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The Almighty Buck

RIO, MP3 Under Attack in Wall Street Journal 105

An anonymous reader sent us a link to Wall Street Journal article about the music industry and MP3s. Talks about efforts by IBM and AT&T to create new formats that will successfully prevent the advancement of music and artistic freedom so that the industry can continue to overcharge consumers and rip off the people that make the music. Not that I'm biased. Update: 01/22 09:55 by B : There's another article in Wired about a recent panel discussion on standards in digital music: "It's become un-American to argue against security, but five companies sell 87 percent of the music. They'll say anything to protect their position." Update: 01/22 03:17 by S : An anonymous contributor emailed me his notes on the digital audio panel session of the Fashion Institute of Technology Software Summit yesterday:
Industry in "sad state". The consolidation of music labels and radio stations has resulted in reduced variety.It is hard for artists, who must join the system to have a chance at success, but doing so requires giving up rights to master recordings (forever), royalties of 10-20 per cent, but only after paying back costs to producer, etc. Labels only interested in artists who can sell at least 250,000 albums.

Solution is "digital efficiency". For example, mp3 allows artists to leave at any time, artists get 50 per cent royalties, can have special targetting such as sending e-mail to all fans in a particular area where band is about to give concert.

Issue is that we have now way to separate bits from Intellectual Property via internet, and this will change the way that music is distributed. Music is the simplest case of this, in that it can be done "now". Similar problems with arise with video, etc at later time.

Can have multiple formats, but need means to transfer terms and conditions of use, such as "ok to play this song three times until next Thursday" -- this is goal of SDMI initiative.

Today have oligopoly -- 5 companies sell 87 per cent of the music. On pragmatic level, unrealistic to expect securitysystem that will restrict how people will use content. e.g., today cd discs are not encrypted, so people can make copies, but can't make cd from a2b music format. Result is that vendors will have to add value to maintain price (current model of $15/cd won't persist), or else reduce price.

Music industry is mature with structure that is decades old, with tight control of distribution. There will have to be new model for internet. For example, music is given away via radio, and broadcasters are given special exemptions, but there is yet no realistic solution/approach for internet radio.

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RIO, MP3 Under Attack in Wall Street Journal

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  • This is typical industry nonsense.

    First of all, this isn't about piracy. There isn't any way to prevent piracy. If you can pump the sound into your stereo, you can copy it. I promise you that I'll be able to take any of the proprietary formats, pipe them into my computer, and turm them into wavs or mp3s that sound great. You just don't have much generational loss with digital sound, even if you convert it to analog.

    This is an important point: this noxious technology is being foisted upon us as a solution to the problem of piracy. But it won't be effective in solving that problem. It won't be any harder to make pirate copies of the new format than it is to make pirate copies of cd's.

    Piracy is a bogey man the industry is using to make their agenda more palatable. What they really want is to maintain their grip on music distribution. That's what this is about. It's not about piracy, it's about controlling the distribution of information.

    If this is about piracy, why are groups like the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy getting harassed when they try to distribute music via the net? Articles about those groups in the WSJ consistently talked about piracy. But if the groups are writing and performing the music, how is it piracy?

    The truth is that none of these schemes will eliminate piracy. They will perpetuate the industry's control over distribution.

    The important thing to remember is that this is about control over distribution. Whenever they say piracy, we have to come back with control over distribution.

    This is a consumer issue, it's a free speech issue, and it's about the freedom of musicians to reach their audiences without having to pay a record company for permission to do so. Distributing music on the net is going to lower prices to consumers and it's going to put more money in small artists' pockets.

    If the powers that be are so concerned about crime in the music biz, they should dig into payola and the involvement of the mafia and gangs. Payola drives radio airplay and press coverage to this day, and there are high level executives at major labels with strong mob ties.

    I'm not worried about these projects. They have about as much of a chance to catch on as DIVVX does. Comsumers aren't as dumb as they think.
  • It's funny to see how this just goes to demonstrate anything humankind has mentally conceived can be reproduced in 1's and 0's then replicated infinately.

    And with the Internet it gets sent around from person to person, like an information virus.

