Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Music Media Businesses The Almighty Buck

What The RIAA Gets Out Of File Sharing 555

ChrisPaget writes "Wired have a fascinating article about a company called BigChampagne which sells regional P2P download statistics to most of the major record labels. When the labels know what people are downloading, they know what to put on the radio, and sales in the area increase. The record industry's lawsuits against file- sharing companies hang on their assertion that the programs have no use other than to help infringe copyrights. If the labels acknowledge a legitimate use for P2P programs, it would undercut their case as well as their zero-tolerance stance."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

What The RIAA Gets Out Of File Sharing

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @11:48AM (#6921840)
    files.

    to share.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @01:05PM (#6922583)
      Here's the kicker. Of course there is the classic, "What if I take a cd and make a copy for a friend?" argument. Well, that doesn't necessarily apply to file sharing. Think of it this way. What if I take and spend my own money and gave out 10,000 copies to people standing on the street? Do you know what that is called? It's called MARKETING and it didn't even happen at the expense of the artist or the recording label.

      The RIAA should recognize file sharing as a medium for marketing. People who normally wouldn't listen to an album, may download it, like and then buy it. Even if that person doesn't buy it, chances are that they will tell someone about it and that person might buy it. It has a cascading effect.

      I think file sharing has more positives than negatives. Rather than combating it, the RIAA should see it as a way of life and take advantage of it. The RIAA should use file sharing's own strengths for it's own advantages.
      • by CrudPuppy ( 33870 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @01:52PM (#6922979) Homepage
        without advocating piracy, I'd like to point out a few facts about downloading music: (these points do NOT apply to assholes that sell pirated music in bulk)

        -not unlike the whole "if a tree falls in the middle of the forest, does it make a sound?" argument, it is impossible to *harm* an artist or label by downloading and listening to a song you would never consider buying in the first place. however, you are most definitely harming the artist/label by downloading the new album put out by your favorite band that you would buy if it were not for your ability to download said album.

        -The labels, while carrying on about harm to artists, demostrate very little care towards the artists. if the label cared more, they would certainly be paying artists a more appropriate royalty per cd. from everything I know, *normal* artists make anywhere from $0.01 to $0.10 per cd. this obviously doesnt apply to self-published artists and superstar artists who have long since passed their first contract.

        -The artists have historically been unable to fill an entire album with decent material. There isnt a single person out there that hasnt bought a cd after hearing a song or two and found the rest to be crap. this really lends itself to people wanting to hear more than the current radio single before forking out $20 for a cd.

        -there are people who dont feel obligated to pay for another copy of a cd that was stolen from them, or for that cassette they purchased 10 years ago. if you paid the price for an album once, why in the world should you pay it again? we know it's not media costs!!

        just things to think about...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @11:50AM (#6921868)
    Everyone... go download some Right Said Fred and Spice Girls. Let's see if we can get them back on the radio! I'm Too Sexy for Girl Power!
    • by wanderers_id ( 682230 ) * on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @11:59AM (#6922013)
      Let's not and say we did. The spice girls were painfull enough the first time around. I don't want to go through all THAT again.

      Crap, now I got their crappy song in my head. THANKS A LOT Coward!

      Why not everyone download music from that one band.... what was there name.... * wasn't it? I have lots of MP3s that meet that criteria. (*.mp3)
    • by fussman ( 607784 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:07PM (#6922135) Journal
      I'm thinking of writing up a VB worm that'll make everybody download Green Day songs, just so they're on the radio more.
    • by DickBreath ( 207180 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:42PM (#6922416) Homepage
      Everyone... go download some Right Said Fred and Spice Girls. Let's see if we can get them back on the radio!

      I did RTFA. (Read the Friendly article.)

      Unless I misunderstood something, the picture I got was that they were relly looking at what people were searching for, not what people were downloading.

      There was a description of a green screen of text scrolling by in a blur. BigWig asked if they could freeze the display. Tech drone froze the display. You could see searches, from certian IP addresses, for various phrases. Article remarked that a lot of people were also searching for pr0n.

      I think all you would need is a bot to send reasonably frequent search requests for, say, Goatse, in order to get this onto the radio. In fact, by manipulating the network, such as gnutella or fasttrack, you could possibly arrange it such that your search requests mostly only ended up going to BigChampagne so as not to hog bandwidth of other filesharers.

      Taken to its logical conclusion, a network of friendly bots, with a web driven front end would allow anyone in a certian zip code to request what they want on the radio.

      Something with a very similar effect could be implemented with low tech. A radio station could have a telephone line to accept requests manually, and then such forward looking free thinking radio stations could actually play what people are asking for.

      I don't know. Maybe such a far-out idea is just going way too far. After all, the article did say that their mantra was "We don't need no research, just play the f***ing song.", and they must know better than we what we want.
      • by BrynM ( 217883 ) * on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:56PM (#6922499) Homepage Journal
        Goatse, in order to get this onto the radio
        It's bad neough that I've seen it. I don't want to hear what that thing sounds like.
      • you know (Score:4, Interesting)

        by _avs_007 ( 459738 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @01:12PM (#6922645)
        Something with a very similar effect could be implemented with low tech. A radio station could have a telephone line to accept requests manually, and then such forward looking free thinking radio stations could actually play what people are asking for.


        Over here, the morning show on the radio is always logged into Yahoo IM, MSN IM, and AOL IM. They actually accept requests this way as well. Though I'm never in front of a computer when listening to the morning show, but they always talk about it...
        • Re:you know (Score:5, Insightful)

          by dillon_rinker ( 17944 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @02:09PM (#6923160) Homepage
          They say they use IMs to sound cool. They actually just say that someone requested a song when that song was what they were going to play anyway.

