I'm gonna snap this record, shove it up your arse & kick it - Napster Rant.

I wanted everyone to see this again. 99 cents is too much to pay for a song. Less than a dollar. Tell me, what price above “free” is acceptable to you – 1 cent? 5 cents? Should music producers operate at a loss so you don’t have to spend your precious dollar?

FYI, Emusic does have a preview function – 30 seconds of each song. Their catalog is limited, but growing, and includes all genres and a mix of old and new artists. For $9.99 a month, you can have unlimited downloads. If you’ve got DSL or cable, that means you could download literally a couple hundred songs a month for $10. And they split their fees with the artists 50/50.


Grrrrrr . . . how many times do we have to ride this particular train? The artists, depending on where they are in their career, see anywhere from a few pennies to $3-4 per CD. But the cost of producing a CD is fare more than the “few pennies” for a physical disc. Recording, mastering, artwork, packaging, promotion and shipping are all factored into that cost, and you cannot assume them away. Sure, you can buy 20 CDs for about the cost of CD–but they have no labels, no jewelcases, no artwork, etc.

I have mixed feelings about napster. All of my viewpoints have been expressed above.

I would like to make a sidenote and tell TVOR that I’m glad he found Pinback. What a great band! More people should know about them.


I was under the impression that nothing produced since the early 20th entury (~1910?) has fallen into the public domain. Or is your music really that old? :wink:

Jesus, kid, get over it. First of all, under the terms of the 9th Circuit injunction, Napster isn’t “dead” at all, it just can’t turn a blind eye when record labels inform it that it’s serving up copyrighted material.

Other than “Anti Pop Consortium,” whom I’ve never heard of, all of these bands can also find them through Amazon, CDNow, and about a billion other people who SELL this music, with ther permission of the artists and their labels, and offer you the opportunity to hear samples of most tracks before you buy an album.

This is about the lamest and most uniformed argument I’ve heard on this topic. If you actually read the news on the issue, you’d know that Napster is required to block access to copyrighted material at the request of the copyright owner. Bands that “couldn’t get a record deal” are not going to have their non-existent record labels contacting Napster to have their songs removed.

If anything, the post-injunction Napster will make it easier to find music by new, unsigned bands, because that’s all that will be left. The distribution system will remain intact, and ironically, those people who used Napster to only trade non-copyrighted material (like music by unsigned bands or live concert tapes made with the artists’ permission, or old music with expired copyrights) will not be affected by the injunction in the least. The only people that the injunction hurts are those who were using Napster to subvert legitimate copyrights.

Waiter, I’d like my drama on the side, please. Pal, you’ve just summarized exactly what the court directed Napster to do. If [band’s record label] tells Napster to take [band’s music] off the system, Napster does so.

Now, you’re going to bitch and moan when Columbia instructs Napster to take all the Counting Crows songs off (except for label-approved tunes, which many of these “buttfuck-your-grandma-etc.” labels are permitting to be downloaded and swapped for free, those bastards), aren’t you. It’s ok for Metallica’s label to do that, but when it’s your ox that’s being gored, are you going to “not notice the difference”? Of course not, you’re going to get in a snit about how greedy Columbia Records is being.

You can’t have it both ways-- either you’re 100% in favor of screwing the labels, or you’re 100% in favor of letting the labels decide which tracks, if any, they’re willing to let go for free.

Here’s a helpful tip: if you’re going to go off on an extended rant, do your research first; maybe you can save some of the vitriol when you find out it’s not warranted. Nothing in the court’s decision will prevent bands like Public Enemy or the Offspring from continuing to make available on Napster whatever music they want (assuming their label, who actually owns the copyright, agrees). If these bands don’t mind their music being traded freely on Napster, they won’t ask Napster to remove it. End of story.

The fun part of all this will be watching how many of those bands you love jump on the same “artistic freedom” bandwagon you’re driving. If Counting Crows doesn’t want to share all of their music for free with you, are you going to indict them for clinging to “their vast profit margins” like you accuse Metallica of? (Or, you can try and rationalize it by saying that the band probably would, but it’s those big, nasty labels that are calling the shots. Not that Counting Crows couldn’t go find a label that’s more agreeable to their way of thinking or anything…)

I wanted everyone to see this again. 99 cents is too much to pay for a song. Less than a dollar. Tell me, what price above “free” is acceptable to you – 1 cent? 5 cents? Should music producers operate at a loss so you don’t have to spend your precious dollar?

