RIAA by convincing them that these "warnings" are worth the time. I mean it seems that they think that this is the proper way to protect their rights by threatening others...is it really solving the overall problem though? They are just angering their fan base and cash flow while not coming close to stopping the flow of MP3's. Sure..they take down Napster, but what message does that send to the people? There are Gnuttella, Aimster, Gnapster, etc...with lots more being added to the list everyday that are getting a lot better and anonoymizing the transfers. Its not a matter of losing, but of trusting their fans.

  • by malkavian ( 9512 ) on Monday September 11, 2000 @03:44AM (#789093) Homepage
    "They ought to seriously address this issue of intellectual property. They certainly aren't allowing students to copy books in the university library."

    Ok.. So, what are all those photocopiers for?? I take it that these people went to Uni to study something.
    If they did, then, I'd hazard a guess they they did copy the books in the library for reference..
    I know I did, and so did everyone else on my degree.. And everyone else there!! How else were we to be able to study effectively??
    I think they've gone far enough with all this napster attacking. It won't do any more good, apart from to get Metallica's name in the press even more, and increase the disdain felt for them by people who have a reasonably sensible view of life.
    The courts are already dealing with this, so why try and pre-empt things with possible hints at legal proceedings in the future? They'll never block everything, and will only waste valuable resources trying to do so.
    The world will end up working as it will, despite the lawyers and the nit-picking legislation that's being waved around by the clueless.. So I wish they'd just lighten up and stop trying to stomp on anything and everything they can see...

    Reminds me of an old joke:
    Q: What do puppies and large corporations have in common?
    A: They feel the need to piss on everything just to try and prove it's theirs.


    Malk
  • by Haven ( 34895 )
    We all know the root of the problem is that damn IPv4 and TCP/IP.

    I say Metallica sue Universities that use IPv4 and TCP/IP.
  • by titus-g ( 38578 ) on Monday September 11, 2000 @03:45AM (#789096) Homepage
    TMBG have got it sussed, it's not Napster that's allowing this evil copyright violation, it's the networks.

    I've just cut all the network cables in my office anyway, can never be to safe, oh hang on, forgot the modem cab

    [Connection reset by peer]

  • Well, a quick search on Google [google.com] turned up about 953,000 such sites.

    I personally like Congress.org [congress.org]'s site, which lets you mail your Senators and Congressperson all at the same time.

  • Actually, I do know how messed up it is.

    Part of my relief is that they are leaving the dorms connected at all, instead of forcing the students to use only connections from the library when they feel like having the labs manned.

    At least erring on the side of doing almost nothing is better than the overreaction other schools have been doing.

    My motto for government is "don't just do something, stand there".

    Visit DC2600 [dc2600.com]
  • While on a recent vacation, I stopped in and spoke with some of my old network and computer lab bosses and they filled me in on the UT practice and plans for the future.

    Note, I have not seen the written policy, this is what several very knowledgable people told me that they do and are planning on doing.

    First, neither Napster, nor anything else, is blocked. Free speech is king, so no filtering is done by the school.

    They have had a problem with the dorms eating up so much of the total bandwidth, slowing down staff and administration along with the dorms themselves. So, the plan is to put the dorms on a seperate network and seperate gateway from the rest of the school. Quoting a friend "if the students want to gring their network to a hault trading music and videos, let them, it's fine with us."

    I am not sure if Metallica has heard of this yet, but if they decide to force censorship on that university (with 20,000+ students) they will probably have a fight on their hands.

    Visit DC2600 [dc2600.com]
  • by Hrunting ( 2191 ) on Monday September 11, 2000 @03:47AM (#789114) Homepage
    They certainly aren't allowing students to copy books in the university library.

    This just shows how in touch lawyers are with the real world. All students copy books in the university library. Professors do it, too. They copy to take pages back to their dorm rooms for studying purposes. They copy to write term papers (who says plagiarism's dead?!). Professors copy entire novellas for the express purpose of handing them out in class (students are notorious for not wanting to go to libraries, and libraries are notorious for never having the book).

    Fair use copying goes on every day, and to compare the Internet to a library where nothing gets copied is to completely misunderstand how college libraries are used.
  • I believe that you can easily recognize the irony of encouraging your students to matriculate in the creative arts

    At Harvard?

    while engaging in behavior which, if unchecked, will make it impossible for those students to earn an income from their future creative efforts.

    ...unless they come up with some kind of new, creative business model that was not only compatible with the new realities presented by the Internet, but made loads of money from them. And that certainly would not be in keeping with the ethos of the Ivy League. Status quo or death!

    "They ought to seriously address this issue of intellectual property. They certainly aren't allowing students to copy books in the university library."

    What the hell university did this guy go to? Half of my professors made me pick up my course book -- a collection of articles from other books and journals -- at Kinko's.