  • Or I'll just keep using the same player I've been using.
  • Or I'll just keep using the same player I've been using. Besides, I suspect the RIAA would have a tough time outlawing players simply because they can play pirated music. It would be like outlawing zip programs because people transmit pirated software using it, or outlawing cars because people drive burnt CDs over to their friends house.
  • The consumers will select an album, which will then be transmitted directly to their personal computers via high-speed cable modems in less than ten minutes. Music executives say that consumers in the test market will be provided with a CD burner, a piece of hardware that will allow them to make physical CDs of the digitally delivered albums. IBM will encrypt the music so it cannot be copied after making the initial CD. IBM won't discuss details of the test, such as how the record companies will be paid.

    And just how long after it's been burned to CD will it take to convert it to MP3?
  • Posted by gruv:

    Liquid Audio. Pretty much the same principle of DiVX. You download a song off of the Liquid Audio server and it's watermarked for only one digital copy to burn on CD. But from the CD is where you may be able to transfe it back onto your harddrive and rip a mp3. But that would be sorta pointless don't ya think. You pay for your little copy, .99cents or what have you, then you can burn a CD.
    Hehe, 21 songs you want on a full CD, $21 you have to pay. Now that CD in the store looks a little more attractive now doesnt it. That's if you want the whole CD. I'll just buy the CD and save myself the hassle. By the time I buy a CD burner or DVD burner, I could have bought all the CD's I need. Or just have a cool Liquid Audio copy on an external drive somewhere. But geeks will be geeks. I and a ton of other engineers I know make thier living off of those little legit copies in the store so I'm kinda biased....
  • Posted by jonrx:

    Mee too! :)
    Is just me/slashdot, or are (USA) corporates becoming more and more greedy and ruthless(.com?), and are abusing the IP laws? Has the individual (Joe User/Hacker) become nothing more than a number in some marketoid's report?
    #ifdef very_slippery_and_thin_ice
    IMHO, I thank think judges in those bick_bucks_lawsuits should always give the individual/society the benefit of the doubt.
    The problem is of course that money == greed.
    But I'm rambling...

  • Posted by gruv:

    Here it is.

    mp3 is not hurting the industry as much as people think. Period.

    The record companies are not shitting bricks, they are simply trying to find a way to control MPEG. Wouldn't you if you were working at a record company? A cool new medium. They see it as a viable standard to deliver music. Sure they won't stop all the piracy. But as it has been stated before. The software industry loses more money than the record compaies make due to piracy. I think the focus is on the wrong thing here.

    Polygram and Universal just merged to take about 35% control of the market. I don't think they are hurting to much. Now it's the "Big Five", not the "Big Six". Plus they just trimmed thier rosters by about 200 bands and artists. So there is a new surplus for competition.

    Go to http://www.ubl.com and look at the competition.

    I don't think the 4000+ labels (Indies and sub-labels of "big five" just in the US) are going away anytime soon.

  • Posted by lnc:

    Freedom for the artist to publish what they want, when they want it and deliver it to their customers is one key to why Internet delivery of music will win. Freedom for the consumer to pick up, listen and comment to the artist about the music is the second reason.

    The format is somewhat irrelevant, it is the breakdown of barriers between artist and fan that are the big news here.

    Any technology that removes artificial barriers between people is a good thing. Especially barriers that cost money, time and deny choice.

    Consumers will pay for MP3 music in the following ways:

    - Custom cut CD's - while *all* slashdot'rs
    have CDR's, most people don't and will
    pay $'s.
    - Virtual DJ's will put together cool MP3
    collections - and sell the collections.
    - Great artists will have great concerts
    which people will pay to go to. Live is
    still better than Memorex.

    Anyone have other thoughts along these lines?

  • Soon we will all be whores for pay-per-view with no cash left to feed our families because we had to watch Friends AND listen to the radio all in one day.

    Consumers are taking it up the ass from the entertainment industry, and there is no end in site.
  • If you READ what I wrote, you would see that the ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY is fucking the consumer, not the artist themselves. I pity the artists because most of them don't own a copyright on SHIT, the company that pimps them out does. They can't even GIVE away a public performance recording that THEY did without the record company shutting it down. (Reference: Public Enemy, Bring On Da Noise 2000 MP3 fiasco.)

    Why don't you try to comprehend the point of view before you attack it.
  • Growing up as a club kid. I all ways had a great respect for the guys in my city that make there own music. ( mostly techno ). Sure I tried to find some of my old fav's on MP3 but you know what. It still seems to be a hassle to get... Oh say some thing like "Thethe" on MP3. I have about 200 meg of MP3's on my hard drive. All techno or dance made buy guys that are mostly waiting tables for there bread. Most of these guys would have never been heard if it was not for the MP3 revolution. ( yes its a revolution ). The same way that People were able to get there views to the public with HTML. Is the same way new musicians are getting there music heard with MP3's. Personnaly I can't "rip" a cd. I have no desire to start.