Well, I suppose I should have written it more carefully to be : " $.99 is too much when it means that you have to pay 19 for stuff you don't want. .99 is a fine price if they have some sort of preview function. "

But honestly, even though my sentence structure was poor, you didn’t get that from what I wrote?

I liked napster for the availability to get out of print and live cuts that I couln’t get elsewhere. btw I do have over 300 CDs that my wife and I purchased from the stores.

Here’s the news:

(trying THAT^ out for the first time…)

This story is an interesting look at what could happen down the road. It isn’t the only possible outcome.
I should say that I use Napster and I do feel that artists should be compensated for their work.

Well, at this point I think everyone’s just throwing in their two cents, because it’s all been said.

My favorite bands are obscure in the U.S., and to get their albums requires a hefty importing fee. So, I thought, to punish Virgin Megastore or whathaveyou, I’ll download the ENTIRE Himmelfahrt album by Megaherz. I’ll never buy it, I’ll never import it, and as far as I saw, I’d never have to pay for an import again.

Then I asked my friend if she thought Megaherz would ever tour in the states. “No way…they don’t have the record sales.”

That’s one story that made me rethink Napster. Sure it’s fun to share music, and sure METALLICA has all the money you seem to think they need (btw, who is anyone to decide WHO has enough money?)…but what about the other bands trying to make it? Nobody starts a band and says, “boy, I hope we stay really obscure and make no money and have to have day jobs for the rest of our lives”.

Another interesting story deals with bootlegs and ‘unreleased’ material. The new Rammstein album comes out this April. Someone bootlegged one of the singles at a preview concert about six months ago, and put it on napster. It sounded like crap because it was just in its development stages, but it spread like wildfire. Consequently, Rammstein felt they had to release that finished single on Napster early to counteract the crap…and that will undoubtedly result in lower sales for the single, which was released yesterday in Germany. Now the whole friggin’ album is on Napster…and for a band that’s been hidden in the shadows for two years and already has trouble with sales in the U.S…that’s death.

I would DEFINITELY pay a fee to use Napster, because I’m a mix tape addict, and I’m not going to buy a whole Puff Daddy album to have “It’s All About the Benjamins”, but I will pay to have the single. People who say that it’s their “right” to get everything for free obviously have no concept of how commerce and society works.


If the guy you “stole” from still has the music, then how can it have been stolen?

If there are two copies, one of which has been paid for, then one hasn’t. Simple.

(And before this old chestnut comes up again: it doesn’t matter whether you would have bought the CD or not – in this example there are two copies in existence and only one has been paid for)

[sub]DISCLAIMER: I don’t necessarily agree with many of the pricing practices of the music industry. I just don’t see how this is any more ‘ethical’ a solution[/sub]

Just because something hasn’t been paid for doesn’t mean it’s stolen. You breathe air all the time without paying for it, and nobody calls you a thief for that.

“Stolen”, in common parlance, means that someone has deprived you of an object you have some claim to without your consent. In the Napster case, nobody has deprived anybody of any objects. Calling that “stealing” is not too far from calling abortion “baby-murdering”.

For what it’s worth, you can go to Mp3.com and find a whole-fucking-slew of “unsigned bands” to download from. My recommendation? Look up “Tommy and the Stompers”.

I’m not sure that air is a good analogy. No individual or group created the air you breathe.

Stealing doesn’t have to apply to tangible objects in your possession. Software licenses are a prime example. The album being copied without being paid for is depriving an artist of some income that they would have received, and according to copyright laws are due to receive, had the album been purchased normally.

Just some thoughts. I’ve been trying to cut corners here and there and one category that I’ve saved a lot of money in is books. I can’t tell you the thousands of dollars I used to spend on books. I used to buy 5 or 6 a month. And now, to save money, I use the good old public library. Yup, I’m a cheat since this used to be called the LENDING library. Now the library is limited in that only 1 person can read the book at a time, whereas Napster can have 1000’s download material at a time, but the principle is the same. I am enjoying the work of someone without paying that person a dime.