    -


  • Yes, universities can revoke degrees, but it generally requires fraud or dishonbesty on retaining the degree. Iowa State revoked a Ph.D. while I was there over plagiarism.

    OTOH, there is abuse of this power. MIT purported to revoke a degree a couple of years ago after a DUI related death . . .
  • Right below the traditional "This school is a drug-free zone" will be :
    "This school is a Metallica-free zone, prosecutors will be violated."
    ---
  • In many states, a degree from an ABA accreditted school is a requirement for membership. If the degree went away, the person would be unable to practice.

    Then again, the courts would probably refuse to recognize a purported revocation for the offense of suing the school . . .
  • I wish we had a government which could decide this issue, one way or the other, and make the decision stick.

    Careful what you wish for.

    -

  • I'm a student at Georgia Tech, supposedly one of the recipients of this letter, and I think I'll be sending in a letter of my own. Universities supposedly stand for unbarred access to information, and GaTech has done a good job of running an open residential network (www.resnet.gatech.edu) so far. Blocking Napster would set a very bad precedent, and this must be stopped.

    I don't even use Napster (or Scour, Gnutella, etc). A good chunk of my MP3s are from my own CDs, and the rest came from my friends' computers. I don't like Metallica (on the basis of their music), so I don't think I have more than one or two of their songs, and I think I even have a tape with those songs somewhere. They're never going to stop peer to peer trading unless they a) block all incoming ports to each IP, or b) hire packet nannies to inspect every transfer for copyrighted material. But even though a ban on Napster would be easy to work around, I would be deeply saddened if they were to cave in to legal pressure and enact it. If freedom of information(*) doesn't stand at universities, where will it stand?

    -John

    (* - I don't consider piracy to be a form of freedom of information - but restricting the right to run certain types of software that does have even a slim chance of being used with legal motives is a VERY bad thing)
  • Hear..Hear.

    They're in their Elvis-itis stage. Time to scrape the bowl clean while you can still use the bathroom unassisted.
    Little harsh, but that's my viewpoint now (I was a fan...WAS being the key operating verb).


  • We received an email today from the Executive VP advising that the use of Napster for copyrighted materials is illegal and in violation of university policy. It also advised that the University periodically monitors traffic patterns, and mentioned that Bad Things happen vor violating state & federal law asnd university policies. But they are *not* banning napster outright (after all, there are probably one or two staff or stuents that actually have used it for something legal :)

    Additionally, it showed us that our executive vp DOESN"T KNOW ANY BETTER THAN TO USE ALL CAPS IN HIS SUBJECT LINE TO GET ATTENTION. (which normally would have meant that it got filtered to my spame folder or /dev/null, but that seems to be missing from .maildelivery at the moment)
  • by brogdon ( 65526 ) on Monday September 11, 2000 @03:56AM (#789145) Homepage
    TMBG has been selling full albums in mp3 format for at least three years now, and they have a new mp3 album coming out real soon. They've always been at the forefront of the technological part of their industry. It's the record companies that want to hold back mp3 distribution so they can continue to bleed us on CDs. Leave They Might Be Giants alone!


    --Brogdon
  • Did you go to a Metallica concert this summer? I went to 2 of them, one with 50k plus people, and the other with 25k plus people. From what I saw, none of them are really giving a damn about the napster issue. And everyone I've talked to that was a fan before the napster issue has not up and decided to ditch Metallica. I don't think they're losing any fans, except from /. and many of them weren't fans to begin with.


    -- Bucket
  • You know, I have to agree with that guy from suck [suck.com] (in this [slashdot.org] article from Friday) about geeks bitching about the things constantly but actually doing very little about them.

    If only there was a web site where bithcing could be turned into legitimate public action... like, submit a complaint and someone mails it to a congressman for you ;)

  • I attend the Ohio State University and they made a decision to block napster for the sake of our network traffic and because it runs what is basically a server service which violated our AUP.

    Anyway, I found that since I was using Gnapster and connecting to opennap network servers i wasn't being affected. I found a little program called napagator and gave it to a few people around my dorm and within a few weeks basically everyone was on again. Basically, students want napster and will find a way to get it. I don't think that Metallica realizes just how useless what they're attempting is.

    Though I did enjoy the little bit in their letter to Harvard about how Napster would make it impossible to make money from their creative works...I would say that a recording contract basically does that, I'm not sure if Napster can take much more than a record company already does.

    Best wishes,

    Jon
  • by dirk ( 87083 ) <dirk@one.net> on Monday September 11, 2000 @04:17AM (#789155) Homepage
    Fair use copying goes on every day, and to compare the Internet to a library where nothing gets copied is to completely misunderstand how college libraries are used.