    My question is if I could go to the record store and get a 650 meg cdrom with 120+ one hit wonders and I paid a dollar for every song. Wouldn't they make money? Because I can tell you right now. No one is gonna pay 2,160 dollars for a stack of crapy CD's of one hit wonders. I don't pay 18 dollars for one crappy one hit CD now. I see a day when we listen to radio stations fed buy Streaming Servers. and I see High bandwith bringing more people to listen to streaming MP3's. The record company's will lose in the end. Why? Simple, they have failed to adapt to a changing market.

    Soon we will be able to buy CD's with only the songs we want. I bet it's not from Warner Bros or Universial. Some day Streaming and compression may put them out of the entertainment industry all together.

    The free MP3 bands out there are better than most of the top 40 crap they push down our throat's on the radio any way. There is just too much Yay Yay Yay music out there anyway.

    Personnaly I think they do not want to lose control over the authors of music. Or lose control over what we listen to on the radio.

    The revolution will be televised... after we read about it on the net.
  • I've been working on a solution to the problem of consumer rights and the Constitional* right of the artist to get paid for their work.

    My problem is it is a fairly complicated solution, and will require a good deal of money to get started, Especially in flooding the market to get my format out their before the Big corps format is accepted. Parts will even be Open Source.

    If anyone out there is familiar with the music industry, has a bit of managment & marketing background, and wants to see their stock soar like Amazon.com, shoot me an email. I just don't happen to know anyone who can complement my skills in this area.

    The beauty of the idea, is it gives the consumer complete right to listen to the work, but they can't give it away. Plus it can be used to bypass the record companies, thus cutting out the leach layer.

    Chris *(yup read it, the US Constitution (Article I Section 8.):

    "To promote the progress of Science and the useful Arts, by securing for a limited time to authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective writings and discoveries")

  • I am no Communist or Marxist, but all this just goes to show how dated money and the concept of property is.

    I can _never_ imagine a world without money, but once all information is stored in digital formats and available on-line how the hell are you going to stop people copying it?

    Perhaps it is another step in human evolution, drop the posession and greed and we can finally evolve to a higher life form.

    Looks like the Internet _is_ the most significant invention of mankind, the one thing that can eventually bring about social change on a global scale.

    Nice dream, wake me when it comes true.

  • Who cares. The only way I use MP3s is to encode them for easy storage. I already own all of the CDs that I want to listen to. Downloaded Mp3s sound like ass compared to those created with good hardware and software anyway. Even if they stop MP3s and their ilk (Impossible) I'll still have my CD writer. ;) .ISO forever! Heh.
  • While the major labels are fussing about stuff like this, the indies and smaller companies are taking the lead. Ubergeek band Poster Children [posterchildren.com] recently left Reprise partly so they could do stuff like this: their new album will be available in stores on CD (including nifty enhanced CD stuff they programmed themselves) or you can pay a small amount and download the whole thing.

    And, there's a full-length free track [goodnoise.com] which seems very appropriate for /.ers: 6x6 [goodnoise.com].

    Don't call me I won't pick up the phone

    Don't try knocking I won't answer the door

    Apartment of my dreams, surrounded by machines
    This room's got everything I need


  • We should use the new formats. When you get down to it copied music steals from the artists as well. Let the record companies put the machine in place then let the artists and the internet use it.

    Funny how Microsoft only cares about their own copyrights!

    Myhrvold giggles because he can't remember what it's like to NEED money. He of course thinks he is so smart he (and Bill) deserves all that money. Arrogance should kill Microsoft.
  • There's over 10,000 legitimate mp3's at http://www.mp3.com/. It's slanderous for the mainstream music industry representatives to state that mp3's are used primarily for the unauthorized duplication and redistribution of copyrighted music.

  • The standard and source is already out there. Sure music companies will release MP4s and their associated bastardizations, but anyone who has a CD can make an mp3. Anyone basically can figure out how to play them and there is even encoder source out there (if you're luck like me and have 8Hz).

    Just because someone proposes something doesn't mean it will work. Ala IBM's last great thing, MicroChannel.
  • We'll be swimming in storage space and bandwidth in a few years. And you'll always be able to make a good enough digital copy of any piece of music from the analog outputs of a decent hi-fi.
  • I started personal computing back in the late seventies when the Apple ][ was considered state of the art and practically every program in existance had some form of copy protection.