          Why do they do this? Because they are owned by Clear Channel. The people you hear were recorded yesterday between 8 and 5 somewhere in New Hampshire. Or maybe Kentucky. They are voice actors who have probably never been to your broadcast area. And the people who call in? Same thing.

          Get a grip people - radio is produced and managed as pre-recorded entertainment.
          • Re:you know (Score:3, Informative)

            by _avs_007 ( 459738 )
            This paticular radio station isn't owned by ClearChannel. It's probably one of the few over here (Portland) that isn't. I have called them up before and been placed on the air, and they do local publicity stunts all the time, like free gas and such.

            And I know they really have IM, because they advertise their handles all the time.

            I do understand that a lot of radio is pre-recorded entertainment, but that is why I switched stations... The radio station I listen to now, constantly rips on the other channels
    • Errm, don't know why I admit knowing this but... there is a song called 'Girl Power' by 'Shampoo'.

      I think you can add that to your list, although I wouldn't want to listen too much of their stuff (can't really call them songs) unless you're into using the music to torture other people (i.e. 'Sesame Street' and a certain detention centre in Cuba)...

      ..."Uh Oh, we're in trouble. Somethings come along and its burst our..." Arghhhhhhhhh!

  • Right... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by raehl ( 609729 ) *
    And using data about which cars are stolen most often to help redesign auto security makes auto theft ok too.
    • Re:Right... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by lavorgeous ( 191087 )
      This would be more akin to using data about which cars are stolen most as marketing data about which cars are most desirable.
      • Re:Right... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by aflat362 ( 601039 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:05PM (#6922110) Homepage
        This would be more akin to using data about which cars are stolen most as marketing data about which cars are most desirable.

        Or an even better analogy would be about which cars are copied in peer to peer sharing networks and then marketing data to the radio stations so they know what cars people want to hear.

        • Re:Right... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by akadruid ( 606405 ) * <slashdotNO@SPAMthedruid.co.uk> on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:23PM (#6922324) Homepage
          B-e-a-u-tiful!
          Someone who understands about analogies.
          One day, in a imaginary utopian world, less than 50% of replies will start "Ah, but that analogy is not exactly microscopically the same thing!!!".

          Hmm. No. Dumbass. That's why it's an _analogy_. That's why I said "That's like..." not "That's exactly the same as..."

          Anyway, pardon my rant. I'll wander back vaguely in the direction of the topic for my next post.
          • Re:Right... (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Politburo ( 640618 )
            While analogies are not supposed to be exactly the same (if they were the same, what's the point), a majority of analogies used are incorrect. The problem is not analogies, or the authors. The problem is that we are always trying to break things down to something easier, or something we are familiar with. So we say, "Look at it this way, say I took your car and..." The thing is, we act differently in different situations, and we feel differently in different situations. Attempting to reduce everything down
    • Re:Right... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by akadruid ( 606405 ) * <slashdotNO@SPAMthedruid.co.uk> on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @11:57AM (#6921973) Homepage
      This is a legitimate use for the network (maybe).

      That doesn't make illegal uses (Copyright Infringement) legal, but it helps the case that the network itself has legal uses.

      The RIAA would like to see the network removed, therefore may be shooting itself in the foot. This does not affect the moral, ethecial or legal status of Copyright Infringement.

      For example, CDs are legal. if the RIAA attempted to outlaw them, then got caught using them, there would red faces.

      ok?
      • Re:Right... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Wylfing ( 144940 ) <brian@nospaM.wylfing.net> on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @02:45PM (#6923479) Homepage Journal
        [A non-infringing use] does not affect the moral, ethecial or legal status of Copyright Infringement.

        Actually, it does. There is a great deal of confusion on /. about the difference between a crime an a civil offense, so perhaps you can be forgiven. /me gets up on soapbox

        Copyright "infringement" is what we might call an actionable offense. It falls into the same class of issues as contract violations. Breaking a contract is not "against the law" -- the police aren't going to arrest you. The law says that if you copy something without the author's permission then the author can choose whether or not he/she has been maligned, and if so he/she may try to seek damages from you by bringing the matter in front of a judge who also has to agree that damage has taken place. And even if they both agree and the judge makes you pay, you still haven't "broken the law." (Now if you refuse to pay like the judge asked, THEN you will have broken the law.)

        Copyright infringement is neither immoral, nor unethical, nor illegal. It's merely actionable. The very excellent reason for this is that it cannot be determined whether you damaged a copyright holder by copying his/her work except by examining each case as it comes along. As we see in this case, unauthorized copying does not necessarily damage the copyright holder. No harm, no foul as we used to say.

    • Re:Right... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FatalTourist ( 633757 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:01PM (#6922032) Homepage
      The RIAA has the same problem as you. They think of downloading songs as the equivalent of stealing cars. Apples and oranges. File sharing can be made to work for the record industry. There is no way to make auto theft profitable for the auto industry. If the record industry is willing to make some heavy changes to their business model they will survive.
      • Re:Right... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by baboin ( 69381 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:20PM (#6922302)
        Auto theft is already profitable for the auto industry. A car is stolen (and presumably chopped up for its parts) means the owner gets a fat cheque from his insurance to get - a NEW car from the auto maker. Why else are cars so easy to steal out from the factory with only a slim jim and perhaps a screwdriver? There is no business case for making cars harder to steal for the auto industry.
        • Re:Right... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by cens0r ( 655208 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:55PM (#6922496) Homepage
          Except that the car chopped for it's parts hurts the automaker. You see that stolen toyota camry means that there is one less engine, transmission, head lamp assembly, hood, windshield, etc. that toyota can sell. Car companies make obscene amounts of profit selling parts to cars. Some time just for grin find the cost of buying parts for your car, and start adding them up. You'll quickly come up to a sum much greater than what you paid for the car.
          • Re:Right... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by arnie_apesacrappin ( 200185 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @01:15PM (#6922676)
            Except that the car chopped for it's parts hurts the automaker.