    You said the magic words..."fair use copying". People are copying a page or two, not whole books. If people started flocking to libraries and copying whole books (maybe they have free copy day or something that makes it economically feasible) do you think they would just let it happen? Do you think they would allow their resources to be used to copy hundreds of books a day? Not a chance, but because the resource is net access and it's music instead of books it's suddenly okay? If Napster was used for fair use by most people you would have a case. But I would guess that 90% of people use it download music so they don't have to pay for it. It's not stuff they have on CD already, it's stuff they don't have and want without paying for it. LAst time I checked, that's not covered under fair use.

  • For gos sake they werte on the frontpage of the onion a couple of weeks ago [onion.com]:

    They Might Be Giants Behind The Music Episode Lacks Sex, Drugs NEW YORK--The new They Might Be Giants episode of VH1's Behind The Music is devoid of sex and drugs, sources reported Monday. "Man, we haven't had that much trouble finding something juicy since the 'Weird Al' episode," VH1 senior vice-president Bill Flanagan said. "We can almost always hit paydirt with a band's groupies, but in They Might Be Giants' case, they're all 31-year-old computer programmers." The They Might Be Giants episode largely focused on keyboardist/accordionist John Linnell's harrowing early-'90s addiction to Tetris.


    The only problem of TMBG for me is that they remind me of a stupid ex-girlfriend. does anyone get the NFS joke? I don't. Oh yeah... get the full version of TMBG - Boss of me off of napster -- it rules!
  • About two years ago my university apparently unofficially ran an ftp site with about 10 gigs of mp3s on it.

    Sadly the powers that be decided it was wrong and it was closed down.

    Now as far as I know napster is now blocked from my university, although the action to do that blocks all access to www.napster.com by resolving it's dns to 0.0.0.0. However if you already have the napster client then u can still use it.

    I guess it's just an sensible sysadmin move to allow access to the smarter (more hackerlike) students and yes appease the people who write policy.
  • The point you raise is a compelling one, but you have given the exact response most colleges and universities will have. They will put technological limits on available bandwidth (or as one other post mentions, put dorms on a seperate network with a seperate gateway). Many colleges and universities, especially liberal arts institutes, like to taut the concept of 'marketplace of ideas' and forcibly preventing an avenue of expression weakens this claim.

    I do agree on putting limits, adding bottlenecks, just to protect areas of actual research and education from the fun and games of Napster (and other file sharing software).

    The other thing you'll have to keep in mind that if Napster is banned, then the students will go back to ftp and hunting for the brief MP3 websites that appear and disappear. IRC trading will increase and bandwidth will still be affected.

  • by iceT ( 68610 ) on Monday September 11, 2000 @04:07AM (#789167)
    We need some artist to sue a university for BLOCKING Napster. I mean, if an artist wants to distribute music via Napster (say because a record company won't pick them up), then they should be able to, right?

    Although, I bet I know what will happen, the band with the most money will win.

  • Is this the same DeCSS code that's been floating around all over the place? If so, has anyone actually tried to compile it? It doesn't. Syntactic errors in several places make me wonder where the *real* code is...
  • If they are really worried about it. On the dorm networks where I go to school, so much stuff is available from people setting shares on windows boxen: entire full length movies, more mp3's than I've ever seen, etc etc. Napster is all find and good, but you can find so much more on peoples shares.

    But whatever. None of this seems to have anything to do with common sense. Let them kill napster; people will always run OpenNap servers.
  • by Elvis Maximus ( 193433 ) on Monday September 11, 2000 @04:11AM (#789177) Homepage

    I wonder, have there been pro-Napster demonstrations on campuses? When I went to school, people would demonstrate over any damn thing. Certainly stuff much less important than this (er, like sacking the basketball coach?).

    Not that I think it would be a particularly intelligent thing to have a demonstration about, but some of the stuff people occupied buildings for at UMass/Amherst was a lot dumber.

    -

  • DMCA indemnifies service providers from liability for infringement. While Napster didn't fall into that category, clearly the major universities do. Indeed, a plaintiff suing in such a case is likely to risk sanctions under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 11.

    You can avoid the indemnity by giving notice of particular infringements, but it is unlikely that Metallica can satisfy these requirements without going after particular students -- something they have been desperate to avoid.
  • Don't say you would pay if you could. You won't.

    We can, and we have.

    www.fairtunes.com [fairtunes.com], $2500 (combined US & Canadian) and counting.

    www.paylars.com [paylars.com], $500 and counting.

  • by (void*) ( 113680 ) on Monday September 11, 2000 @05:27AM (#789189)
    Metallica and Dr. Dre would like to know your position and instructions with respect to access to Napster through your network.
    Why should these universities have any kind of position with respect to Napster? These musicians really need to have a larger view of Life, The Universe and Everything.