    There was quite the underground industry in copy-protection breaking. Anyone remember Locksmith? The developers would think of all sorts of funky ways to tweak the Apple floppy drives and users would figure out what they did and duplicate it.

    All these copy-protection schemes are going to lead to a cottage industry of mechanisms to break them. Essentially, if you hack a sound driver there's nothing the music companies can do.

    MP3 has the user base and the only thing that is going to kill it is superior encoding scheme with a freely available encoder.
  • The record labels are leveraging their existing monopoly in physical media distribution to obstruct the development of the nascent digital music market. It is not entirely clear that such collusion is legal under the Sherman Anti-Trust Law. Leveraging monopoly power in one market to gain an advantage in another is (rightly) prohibited by the Sherman Act.

    Moreover, the recording industry's actions are not only accountable to law. Just because something is legal does not mean it is moral. Remember that slavery was legal in the US for a long time.

  • Many mp3s are illegally distributed under US law. But illegal does not automatically imply wrong. Indeed, for a long period of time it was illegal to free someone else's slaves in the US. I'm not comparing mp3s to slavery. I'm just saying that the law should not be automatically given the moral force that you ascribe to it. We're grown ups. We can make our own decisions about the morality of the law, thank you.

    Naturally the record companies are pissed about losing money, and consumers are happy about saving money. Moral judgment should compare the welfare of the two parties and the consequences that changes imply to total creative output. In this discussion, the law is completely irrelevant.

  • Given that the music industry offers most artists something like 15c from each CD sold, and then claims copyright/trademark rights to everything, often down to the name/lineup of the band itself, artists don't get much out of it.

    Your average streetwalker gets more from her pimp per trick than your average musical artist gets from their record company per CD sale.

    The Big 5 oligopolists (Time Warner, EMI, Seagram, BMG and Sony) are way overdue for a killer asteroid and a radical change of their environment. Unfortunately, they have money, and thus the ears of those who control guns and prisons.
  • Just do it yourself. After all, you'll have about an order of magnitude more income from CD sales.

    Recording companies provide startup capital. But in return, they get ownership of the recordings, and in most cases the music and the band itself, and the artists get a pittance. Short-term convenience in return for long-term loss.

    Perhaps with the Net and decentralisation, record companies will finally be brought to heel to the laws of the market, and provide services without skimming extortionate profits unchallenged. Perhaps.
  • by acb ( 2797 )
    I have seen a comment from some industry figure that they intend to phase out CDs in a decade or two, replacing them with DVD Audio. DVD Audio will offer superior sound quality. More importantly, it will offer stronger IP protection, including watermarking and geographic zoning. Needless to say, making MP3s of a DVD will be a lot harder.
  • Record companies are here to stay, but it would be nice if they were knocked down a notch, and didn't get to make quite such an extortionate killing. Or if the balance was shifted to smaller indie labels who cared about their music as something more than a cash crop. Perhaps the Internet and decentralisation will do this.

    (At least for non-lowest-common-denominator tastes. I'd be perfectly happy for the Big 5 to maintain a monopoly on stuff like Mariah Carey, Aerosmith and all the Spice Girls/Boyz II Men clones.)

    Do you believe that the current record industry business model will be still dominant in, say, 20 years' time? 50?
  • by acb ( 2797 )
    Ummm, can you slander a format?

    As much as you can slander a plant... which is what DuPont and Hearst did to hemp in the 1930s. The result was marijuana prohibition, which is still in force.
  • ...why I need to buy a Rio now.
  • I signed no license agreement when I bought my CD's. I should be perfectly free to rip them and put them on a server if I find managing 300+ pieces of plastic cumbersome.

    What I'm trying to say is, my MP3's are legit.

    If I download the files to a computer here at work so I can enjoy them, or put them in a Rio, yes that's 3 copies of the same file, but I have not violated any copyrights.

    If people pirate them, that's between them and the record company.
  • Real musicians make music because they love it, not to get rich. Same as for hackers.

    If they're good, people will pay to see them live. They could make a very good living, probably better, because they can promote themselves and not give 95% of their value to greedy corporate bastards.

    If this all shakes out the way I hope it will, we could be free of manufactured abominations like the Spice Girls forever.