            You have a very good point. During the late 90s in Atlanta, GA there was a huge spree of air bags being stolen from Honda Civics. Turns out the dealer cost for the replacement was in the neighborhood of $500, so many "independant" shops were paying thieves $100 for a stolen one.

            From one report that I read a qualified thief could smash a window and take the airbag in something insane like 20 seconds.

        • by justMichael ( 606509 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @01:17PM (#6922695) Homepage
          If I am looking at a new car and I take into consideration the amount I am going to be paying in insurance when making my decision, I may choose a car based on insurance rates.

          Since part of the rate determination is based on where said car ranks on the most stolen list, I could buy a $30k BMW (not in the top 100) instead of a $22k Toyota Camry (ranked #1 for 2002) and end up spending the same amount monthly.

          In which case I am going to opt for the BMW.

          YMMV. No I haven't done an extensive study on this ;-)
          • The "Most Stolen" statistics you see in the paper are almost always in terms of total number stolen rather than percentage stolen. Which means, of course, that the most common cars will almost always top the list of most stolen cars. Unless they REALLY suck, or are REALLY secure.

            I looked and looked and looked, and couldn't find anything on the web using numbers that weren't from the same yearly NICB study that deals with total numbers.

            If you're bored, you could take the NICB study and dig up the sales s
        • Re:Right... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by driverEight ( 598719 )
          There is no business case for making cars harder to steal for the auto industry.

          Other than customer demand for cars which won't be stolen...

      • Re:Right... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by God! Awful 2 ( 631283 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:43PM (#6922422) Journal

        The RIAA has the same problem as you. They think of downloading songs as the equivalent of stealing cars. Apples and oranges. File sharing can be made to work for the record industry. There is no way to make auto theft profitable for the auto industry. If the record industry is willing to make some heavy changes to their business model they will survive.

        Well let me then suggest that you have the same problem as a lot of /. readers, which is Boolean thinking. So what if they could survive if they make heavy changes to their business model. Do you think bare survival is all they care about?

        You say that file sharing can be made to work for the record industry. Fine. That's your opinion (and a pretty common opinion around here). But keep in mind that 5 years ago there were a lot of business cases that were pretty commonly espoused on /. that all turned to shit. Why should the RIAA listen to you.

        In the last couple of years, there is a quote that I see in a lot of people's sigs: "It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees." It seems to me that it's like that with companies too. The RIAA may know they are in trouble, but they are not prepared to merely roll over and accept the fact of piracy. They would rather go down fighting. And you know, I kind of admire them for that.

        -a
        • Re:Right... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Piquan ( 49943 )

          The RIAA may know they are in trouble, but they are not prepared to merely roll over and accept the fact of piracy.

          We don't want them to accept piracy. We want them to face facts of market demands.

          The market demands convenience and instant gratification. This is America, for Pete's sake! People want to be able to think, "Hey, I want to hear a new song!" and a few clicks later, it's playing. The RIAA is so stuck on their old business model that they won't face up to the new reality of the market. And

        • by alizard ( 107678 ) <alizard AT ecis DOT com> on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @06:16PM (#6925690) Homepage
          The RIAA has the same problem as you. They think of downloading songs as the equivalent of stealing cars. Apples and oranges. File sharing can be made to work for the record industry. There is no way to make auto theft profitable for the auto industry. If the record industry is willing to make some heavy changes to their business model they will survive.

          Well let me then suggest that you have the same problem as a lot of /. readers, which is Boolean thinking.

          From the content of your post, I believe you have trouble with the concept of thinking, Boolean or otherwise.

          So what if they could survive if they make heavy changes to their business model. Do you think bare survival is all they care about?

          To make a business run, you market where the customers are and sell products the customer wants, including packaging in whatever form the customers want. An increasing number of people are getting their new music off the Internet the record companies can't control instead of FM radio that the record companies do control. The RIAA response is to try to make it impossible to use the Internet to distribute content by attacking the companies that promote new technology and individual users using their 0wn3d politicians. If the RIAA labels insist on losing money by not adapting to the present, why should taxpayer money go into shoring up their old business model? If the buggy whip manufacturers had organized RIAA-style lobbying in the 1900s, would there be an auto industry today?

          You don't have to go to the Stanford School of Business to know that if you have a business and you want it to do better than survive, you change with the times and adapt to what your markets are doing. An industry that refuses to do this doesn't deserve to survive

          You say that file sharing can be made to work for the record industry. Fine. That's your opinion (and a pretty common opinion around here).

          The most prominent example I know of with respect to file sharing working for the record industry is the prerelease via P2P of Eminem's latest record a month before the official release date. It went straight to #1 as soon as it hit the stores. While other artists are doing quite well with P2P promotion, they generally are not part of the record industry.

          However, I can't think of any good reason to care about the record industry. I care about good music. I care about the people who make it. I don't care about a bunch of suits whose contribution to music is parasitic and who subsidize an organization that attacks new technology and its users. If you support the enemies of new technology, what the hell are you doing here?.

          But keep in mind that 5 years ago there were a lot of business cases that were pretty commonly espoused on /. that all turned to shit.

          Perhaps you can get IBM to listen to your case as to why Open Source is a failure. Other than that, the worst business models of the 90s by and large were NOT promoted here. Is there anyone on slashdot who did anything but laugh about the $300M put into boo.com , a high-end cosmetics retail sales site? How about the $50M put into Dr. Koop's medical portal? Slashdot =! the vulture capital community. By and large, the dot.com failures can be traced to VCs buying into their own hype. I'm a bit surprised that anyone can confuse the two, but I guess an RIAA apologist is going to have funny ideas about how high tech works.