FWIW, I can also borrow movies, software, and music from the library.

What is the difference?

I also frequent Used Book Stores. Why doesn’t the author lobby sue these stores for lost royalties?

I’m afraid I don’t know how used bookstores operate.

When it comes to lending libraries, I assume that the publishers and owners of the rights to the books and the music are happy for their albums and books to be used in that way. I don’t want to say any more because I honestly don’t know more about libraries.

Once again, I’d like to point out that I don’t have any particular grudge against Napster or any particular love for record companies. My POV is purely theoretical, trying to understand why Napster is being forced to remove certain artists’ material from free availability, and my understanding is that in theory it’s because free availability denies the artists a share of the cash. Of course, whether you’d buy their work in practice is entirely different, and I can see why Napster is so popular.

until a world government is realized, what stops me from creating a true peer to peer file sharing environment and running hog wild with it?

if my users are based in Hong Kong, Canada, the US, France, Lower Sebdomnia, and in a low earth orbit vehicle, and on an independant boat nation that migrates international waters, how the hell does the US court system intend to regulate that shit??

I will watch their efforts with amusement. Meanwhile I will use any number of the 4.3 billion options available to me to get at what I need, music wise. I already pay a tax on blanks CD based on the assumption that I will use them to pirate software and music, so given that I have already been punished for the crime, whyfor should I not take advantages of the act itself?

Somebody elsewhere made the comment that the music of certain hard-to-find or obscure artists could only be obtained from Napster, or by driving three hours to some far distant trendy record shop.

Well, Amazon has all of the artists you listed including some oddball imports & versions with different cover art. I consider the extra dollar or two you pay in shipping to be just a “convenience charge” and don’t mind paying this since my music will be hand delivered to my mailbox within a few short days.

First Touch by Dominic Miller - $14.99
Second Nature by Dominic Miller - $15.97 (Import)
CGT III by California Guitar Trio - $35.49
Eight selections by Death In Vegas - $10.99-$26.99
Four selections by Christopher Lawrence - $13.99-$14.99
Before The Calm, and others by Witness - $15.99
Distillation by Erin McKeown
Global Blues by AntiJazz - $9.99
Four selections by Pinback - $10.99-$14.22
My Solo Project by Mates of State - $14.22
Ten selections by Minus - $6.99-$28.49

And as far as sampling goes, both Amazon & Tower Records allow you to listen to short excerpts. Why are they so short (about 20 seconds)? I suspect (but don’t know for sure) that the aretist would rather you not be able to download the whole single for free.

There is probably a better way, such as for the artists to take it upon themselves to make select cuts of their songs available on their own sites. I know this means putting out cash on their part, but it’s cheap advertising IMO - a nice compromise between giving your music away for free via Napster and not selling any at all because you can’t get any air play.

Blank CDs are about 50¢ around here, maybe even less in bulk. That’s 2½¢ tax per disc. I am amused that you consider 2½¢ to be appropriate “punnishment” for your five-finger Napster discount.

Nobody created the copy, either. The work involved in making the recording happened once, then it was over. In fact, the person most directly involved in making the copy was me, since I downloaded it.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I still don’t think it’s appropriate to call it stealing. “Violating copyright law”, maybe, but not stealing. There’s a big difference.

On the topic of used bookstores and libraries, the copyright laws allow you to lend or resell your copy (more or less) at will. The only time you run afoul of the law is when you make copies and give them to other people.

Why is Napster any different than a dual cassette recorder or a VCR? They both are tools that some people use to infringe copyright laws. Napster is a file sharing utility. It allows me to give uncopyrighted material to someone out there on the net. Sure some people will use it for unethical purposes but they do that already with dual cassette recorders and CD burners. Why ban one and not the other? They aren’t getting the material from napster. Should be ban photocopiers? I can go into the Library and copy photographs and books and the publishers won’t get royalties. Sure there’s the little sign that nobody pays attention to, so the solution must be to ban the copy machine so that it won’t be used anymore.

I hear the argument about mass distribution, that copying a CD for 2 of your friends is much different from giving it to 2000 people. I don’t see how. It’s either right or wrong. At what point is it unreasonable? 50? 100? The technology is here and the RIAA needs to play ball for their own sake. They can fight napster but another technology will come along. They can’t fight it.