    That's the kind of future I want for my children.
  • The greedy thwarts operating the music business are about to be fucked in the butt badly. They know it. Just observe their last movements of agony.

    Yeah, I know, I'm being too optimistic, but it's going to happen, slowly, as surely as Free Software will dominate the world!


  • I know they're not Fortune 500, but Diamond Multimedia ain't no one-product startup either. They're certainly one of the larger video and sound hardware companies. I'd actually be glad to see Microsoft release a portable MP3 player. I've got no complaints with Microsoft hardware, and you can't fob off MS with a load of FUD implying they're a bunch of pirates operating out of someone's garage.

    Of course, I won't buy one if I can't get Linux software to talk to it...
  • Assuming they make $0 from distribution, they can *still* make a hefty profit from touring. At $20-$100/ticket, bands *can* make a profit.... They may need to retaliate against ticket-agency monopoly to do so.. but it certainly can be done.
  • Totally untrue.. mp3 does not *steal* from artists... you might make the case that audio pirates do, but that's another discussion.
    There are a whole boatload of legal mp3's out there..
  • yeah, I was pretty amazed, something controversial coming out of Microsoft, and I actually agreed with it!
  • an audio format that requires you to buy a special, more expensive soundcard? I don't see that having any actual success. my guess is that lemmings will use liquid audio, mainstream stuff will be available on it, and the rest of the world will go on using mp3.
  • Well at least MS doesn't back down. Remove a feature from Windows? Who does the Record industry think they have in their back pockets? The Justice Department? NOT!

    As for preventing copying/burning of downloaded songs. The process probably involves a one-use key that the software which burns the music logs or destroys once the copy is made. Most likely anything downloaded by this means cannot be burned by other software, until the CD is made. Then the CD could be copied forever. However, if they get the drive manufacturers in line they could put a special code on each CD that causes software to not copy the disk.

    There is one company that does the same thing right now, however what they are doing is encoding a non-audible digital code in the whole song track - they liken it to a watermark. It means that if they find multiple copies of the song somewhere they can trace it to the originator.

    I don't think this will supplant MP3. Its just a "legal" method to deliver copyrighted work. It could open a whole new market and actually be a good thing. Why? How many CDs have you bought for just one or two songs? (there are a lot of one-hit wonder bands).

    Seeing that MP3 doesn't go away, this new delivery system won't hurt us. Its not like its legal to distribute MP3s you make by copying songs. Amazing as it seems, that seems to be what most people are suggesting.. that the music industry is evil because it wants to protect its rights which means its money.

  • will someone tell me exactly how artists benefit from having their music pirated via mp3? this seems to be the consensus at the moment and i'm wondering why.

  • So what's your problem? If we don't buy it, they don't make money, and hence, cannot continue to justify their predatory behavior. It's easy to blast the record industry for $17 CDs and the greed behind it, but if we (as a group of consumers) turn right around and pay $17 for a CD, we're nothing but hypocrites. A solution: Don't buy them, and don't pirate them.
  • about is - get this - money. No big suprise, if I were them I would be too. However, I don't think they are worried that much about pirated music. Think about it - how many illegal MP3's are out there and how many people are going to spend hours looking for their fav. music on news groups and such. Any web site that sets up an illegal MP3 site is sure to get shut down quick - so really there is no way to mass distribute illegal MP3s. Instead, I think the music industry is worried more about those *leagal* MP3's. If MP3 becomes commonly used the those currently running the music industry began to loose thier power. Right now they control the market because CD's are too expensive to produce w/o the help of a lable - with MP3's there is only the cost of studio time and the original, production is no longer an issue and this is what the industry is affraid of.

  • > Mr. Myhrvold says he giggles frequently [...]

    I have to say, this statement made me giggle too.
  • This is what MS said about the record industry coming up with their own (non-mp3) "standard":

    "You can talk all you want about getting a bigger stick," he says, "but if you don't have an adequate carrot," the music-industry standard will be ignored.

    They are exactly right.
  • Until cassette recorders become illegal contraband, I don't think there will be a legal way to bust someone for owning winamp.
  • Odd that no one attacks CmdrTaco when he says his opinion, but everyone jumps all over sengan when he even hints at anything!! I think those who claim that "opinions" don't belong on a news site are just mad because the opinion stated is not THEIR opinion!
  • Efficiency. Isn't that what technology and computing are all about? We HAVE been taking it up the whazoo for far too long, and along comes a new technology that threatens to deflate the profit margins of greedy corporations. MP3 is a way for me to get my music more efficiently. And don't give me that crap about the poor artists. As a musician myself, I'll tell you that no one picks up a guitar for money (it's for babes actually). Does Aerosmith really DESERVE all those millions? Do they contribute that much to society? In the end, doesn't all that cash usually just corrupt most musicians?
  • Yes, I think Aerosmith deserves to make their millions of $$$s for the mere fact that people are willing to pay them.