          Why should the RIAA listen to you.

          What makes you think I want them to? I believe that the artists and the public are best served if every major label goes from deep shit where they are now into bankruptcy and their assets are sold at fire sale prices to investors who have new business models in mind that don't depend on platinum records to support them and can profit from artists selling 10K albums a year.

          In the last couple of years, there is a quote that I see in a lot of people's sigs:

    • by SirSlud ( 67381 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:12PM (#6922211) Homepage
      The RIAA is USING p2p networks to determine which files are popular. USING.

      A more appropriate anology would be for General Motors to hire some criminals to hang out with other criminals to figure out which cars are the best and use that aquired data as a marketing tool. ("We spent 3 days with Jimmy Fingers, and man do those dudes love stealing our cars!")

      Doing that would be, in part, sanctioning theft by associating with those that commit it.

      Thats effectively what the RIAA is doing, if we are to believe their argument that file sharing is theft and not copyright infringment. They're HIRING somebody to use and observe a community and activity they deem is highly criminal.

      Then again, the RIAA has acted as if they have been above the law for awhile tho, so this shouldn't really be a surprising development in the whole file sharing issue.
      • There is a very basic flaw in this car theft = file trading. I don't see MILLIONS of car theives sitting around trading cars with out each other. I don't see these, generally lower income, car theives being potential cusotmers. I also don't see these car theives showing what the actual public demand for any particular automobile.

        I'm betting that filer-sharers are mirroring the ACTUAL demand, since the ratio between honest and dishonest is smaller, or nonexistant. Maybe if cars were easier to steal ther
        • Its a group (the RIAA) calling file trading immoral and criminal, and then paying somebody to use file trading in order to beef up their marketing data.

          Whether its cars/tv shows/etc .. the point is, they are associating with the very people they identify as criminals and aquiring self-professed marketing data. Its hypocricy. That's all. Analogies are flawed but useful. They become less useful the more literally people insist on taking them. If somebody can't pick out what parts of analogies a person is rel
    • Re:Right... (Score:3, Insightful)

      Except they aren't using the data to "solve their problem," they're using the data to increase their profit. If they were using the data to increase their security, that would be defensible.

      Cars, in this case, are a poor analogy because they represent a physical item, not intellectual property. A car can have only one 'legal' owner at a time.
    • Re:Right... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Publicus ( 415536 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:18PM (#6922277) Homepage

      I don't know why people always try to liken music sharing to property theft. It's just not the same thing. When you download a song, you're making a COPY. That's different from taking the property of another person. In the case of theft, the victim sacrifices the thing that you took.

      The one argument that you could make is that the label loses the opportunity to sell you a CD when you download their music, but that isn't true either. I would say half of my music downloads (and I don't download very much) lead to CD purchases.

    • Re:Right... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Frymaster ( 171343 )
      of course they're doing this!

      currently:

      • album sales are driven by radio play.
      • radio playlists are determined by album sales
      obviously this doesn't leave very much room for direct consumer input. if p2p offers the big-5 some direct data about what people want, they'll be happy for it!
  • by XshadowstarX ( 655137 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @11:51AM (#6921880) Homepage
    The RIAA is making the single mother of a 12 year old pay thousands to settle. Does anyone really think that they are just going to allow their plot to be undercut? Clearchannel and the RIAA run a tight squeeze on music and it won't change without some serious consumer action and hopefully federal litigation.
  • Legitamate (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mopslik ( 688435 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @11:52AM (#6921891)

    If the labels acknowledge a legitimate use for P2P programs, it would undercut their case as well as their zero-tolerance stance.

    I'm sure the RIAA will simply put a new spin on it, in a "we're not monitoring demand, we're monitoring privacy" kind of way. A legit use, but one that doesn't support file-sharing.

    • Re:Legitamate (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cloak42 ( 620230 )
      Yes, but even if they are monitoring "piracy" as they would inevitably claim, they are profiting from that. So, in a sense, they are profiting from piracy, which they have always denied in the first place. Because they can use the statistics of piracy to help sell more albums (which, ironically, goes against what they say about how piracy prevents sales in the first place--what was that? You sell more albums when you put the more popular stuff on sale? Look at that!), they'll have a difficult time tryin
  • Not true... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BlabberMouth ( 672282 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @11:52AM (#6921893)
    having a legitimate use doesn't really have any legal effect. File sharing programs already have many possible legitimate uses. They have already quit trying to outlaw the file sharing software. Guns have legitimate uses, however if I use it to kill somebody that doesn't limit my culpability.
    • Re:Not true... (Score:4, Informative)

      by grendel's mom ( 550034 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:11PM (#6922187)
      Wrong.

      From another [wired.com] Wired article:

      Hatch, well-known as an outspoken critic of peer-to-peer trading of copyright music, warned that if file-swapping networks do not rein in illicit porn trafficking, lawmakers "might have to do something detrimental."

      and

      Lawmakers said they intend to use information gleaned from the hearing to help gauge the need for new regulations to restrict file-trading activities or to increase liability of network operators to help eradicate downloading of illegal porn.

  • What they lose (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mrtroy ( 640746 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @11:53AM (#6921898)
    Seriously now, they lose a lot too.

    Sure, Joe Shmoe (haha it was funny on spike tv...but the guy looks handicapped so you feel guilty for laughing at him) anyways Joe Blow downloads some obscure song and buys the album...and it increases sales

    But 100 other people download albums and burn them instead of buying the CD. It is quicker for me to download and burn an album then to go to the store...and cheaper...so there isnt even much of a reason NOT to (aside from morals...but we all lost those a long time ago).

