Re: @F: RE: More on Metallica vs. Napster

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From: Tom Whore (
Date: Wed May 17 2000 - 08:33:49 PDT

On Tue, 16 May 2000, Ian Andrew Bell wrote:

--]performances. Further, the time-honoured tradition of "busking" on street
--]corners continues even today and is perhaps the oldest form of "music
--]business" there is.

Your right, the artist taking thier music to the people direct, sans
middleman, has taken on some new mediums but is basicaly the same as the
street corner days. These days the street corner is or a web page,
for those doing digibusking.

I have a freind who does electornica type music. He is still very much
into this mode and does well.

--] or, with their $8.99 per album price (for $8.99 USD I
--]can get the CD at A&B Sound in Vancouver) and their worthless stocks, is a
--]sustainable or even a realistic model for how the music industry should
--]work in a digital age is ridiculous. Those prices are set by the same
--]industry giants (emusic touts their partnerships with ASCAP and BMI) and
--]middle men that have created the pricing model for CDs -- it is not a sea
--]change heralding a new era for distribution. cds are not 8.99, they are anywhere from 5.95 to whatever, the
proice being set BY THE ARTIST. The artist then gets 50% of that money
back. Gievn that is offering web space, storage space, cd pressing
etal this is by far one of the best deals in the music biz I have come

Putting the artist incharge of pricing changes lots of the rules. is, as you point out, more of a traditional slant. They are a
transiotion method, not by any means an ends to shoot for. But thru them
there are many artists getting expousre and distro that would other wise

Atomic pop as well is more a digimiddle man, but it seems for now that the
artist is getting a much better stake in things than traditional methods.

The valuation of stock on all these compnays is much like the valuation of
stock in most of the market today, fairy tales with coinage. As long as
everyone claps thier hands and shouts "i belive: things will be ok. the
digimusic sotck are not so much invalid because of this , rather they are
simply proven to be part of the market at large.

--]The problem is that as you seek to erode the hegemony of big-ass labels and
--]their affiliated girth, you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater
--]because you're punishing the artists, too. So you're faced with a damned
--]if you do, damned if you don't sort of choice that requires you to dance
--]with the Devil ( or screw the artists (Napster). And that's
--]enough metaphor for one paragraph.

I dont hold that your polar examples are valid. The idea that
Napster=Screw the arists has proven to be pretty much a FUD factor. Record
sales for napster popular artist are on the rise. How can this be. If in
the last three years so much free stuff is given away how can it be that
the moneys are not dropping to zero.

Answer..people still support artist they like.

I went and got PE's lattest album off the net and paid for it. yes I had
the mp3s of it a week before, and yes i paid for it when i was given the
opertunity to do so. If PE simply set up a credit card form with no dls
attached to it I would have droipped in the sum.

This brings up a insteresting image from your Street Busking metaphore.
What if every street vendor had the legal right to stop everyone who
walked by thier cacophony and demand a price. Do you imagine too many
people would walk by them, or rather would people circumvent that buble of

I am not saying all music should or can be put on the Donnation system, or
the Pay If You LIke software method. What I am saying is the days wehn a
band can expect a set price to be extracted from every listner is fading
fast. Those artists that can see beyond the tit of middle managemnt
feeding them hype, low cuts and horse will be dependent addicts to that
dying system. I agree that it is a horrible thing to have to witness
addicts goign thru withdrawl. Lars is a prime example.

If a band sets a price and the material is worth it to the fan base, they
will pay. Will some take advantage of the situation? Yes, but they are
already doing that long before the rise of MP3s. People have been taping,
duping, bootlegging and swapping for decades. Why is MP3 all that
differnt? The only argument i hear is that MP3 are near exact
wowo the tech has raised the bar, maybe the answer is to make a better
product, not criple a tech.

Of course as we see in many areas of the culture it is far easier to
lobotomize a medium than rise to its challange. The written word has been
goign thru this sort of thing for hundreds of years. Radio, TV and Films
had brife unfettered days that were quickly replaced by regulated content
limiting rules. So to we see the net being chipped away at by both the
common poersona nd the elected eofficials. Freedom of expression is a
powerfull tool, so much so people would rather have it made wekaer than to
learn its uses.

--]I guess the other problem is that once Napster starts charging monthly
--]subscriptions, it's only a matter of time before another startup emerges
--]that finds some way to subsidize the monthly per-user fee and offers the
--]service for free again, taking us back to square one. Here's that routing
--]around censorship/damage issue again.

Its called gnutella at the moment. It willbe called other things soon, if
not already. The time is past, not comming. Thousands of people know this,
use this and live this every day.

Napster reminds me veymuch of the JL/PM song Revolution..

"You say you got a real solution
well you know
wed all like to see the plan
You ask me for a controbution
well you know
were all doing what we can
But when you want money for people with minds that hate
all i can tell you is brother you have to wait
dont you know its goonna be allright"

Napsters solution is a central server bottleneck. It is still being
centered around a company, a single source compnay with a potential to
clamp down, regulate or control a price. Gnutella and freenet do not.

The fact that the napster clones are outstripping napster itself, that
napster was able to be shut down so easily and the legal attacks that
homed in on its weak spots are teh cause of the day.. all these things
show napster to be a nice diversion into tech but a porr silution to the
problems of file sharing; which is what it is under all the hype.

Would you actualy have used ftp if there was just one company who
controled not only the code but what you could use ftp for?

Why is napster differtent? (answer...hype and marketing..two items which
are tell tale signs they TECH of the matter is lacking in robustness.)

Gnutella on the other hand ...well look at it. No horse no wife no
mustache...Who will cry for the widows son? Hit the gnutella servers, or
the Capn Brys web interface for it, and behold the wonder.

--]sound. Most stadium bands actually lose money while on tour -- it's an
--]investment that creates spikes in album sales as they move around to
--]different regions.

Should this not speak to a problem in the methods? rather than use this as
an excuse to bleed the money source, maybe an alternative way would be
better suited. Just a thought.

--]Anyway, to bring this jumble of arguments to some kind of a conclusion, I
--]have been simply saying that neither side has a model right now that is
--]sustainable or that can possibly accommodate the varying realms of artistry
--]within the music world.

I say you are right, I say that many of the artist today are living off of
the middle management tit that is supported by a proven conscpriacy f
proce fixing and consumer rip offs. I say that once the realities of what
a fan will support came to full awarness of the bands they will either
have to morph or wither out like forever withdrawlers from the horse of
the biz.

Its nto going to pretty in many repects, but it will be happenig, is
already happening (hence the thrashings of the larsillionares).
--]Perhaps an uncomfortable coexistence, much as has emerged within the
--]computer software industry (where paying users subsidize pirates), is the
--]best that we can hope for.

The pirate is the exclude a fn base on method of aquistion is to
miss the point. rather, change the revenue stream to those things a fan
will pay for, have to pay for...such as a great show, a cool tshirt,
ancillary works (books, art, etc), or simply the fans valuation of the
stock of the bands worth.

The artist above all else need to extract themselves fromt eh systemof the
dinosaurs middleman. the mehtods are here already to start, START, that
process. Where it goes from there....thats still being written.

This curseless profanityless post has been brought to you by the Letter S
and the number 3.

    [---===tomwhore@ [] [] []]
                   WSMF's web site ----

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