    How about this hypothetical position, Lars. You might not like it, but I think this is one that you would find to be very likely:

    The University provides network access to students for the purposes for academic research and learning. Insofar as the frivolous use of the network bandwidth does not exclude other students from academic activities, we will allow it. Insofar as these frivolous lawsuits does not impinge upon the academic freedom of the students, according to our judgement, not yours, we will play nice an pretend that you actually have a case against us. True, the university does not condone copyright violation. True, the university will suspend any student who violates the laws of the country. But your private grieviances have nothing to do with this university and the administration. Please take this up the individual students. To us, napster is just like any other software program - it deserves it's place, as long it by itself violates no law, and does not interfere with our activities. We take no position with regards to the legality of Napster. That is not for us, or you, but the courts to decide.
  • by ZoneGray ( 168419 ) on Monday September 11, 2000 @05:27AM (#789190) Homepage
    I don't know about the early 90's, but I knew John Linnell in the early 80's, and he OWNED Asteroids.
  • by kootch ( 81702 ) on Monday September 11, 2000 @05:32AM (#789194) Homepage
    "Noting that the 11 universities are among the best in the world, he added: "They ought to seriously address this issue of intellectual property. They certainly aren't allowing students to copy books in the university library."

    Yes, they do. I went to a small liberal art school that when a book was rare or very expensive, the professor would put a few copies of the book on reserve in the library. What this meant was that the student could check the book out for only 2 hrs at a time and it couldn't leave the library. What many students were encouraged to do was to make photocopies of the pages that they needed to read so that they could take the copies outside of the library, highlight and make notations, etc. (also considered fair use). They weren't reselling these photocopies, but were using the copies because of the restrictive properties of the original (out of print, extremely expensive, etc.)

    Doesn't this refute Mr. King's argument?

    Isn't paying $18 for a cd a restrictive property of the music industry?

    And please don't say that the mp3 version of a song is just as good as the original, we all know that's not true.
  • by AugstWest ( 79042 ) on Monday September 11, 2000 @04:37AM (#789199)
    Somehow I doubt that Metallica has better lawyers than Harvard. Call me crazy, but I think Harvard Law may have a decent lawyer or two up their sleeve.
  • Here's a recap on the Napster-related things that went down at the VMAs:

    For the record, Metallica wasn't there...only Lars.

    In the pre-game show (yes, I know it's not a game, but doesn't it sound more fun that way?), Lars was interviewed by one of the MTV boobs (seems like it was Chris Connely, but I could be wrong). Said interviewer asked him about the Napster case and Lars said that he was trying to not thing about it much tonight. The interviewer pressed him for some comment (he may as well have said, "Look, Lars. I'm going to lose my job if I don't get you to speak about this. After all, it is pretty much the only reason you're still a celeb, right?"), and Lars said something like, "Well...yeah, it's an issue. With the MP3.com ruling that just went down yesterday, we're felling mroe and more confident." That's not an exact quote, mind you.

    About half-way into the Big Show (that's MTV's creative team at work), MTV teen idol Carson Daly brought out Shawn Fanning (creator of Napster) to help him introduce Britney for her performace. Shawn came out sporting a Metallica t-shirt. MTV editors cut to Lars in the audience, who rolled his eyes, and then acted as if he was asleep while Shawn spoke. Inteligent display, Lars. Way to go. Carson then proceded to display his journalistic observation talents by commenting, "Nice shirt." Shawn, in a quip that was funny, but clearly planned, said something to the effect of "Oh, thanks. It's not mine...a friend is sharing it with me." Some laughs ensued, but I think most of the audience missed the joke. Shawn then followed-up: "I'm thinking of getting my own, though." Carson made some comment about how they should get on with the introduction, and Fanning replied that "the sooner I can get off this stage, the better." Whatever the hell that means. Following this, Britney got naked.

    A while later, there was a somewhat anti-napster skit in which Shawn Wayans acted (I'm using this term very liberally here)as if he was a Napster-using, college-student Metallica fan. Lars comes in, gives him the definiton of sharing (by picking up his coke, drinking it, and then informing him that he's "sharing 10 years of groupies with him"), starts slapping Napster-logo stickers on everthing in sight, and calling in his roadies to take all of the things he plans to "share." Final tag line: "Sharing: It's only fun when it's not your stuff." All in all, an entirely unfunny display (this, by the way, was common with anything that involved the night's hosts).

    Finally, Lars came on stage to introduce Blink 182 for their closing performance, and there were unquestionably boos to be heard form the audience. There was plenty of cheers as well, though. I wouldn't say that Lars was treated in any absolutly convincing manner that "shows public opinion." He made some (unfunny) joke about how Metallica wasn't available to perform, so they had to settle for Blink. Blink then brings on shitloads of midgets for it's rendention of "All the SMALL Things." Get it? See what they did there? "Small Things"...Midgets...Get it?

    Good Lord, why do I continue to watch this network?


    ----------
    Jeff Croft
    http://jeffcroft.com
    http://industrystandard.org
    http://newbeetle.org

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