    Lucky I am Canadian...and pay that fee with my blank cds thats lets me more legally do that.

    The recording industry is losing a TON, just based on common sense and my personal practices, as well as those I know. "Dont buy that cd! I have it! I will burn you a copy in 30 seconds!"

    So, lets still feel a bit guilty, like laughing at the handicapped looking Joe Schmoe...but not guilty enough to stop doing it.
    • Re:What they lose (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) <atd7@@@cornell...edu> on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:02PM (#6922045) Homepage
      "
      But 100 other people download albums and burn them instead of buying the CD. It is quicker for me to download and burn an album then to go to the store...and cheaper...so there isnt even much of a reason NOT to (aside from morals...but we all lost those a long time ago). "

      Which is why the RIAA is stupid for not looking at the success of the iTunes Music Store.

      Every attempt the RIAA has made at legitimate music downloading has proven to be LESS convenient for the user than the hassle of driving to a store and buying an overpriced CD with 10 crap filler tracks and one good song.

      Apple got it right. All the convenience, none of the guilt.

      Now if only us PC users could use it. (I know, I know, coming soon to a PC near you, but why the hell didn't Apple just make it web-based to begin with?)
      • Re:What they lose (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Jucius Maximus ( 229128 ) <m4encxb2sw@@@snkmail...com> on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @01:20PM (#6922718) Journal
        "Now if only us PC users could use it. [the iTunes music store] (I know, I know, coming soon to a PC near you, but why the hell didn't Apple just make it web-based to begin with?)"

        Apple cares a lot about user experience. If they made it web based, you know that someone out there will try to access it using netscape 4 and complain about javascript problems or whatever. You'd get all these applications hijacking the browser helper associations and all that. And people would never know where they downloaded their files.

        Using iTunes to access the iTMS gives a very consistent way of finding, searching for, downloading and playing the music. It avoids all browser problems, user-incompetence-in-file-management problems, etc. This is one of the reasons why Apple 'got it right.'

        And sadly, even though I do have a mac, I can't buy anything at the iTMS because I don't have a billing address in the USA. I hope they expand it to Canada. And soon.

    • My personal belief on this is that when I was a college student (the vast bulk of my music downloading), I was too poor to buy CD's anyway. It didn't stop me from buying CD's, because I wasn't going to in the first place, it just helped me learn more about music. Now that I have money, I would gladly pay a reasonable price to support the artists I like, but the RIAA had to be jerks about it and come out to prosecute people who're in the same boat I was. Or even worse boat for that matter, freakin' 12 year
  • by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @11:53AM (#6921899) Homepage Journal

    1- The RIAA can tell what is popular via a digital pulse on the wrist of P2P users.
    2- The RIAA pushes stations to play songs that are popular downloads.
    3- The RIAA members get listeners in cars and offices.
    4- The RIAA members sell more discs.
    5- The RIAA sues 12 year olds and tries to slash the wrist mentioned in 1 above.

    No wonder there's no:
    6- PROFIT!
  • By what logic? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by stratjakt ( 596332 )
    If the labels acknowledge a legitimate use for P2P programs, it would undercut their case as well as their zero-tolerance stance

    Right, and insurance companies get info on which vehicles are most popular, based on the ones that are stolen more frequently. They can adjust insurance rates accordingly.

    Therefore it undercuts their case when an insurance company goes after a thief or vandal to recoup damages they've paid out.

    Quit trying to justify widespread copyright infringement. Stations get the same inf
    • Re:By what logic? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MImeKillEr ( 445828 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:09PM (#6922158) Homepage Journal
      You're missing the point. Your analogy doesn't really fit.

      In your scenario, the insurance companies would be going to the car thieves themselves to get information on which cars are most likely to be stolen and then increasing the number of billboards or commercials for said vehicles, in an attempt to get car thieves to go legit.

      What the RIAA is doing is scraping the lists to see whose stuff is getting "pirated" the most so they can increase marketing and airplay for that "artist" - thus making the case that there is actually a legitimate use for P2P -- something they've been campaigning against all along. So, if there's a legit use for it, this lessens the chance of P2P being outlawed completely [slashdot.org].

    • You missed the point. You are confusing the data with the method of aquiring the data. The RIAA has said that there is "no use" for p2p networks except copyright infringment (and porn). If they are using the networks to obtain marketing data, it's knid of hard for them to continue with this argument (which is kind of irrevelant anyways).

      Not that anyone really cares if they are using p2p networks. As far as I'm concerned, maybe it will help them weed out the no-talent-ass-clowns that are making all of the

  • This is news? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tarnin ( 639523 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @11:54AM (#6921920)
    We kinda already knew this. Many people go out and buy music based about what they download from p2p networks. I myself have done that.

    Again though, this isnt in the main stream media so it will make little impact against this constant onslaught of press the RIAA is getting. We need more stories like this to come up on 60mins and the local news to debunk the crap that the RIAA is spewing forth.

    I have written to my local news stations around my area about the other sides to many of the RIAA and DMCA related stories and havent even gotten back a form letter reply. I have done this via e-mail and snail mail. Looks like they really don't care to be objective (I know, I know, Thank you Captain Obvious!).
    • Re:This is news? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by EddyMerckx ( 705618 ) <slashdot@lacti[ ]id.org ['cac' in gap]> on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @01:09PM (#6922624) Homepage
      I wonder if the worry of the RIAA over file sharing is its effect on the purchasing habits of the current generation of teenagers. I may download a couple of songs off an ablum to see wether an alblum is worth buying and I know I have increased the number of alblums I have bought in the past year.

      However, my younger brother and sister have had napster, kazaa, etc available since before they ever started buying CDs. So the don't buy anything as they were never used to buying CDs.