    You mean like how Standard Oil deserved all those millions they made?

    You can choose to buy this stuff or not.

    Actually, I don't know about that. As far as I'm concerned, music is preventative medicine for the sole. If I choose not to buy, I am forced to record songs off the radio or borrow music from other people. Not practical for most people. If I buy blank tapes, isn't there already some kickback built into that price too?

    No one forced your favorite artists to sign a contract...

    Bull. The only choice they have (when getting started anyway) is to sign the contract or not have the music published.

    ...and I tend to have the cash to buy every disc that I've wanted...

    Which brings us back to efficiency. Less $$$ spent on tunes means you have more freedom with your $$$.

  • This is the same old story which has been rehashed over and over and over again.

    "OH NO! Big bad MUSIC industry won't let us have MP3!"

    Just how are they going to stop music from being pirated? I say if they figure that one out, they deserve a big hand, since the Computer Industry has miserably failed at stopping software piracy.
  • Come suck my


    The milk from today's teat of truth which will be squirted into the gaping mouth of a penniless student tastes as follows:

    • Bill gates alone (not microsoft) will be worth $100Billion in 4 months
    • Last year, the UK spent $1Billion on Food
    • Bill Gates could feed England for the next 100 years.
    • Last year the GDP of Israel was ... $100Billion
    This brings me to MEEPT's
    • Word of the day

    Today's meept word is : "Sponky Bonky"

    "Sponky Bonky" refers to the process of the most powerful economic force on the planet holding off squashing a rag tag no hope gathering of students who program for free while there's an ongoing court case.

    Ho! Ho! Ho! Happy EID !


  • For too long have we been ripped off by the music industry.

    In the u.k, we pay £12-£18 for between 10 and 15 songs. what a f8cking scam!!

    The music industry is against mp3, obviously because they don't profit from it. Also, the format illustrates that the technology exists to burn near-cd quality audio compressed at a 12:1 ratio. (why not develop the technology, and give us 100+ songs per cd?)

    It riles me to hear about poor musicians/struggling to get contracts - mp3 only really affects the artists who are contracted anyway, and these people are, in general, recieving £millions per year (last year David Bowie made £15 million in royalties alone) - this is simply a piss-take.

    The U.S music ind. is in a state of oligopoly - the music co's have way too much power/wealth - it is bollocks what they are saying about the industry being strangled by mp3.

    My(perhaps disillusioned)advice is to get yourself an mp3 player, cd-ripper et al, and stuff it up the music industry's arse.
  • As it is now a musician or artist(by artist i mean rapper) only get 2 bucks out of the 15 bucks on each CD sold. The music industry knows that if the same musician/artists were to sell their albums online they could make the same amount of money and only charge 5 bucks for the album. I would pay 5 bucks for an album I could download, convert to pcm and burn to cd. Wouldnt you? It stands to reason that the artist that makes the content would make more money. So of course the fat greasy bastards at the music industry are going to do every thing in their power to stop musicians/artists from making more money to save their own ass.
  • Im trying to find the article I read about it.
    I think about 3 or 4 dollars per album is what pays for that stuff. And sales from touring.

    Might be wrong though.

  • The article claims:

    "But over the last two years, a format
    called MP3 has made it far easier to compress
    and transmit music data. Now, virtually
    anyone with a PC and a modem can set up an
    illicit music factory, create perfect digital
    copies and e-mail them to friends."

    PERFECT DIGITAL COPIES? AHAHAHAHAAH Yah right. These people must be playing these on their PC Speaker? The quality is no-where near perfect on an MP3.

    In any case, as was said above, we don't have to use the new system, and if it gets forced in any way, I'm sure it will be worked around. It's never stopped us before. We have CDDA and CD burners afterall, don't we?
  • The argument that the entertainment industry uses to attempt to crack down on piracy is that every illegitimate copy represents a lost sale. This is a fallacy. Certainly some copies are made by people who would otherwise pay the full price if they couldn't get it any other how. But I suspect that most who make illegitimate copies would never actually purchase the works they copy. Many copies are made as 'try-outs' or out of idle curiosity.

