Napster, again

My conscience doesn’t feel better. I would rather be able to purchase the works of artists from sources that did provide them just compensation. But I can’t. There are none available. The record companies are not interested in making them available. They don’t want my few dollars, because it is not enough money to interest them. So I don’t hear “Busted Bicycle” for a few decades, because my local record store never heard of Leo Kottke.

As I said, I know it is not strictly honest. But it is at least possible to get the music I like. It certainly is not really cheating the recording industry in any real sense to copy music that they won’t sell to me.

Yes, and the problem persists to this day.

Let’s say you form a community brass band, and decide to perform “Louie-Louie” at a local parade. When you look into purchasing the sheet music, however, you realize that you need to pay for each copy, and that you don’t have enough money to cover the purchase for 20+ members (or whatever).

So you buy the master conductor’s score and photocopy enough for everyone in the band. Is that legal?

No. Not even remotely. Just because some yahoo can run off a few copies on a Xerox doesn’t make it legal.

Then there’s the whole warez thing, but I won’t even open that one up.

Here is another complication: while the RIAA pursues Napster, they might be broken up and not be an organization anymore, if it is one of the remedies imposed by the court in the anti-trust suit vs the RIAA. I don’t question individual artists suing Napster for potential loss of revenue. But in the case of RIAA, they blew it with the ill-fated SDMI protocol, and now they are suing Napster out of sour grapes.

Well, the RIAA went after Napster just to protect their own ass. I, for one, hold no delusions that they were trying to stop an “evil force” in America. But since this IS America, everyone has the right to cover their ass.

Personally, I’d wish that our friends “Big Music” (this is the first time I’ve ever referred to a major corporate entity in that fashion in all seriousness) would just hurry up and find a way to capitalize on compressed sound files and get it over with.

FYI: There are more than just Mp3 files running around out there now. Sony, for example, has developed their own Atrac-3 file, which is actually smaller than Mp3, but used exclusively with their portable digital music devices. THERE’s an example of a company taking advantage of a new technology.

What’s ridiculous about $10-$20 for a CD? It’s rather cheap, don’t you think? I can find $10-$20 in loose change around my house if I look hard enough. The exact same recording medium with a video game on it in a 50-cent box will cost you four times that.

For my $20, I can buy a recording of music that will, for all practical intents and purposes, last forever. I can enjoy the music, recorded with incredible clarity and fidelity, for hundreds of hours. I’d pay $20 for that with a smile. So would everyone else, apparently, since there’s no shortage of people willing to pay it.

The market will pay more for a CD for a very good reason; it’s a better product. It’s quite fair to charge more for a superior product.

No, not really. Let’s see… five recordings plus taxes takes you over the C-note mark…

I remember buying albums for less than $10.

Uhh, that’s because the record companies all charge that much. And we’ve become used to paying that much.

Sorry I don’t have the link, but there are reports of a few states suing the “biz” for overcharging and price-fixing CDs.

A long time ago, the recording/production companies already were making CDs for cheaper than vinyl… but they figured “Whataminit… we don’t have to tell the people that. We can make money off this.” They went so far as to make certain CD shops will charge the high prices as well.

-Why the Darq expression?

Yeah, and I remember buying a comic book and a coke with a quarter, and getting change, too. Not relevant to the discussion, Darq.