      It would be interesting to see any sort of statistics on the number of CDs bought by people 12-17 or 18-24 before widespread file sharing and after. It would easily show if file sharing is helping or harming the industry.
  • by Meat Blaster ( 578650 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @11:55AM (#6921926)
    I used to visit isonews (before it was shut down, of course) because a lot of their forum users would download and play warezed games and knew what was worth spending your time on and what wasn't. It didn't mean that I supported piracy, but it did mean that I was able to take advantage of a resource created by people who did in order to choose what to spend my money on and which games to skip entirely.

    My guess is that they'd be fine with losing this resource if it meant people would stop downloading music that didn't belong to them, but as long as the latter keeps occurring they might as well take advantage of the statistics they can generate from it. Lemons, lemonade.

  • Other benefits.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kneecarrot ( 646291 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @11:55AM (#6921940)
    There are certainly other benefits for the music industry from P2P sharing. For the artists, especially those who aren't part of the small handful of superstars who get massive marketing, it allows their music to be heard. Typically only a few songs by smaller artists are available via P2P, so if there if a downloader who likes the music, they must purchase a CD if they want to hear more. This theory is based only on my own experiences for a dozen or so smaller artists whom I "discovered" through Kazaa and then bought CDs for.
  • In other news... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @11:57AM (#6921966)
    Lawsuit Filed Against RIAA Amnesty Program [techdirt.com]

    Contributed by Mike [techdirt.com] on Wednesday, September 10th, 2003 @ 03:00AM
    from the coming-from-all-angles dept.
    Even more backlash against the RIAA. I'm really surprised that this hasn't gotten more attention. The story is being squeezed in on some copies of the AP report about the RIAA's settlement with the 12-year-old "threat to the future of the music industry", but a California lawyer has apparently filed a lawsuit against the RIAA [techdirt.com] (warning: PDF file) for their "amnesty program", claiming that it is "unlawful, unfair and deceptive". The lawyer points out that the RIAA does not provide any actual amnesty in their offer. If the offer really is deceptive, then it seems like the sort of thing the government should step in and point out - but it is nice to at least see a lawsuit bringing more attention to the ridiculousness of the amnesty offer. Found via JD Lasica [jdlasica.com].
  • The RIAA is launching these lawsuits, not the RIAA. This is like saying that Microsoft wants to know which of its programs are most frequently pirated, therefore it is hypocritical of the BSA to try and stop software piracy. Not quite.

    Also, this could turn out to be somewhat of a "self-fulfilling prophesy." People tend to search out and download the latest tunes they hear on the radio, so the radio plays more of those tunes, so more people share and download them, so the radio plays ....
  • New business model (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cybermace5 ( 446439 ) <g.ryan@macetech.com> on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:01PM (#6922038) Homepage Journal
    Just let people download all the music they want.

    Then, market CDs as gifts...nothing says "I love you" like a new original CD, instead of a home-burned one with a Sharpie-scrawl label. They could even go for the Hallmark market share, or perhaps go into Valentine's candy boxes with a CD inside, surrounded by chocolate. Employees can be rewarded not with a simple "You're #1!" keyring, but a "You're #1!" keyring which is also a mini-CD single with their favorite song!

    "Say it with a CD," that's the ticket. Just watch out for proper etiquette: an "I'm sorry honey" CD-bouquet should not include the song "Oops! I Did It Again."
  • My Defense (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dolo666 ( 195584 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:02PM (#6922046) Journal
    A) I am getting this document and all the comments here and putting it aside as my defense if I'm ever accused of P2P downloading of copyright material.

    B) Let's just face it, it's the new radio.

    C) I'll countersue for obstruction of justice.
  • It Figures. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonym1ty ( 534715 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:02PM (#6922053) Homepage Journal

    The RIAA is getting it both ways. They can use P2P as their own little advertizing mechanism and for demographic research aswell. Plus they can use it as a way to rake in money from the lawsuits that follow.

    Have they sued any Time-Warner Customers yet?

  • by mydigitalself ( 472203 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:04PM (#6922081)
    i can see how they can get indexes of what is being shared by who, but how (do you think) they are able to monitor the queries. i was thinking one of two:

    a) sniffing traffic
    b) they have deals with kazaa (etc) master servers and get their logs

    any other ideas - or facts?
  • Radio format change (Score:3, Interesting)

    by powerbarr ( 466387 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:05PM (#6922095) Homepage
    What I find interesting is the list of top file swaps. Seems more hip-hop than pop are being swapped (although there is now some overlap). Does this mean that Radio stations should look to change their formats (words in a lot of the songs might prevent that). How many pop stations are in your area vs. true hip hop unless you live in New York or L.A. The top ten list was:

    50 Cent P.I.M.P.
    Chingy Right Thurr
    Black Eyed Peas Where Is The Love
    The Ataris Boys Of Summer
    Lil' Bow Wow Let's Get Down
    Lumidee Never Leave You
    Beyonce Knowles Crazy In Love
    Christina Aguilera Can't Hold Us Down
    Smile Empty Soul Bottom Of A Bottle
    Lil' Kim Magic Stick
  • by Aliencow ( 653119 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:06PM (#6922119) Homepage Journal
    I always thought that if a band didn't want to have their crap "shared", they should have a level of obscurity in their name and in the titles of their songs.
    My band would be called "Jenna", my first album would be called "Jameson", and the songs would go like...

    01 - Jenna - Jameson - Blowjob
    02 - Jenna - Jameson - Cumshot
    03 - Jenna - Jameson - Threesome
    04 - Jenna - Jameson - Orgy
    05 - Jenna - Jameson - Lesbian

    Try to find these on kazaa !
  • by sbma44 ( 694130 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:07PM (#6922141)
    a federal judge already has [com.com]

    it seems irrelevant if the labels cull trending data from P2P use. I think you would have a very hard time using against them in any way.