    Now this argument obviously doesn't 'legitimize' the copies themselves in the eyes of the law, but it does give the industry's strident arguments an overblown quality. Their hysteria is likely based on a deep fear; and they should be afraid, because they just don't get it.
  • Is *everything* a conspiricy aimed at the demonization of the "indomiatable human spirit?"...(or is the televideo psychosis kicking in?)

    For christ's sake....just keep encoding and trading the things and shut the fuck up about it...

  • I recall reading an article in The Industry Standard a while back that made a very clever statement: "The Redbook Audio CD format that is used by ever CD player has no encryption. This means that each CD is essentially a gold master with which to make MP3's." Even if IBM's Area 51-esque Madison Project succeeded at creating a hack-proof 128bit encrypted music file, you could still get the MP3 simply because there is no way record companies can stop selling CDs and continue to survive. I don't support piracy, but eventually this format will win. It's already the standard, and it gives the consumer the flexibility they want. If record companies made it easier to download legitimate MP3s for a nominal fee, I'd be the first in line. Just my 2 cents.
  • My problem with this is that I like MY stuff, I like having MY bed, MY computer, and MY Playstation and N64 (wanted Zelda). Anyway I like having stuff.

    I'm hoping to get a Rio soon but probably most of what I'll play on it will be MP3s that I ripped off CDs I own, what's wrong with having a copy of something I paid for in a format that won't skip while I'm jogging.
  • "The goal: come up with a way to ensure that Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros., for example, gets paid each time 'Iris' by the Goo Goo Dolls is sent over the Net."
    What is more important? That Time Warner get's paid, or that the Goo Goo Dolls get paid?
  • I was so amused by M$'s response! Especially the comment that the software industry loses more in piracy in a year than the music industry makes legally =)

    Points to M$ Nathan Myhrvold for recognizing that an accessable media does not piracy make. Still, I really wonder if mp3 piracy actually causes 'losses' or actually increases sales? I know I am proud of ownership, and actually enjoy owning all the CDs and mp3s I listen to. People who don't value ownership won't want to buy their CDs anyway, I think. MP3s are just very convenient, and I wish I could buy legal, high quality, industry approved mp3s. Maybe not the current backwards idiotic industry, but some sort of enlightened distributorship, I think

  • Isn't any method of encoding digital audio that doesn't rely on proprietary hardware inherently secure? In other words, if I can play it once on my computer, I can capture the bits, and play it back for free as many times as I want, as long as the decryption and D/A conversion aren't built into the same chip. My reasoning is that ultimately they have to send the digital data to my soundcard, and it should be relatively easy to write software to emulate the soundcard (or any other D/A converter) and instead write the bits out to a file...

    The other problem with proprietary audio formats is that it will inevitably limit ones market to ONLY windows owners, which seems somewhat shortsighted in my view... are any of these companiespromising to deliver proprietary players also promising to port them to Mac, OS/2, Be, Linus, FreeBSD, Solaris, etc.? I think not!
  • Artists just aren't going to make music if they expect to sell 1 CD and have everyone else pirate a copy of it.

    Ever heard of "live music"? How much money did the Rolling Stones make on their last tour? Ever thought of embedding advertising in your music, then giving it away for free? The point is, musicians should have the choice of charging for copies or of giving it away for free. By attacking MP3 distribution, RIAA is attempting to take that choice away from musicians. This is a bad thing.

  • by El ( 94934 )
    You forgot "product placement". It done in most movies now, it's just a matter of time before the makers of the Wonder Bra(TM) pay the Spice Girls(TM) to sing the praises of the product... isn't it a wonderful world we live in?

    Most artists include offers for t-shirts, jackets, etc. in their CD cases... why not figure out a way to embed these in the digital audio format too?

    And what better way to advertise your live concerts than to mention them in the recordings you're giving away for free?

    And of course, there is always the "guiltware" model, simply ask people to send in money if they like the music (hey, it works for PBS!)

    The general point is, the Internet changes everything, it make completely new business models possible. Everything that can be reduced to digital form will be sold over the 'net. Fighting it can only delay the inevitable. Music executives are resisting this only because they can't grasp the new business models this makes possible; they want things to stay the way they have been for the past 50 years.

"Say yur prayers, yuh flea-pickin' varmint!" -- Yosemite Sam