  • Doesn't undercut (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amcguinn ( 549297 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:08PM (#6922145) Journal

    The record labels' "case" is that copying their products is against the law. The possiblity that they might extract some incidental compensation from it doesn't undercut their case in the least.

    Similarly, if everyone who downloaded a song voluntarily sent 2 cents to the record company, that wouldn't make any difference either.

    The record companies are a nasty lot. They illegally fix prices. They corrupt lawmakers. They try to ban useful technologies just because those technologies can be used in ways that are illegal and harmful to their business. They have gained legal powers of search which are an invasion of privacy and ought to be repealed.

    But they've called their opponents' bluff and gone after illegal file-sharers, and I've noticed that on slashdot at least, I'm seeing a really poor hand. People don't care about defending freedom or privacy, they just want to copy albums.

    It's not the selfishness I object to, it's the stupidity. Even if you do only care about copying albums, can't you see that you'd look better if you pretended to be like me and care about freedom?

  • by telstar ( 236404 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:08PM (#6922149)
    How'd they tie the usage to a 12-year-old anyway?

    It was my understanding they the RIAA essentially sued whoever's name was on the internet bill. I know when I was 12, I wasn't paying the internet bill, (hell, if I remember correctly, I was just setting up back-to-back free net accounts with the local ISP).

    Anyway, did they ACTUALLY sue the 12 year old, or did they sue the mother? I know it ends up being one-and-the-same, but I'm curious.

    • by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:12PM (#6922209) Journal
      My impression is the whole thing was a publicity stunt.

      For the mother/child to go to the media in the morning, then settle that night? Like I said before, if they went to the press legitimately, it'd be because they felt the suit was unjust, and they'd be literally flooded with lawyers willing to take the case pro bono just for the publicity.

      The whole thing makes absolutely no sense, except to get people to read the "I'm so sorry I hurt the artists I love - please kids dont do P2P!" message.

      I wish I had the free time to investigate and show it for the scam it was. I bet you'd find that the mom works for the RIAA or local Tower records or some such shit.
  • by DwarfGoanna ( 447841 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:08PM (#6922153)
    When the RIAA uses download statistics, it is only in our best interests as consumers. They are taking the lemons of corrupt human nature, and making sweet corporate lemonade. I, for one, am thankful that such a down home mom and pop operation such as the RIAA, in their infinite wisdom, makes something good, noble, and legal come out of all this theft, piracy, and debauchery. I can't wait for the day that all my activities are monitored for legality by four letter acronyms.


    Anyone who disagrees is clearly a criminal/pirate/terrorist! Mend your ways and submit to RIAA amnesty!=)

  • To late to turn back (Score:5, Interesting)

    by felonious ( 636719 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:10PM (#6922172) Journal
    The RIAA will not take a step back with th rhetoric because they have gained too much power to turn back. With the power they now possess they will soon be a new goverment bureaucracy entitled "Ministry of Sound Sueing".

    We all know that everything they have been saying is in direct opposition of what's actually occuring with cd sales. Yes p2p plays a role but it isn't anything near what they claim it to be. The point is the RIAA will take this as far as they can or until the backlash is so severe that they have no choice other than alienating consumers and pissing off the goverment even more.

    I will make the following prediction...
    Due to the RIAA calous and careless approach on p2p and their so-called loss of sales they will continue to piss off consumers who will then come together in a massive boycott. I'm not talking about /.'s only. I'm talking about Joe Average. Everyone will start to boycott and our representatives will also get involved because they will see it as an opportunity to get new votes. The RIAA will have to back off and come up with a "fair and balanced" (don't sue me Fox) approach for copyright infringement.

    We will beat the bad rap and the RIAA will continue to do business but in a goverment imposed andfair/legal manner.

    The goverment has spent billions on the war on drugs and it hasn't done a thing so does the RIAA really think a few lawsuits will stop p2p? As the RIAA's tactics on finding, pursuing, and prodding p2p users come out in the open it will only help coders take it more underground and guarantee our privacy. The RIAA had their chance to make p2p work with Napster in a centralized server setup but they blew their chance and with it the centralization of p2p. Decentralized servers, new anonimity, and a general interest in going more underground are the way now.

    The RIAA better enjoy these days because they are the best they're going to have. Reality is going to bite their ass pretty soon...
    • by Bendebecker ( 633126 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:25PM (#6922347) Journal
      It already is:
      "The real hope here is that people will return to the record store," said Eric Garland, CEO of BigCampagne LLC, which tracks peer-to-peer Internet trends. "The biggest question is whether singling out a handful of copyright infringers will invigorate business or drive file-sharing further underground, further out of reach."...

      Consumers already think so little of the music companies, that the lawsuits likely won't make much difference, said Josh Bernoff, an analyst with Forrester Research, Inc.

      "The industry has been backed into a corner, and their image is so bad, the lawsuits are not going to be much of a problem," he said....

      At the same time, a decline in CD sales worsened. Between June 15 and Aug. 3, the decline in CD sales accelerated 54 percent. And as of Aug. 3, CD sales were down 9.4 percent over the same period in 2002, according to the Yankee Group.

      Just because a person stops file-sharing does not mean they will start buying CDs and boost industry revenue, Bernoff said.
      http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Entertainment/ap2003091 0_351.html
  • by angle_slam ( 623817 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:11PM (#6922180)
    See this page [userfriendly.org] for a peek at the amnesty form the RIAA wants you to fill out.
  • IP Tracking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cpt_Kirks ( 37296 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:15PM (#6922232)
    By matching partial IP addresses to zip codes

    This sucks. When is a P2P app with good speed going to come out with good anonymity?

    With all the lawsuits and shit, good ideas and code should be flowing.

  • payola? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by grue23 ( 158136 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:24PM (#6922341)
    When the labels know what people are downloading, they know what to put on the radio, and sales in the area increase.

    I wasn't aware that the labels [legally] "put anything on the radio". It probably wouldn't be the best idea for them to build the idea that they do into their business model, since that would be an admission of payola.
  • by greymond ( 539980 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:26PM (#6922352) Homepage Journal
    Well I was always for P2P since I grab a lot of things other than music, however I would occassionally snag a Supercharger or Hellbillies mp3. But it seems that the majority of people dlowding are grabbing the SHITTY music they keep complaining about. Looking at the site it seems to prove this with the top 10 listed songs/albums including 50 Cent, beyonce, Lil Kim, and every other bullshit artist on MTV. If people stopped lsitening to crap and started only dloading songs from GOOD non-commercialized bands or at least bands that were not the latest-and-greatest-company-endorsed-sings-through -a-voicebox-shows-their-ass-whore "musician" the RIAA wouldn't be sueing 12 years olds or college kids.

    STOP MTV MUSIC NOW
  • by Wacky_Wookie ( 683151 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:30PM (#6922372) Homepage Journal
    If the Major Lables start reacting to what the public is actualy listening to, instead of trying to convince people to buy a product thaey have produced.

    The major problem with most music lables is that they have become manufacturers of music instead of distributers of music.

    The RIAA at al. knows that P2P could become the next radio, and they know that p2p is not the real reason for bad music sales. But the RIAA is not really sueing people beceause of loss of sales, it's sueing beceause of loss of control over what people listen to. The RIAA loves radio for the very reason that they can control it (and actualy own it in some cases).

    The RIAA/Lables can't "own" p2p or force it play what they want, so they choose to shut it down. I have always thought that the RIAA/lables have been more worried about loss of promotional/playlist control then profits.

    Prior to P2P a label could promote the shit out of an artist/group with out them having to be any good, and still be SURE it was going to make a profit. Now the Major labels have to wait and see if the public actualy LIKES the music before it can make a profit.
  • Legitimate use? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by harlows_monkeys ( 106428 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:54PM (#6922481) Homepage
    That's an...interesting...notion of "legitimate use".

    "I'm using this program to steal your stuff, which gives you valuable marketing information as to what stuff of yours I like!"

  • by $exyNerdie ( 683214 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @01:01PM (#6922548) Homepage Journal
    If the labels acknowledge a legitimate use for P2P programs, it would undercut their case as well as their zero-tolerance stance

    Why would they acknowledge a legitimate use for P2P programs ?
    They want a complete control over prices and P2P has been causing them woes. Not only that, they have some strong backing from some Senators.
    Senators Back RIAA; First Suit Is Settled [billboard.com]

  • by telebear ( 234209 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @01:17PM (#6922692)
    On the radio this morning (KROQ, Los Angeles), there was a lawyer for the RIAA talking about the recent lawsuits being brought...

    She specifically stated that "while there are valid and legal uses of p2p file sharing..."

    It seems like when it suits them, they are willing to accept the existence of P2P programs...
  • by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @01:35PM (#6922825)
    BigChampagne [bigchampagne.com]?
    "Because the current active audience numbers in the tens of millions, and is made up of highly motivated "early adopters," we have been able to observe close correlations between online interest and offline sales. "

    or the RIAA [businessweek.com]?
    "Says an RIAA spokesman: "In our view, piracy is the primary reason for the decline in sales."

    I know who I'd tend to believe on that. How about you?
  • by FullCircle ( 643323 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @01:44PM (#6922914)
    If you listen to a Clear Channel station (how can you NOT listen to one) you notice they play the same 20 songs all day and all night.

    I don't know about you, but if I hear the same songs every time I turn on the radio, I have NO need to by the CD. I get burned out on it for free.

    If they start using this info and get more artists on the air it can only help. This could increase their ratio of "listeners due to lack of choice" to "willing listeners" and help their advertisement revenue.

    It will also help RIAA and non-RIAA affiliated labels sell more records by getting more airplay for lesser known artists. Less total air time for the current top artists would help them not to give away the need to buy while also not making people think of them as annoying.

    IMHO, quite a bit of the RIAA's low sales can be traced back to the Clear Channel monopoly.

    How can using these P2P statisics be a bad thing?

  • by Uninvited Guest ( 237316 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @03:23PM (#6923885)
    Heavy rotation on the radio stations is apparently directed by recording industry marketing people, armed with statistics. BigChampagne gives these marketing people credibility, so the marketing people can apply more pressure on the radio stations to play what the marketing people want. This isn't about surveying P2P to find out what the radio stations should play, this is about harvesting P2P statistics to get more leverage over radio station play lists.
  • by stinky1117 ( 648383 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @05:06PM (#6924973)
    If a person leaves there car unlocked, they are not breaking a law if someone steals the stuff inside. Just because you provided access for someone to commit a crime does not make you a criminal yourself.

    The fact that you have mp3s or divx movies or anything of the sort on your computer in a folder that is accessible does not make you a criminal.

    The NY Times just sued (Read Article [slashdot.org]) Adrian Lamo for entering a basically insecure network. He did nothing but look to see what was there. Hmm, sound like RIAA?

    I don't know about anybody else, but what the RIAA is doing seems very similar. I own many cds, many of which I convert to various formats on my computer to create playlists. Apparently, I can be sued if that file is accessible to people who might want to take them from me.

    The question is, if I have a broadband connection without a firewall, am I liable to the RIAA because some hacker might want a couple of songs? They are in fact accessible to some people.

    Music should be free, or at least a heck of a lot cheaper than $17 for a cd.

There is very little future in being right when your boss is wrong.

Working...