Napster is Dead: Long live property rights!

long live property rights

Anyway, a link usually help, so, here.
Not that this will stop anyone…

Napster is live and running right now.

How do I know? I’m downloading some non-copyrighted (thus, legal) bootlegs.

I’ve downloaded over a gig of mp3s via Napster in the past week, not a single kilobyte of which was something that record company owns the copyright of.

Long live music!

Perhaps I missed it or I’m just dense, but how does one know whether or not a record company has the copyright on a particular song? Are all the songs I’ve downloaded lately from the ear of my teeny booper years (The 70’s) legal or not?

<sigh> That would be the era of my teeny booper years.

The copyright has not run out on those songs and won’t for a long, long time. So they are protected and, legally, should not be downloaded. And you don’t want to stop aha from living in the lap of luxury on his record royalties, do you? :wink:

dropz’s post touched on what, in my opinion, is the biggest problem with the staunch defenders of intellectual property rights (IPR), namely that they get to keep their monopoly too damn long.

Let’s get a little philosophical here. IPR are a trade-off between creators and the public. The creator gets a (temporary) monopoly which is defended by the resources of the public – taxes that support the patent office, the police, the prosecutors, the courts, etc. The public (eventually) gets access to the IP (“public domain”) after the monopoly expires.

The problem is that creators never want the monopoly to expire. They fight like demons in Congress and in the courts to extend and defend the monopoly period. In essence, they want IPR to be a one way street. They want to reneg on their bargain with the public – the same group that foots the bill to uphold their monopoly.

I say enough. Give creators a 35 year monopoly that also expires with the death of the creator. Then, I say, let the public have at it.

Dammit! If they’re not going to re-release all that music on CD, how the devil am I supposed to replace my youthfully adored Bobby Sherman, Tony DeFranco, and the other music that hasn’t been given new life on CD or even cassette?


But just for the record, I own “Western Union” in all its vinyl 45 glory, I just don’t dare play it. Needles for my turntable are damned hard to find!

Don’t cheer too loudly. It’s just a matter of time before some other form of peer-to-peer file sharing program pops up to fill the Napster vacuum.

Inky- - you hit the nail right on the head there.

It’s kind of interesting how the tables have turned in the 21st century.

Throughout all of history, those that controlled the people were smarter than the people (with a few exceptions).

But now, where education is handed to everyone and the internet is available for all to utilize, the public is now growing smarter by the day.

It’s too late for the government and the recording industry…and the book publishing industry…and the movie industry…to try to catch up to the technology that the teeming millions are developing.

I’m so excited to see what the future holds. When you have 14 year olds writing viruses that can bring entire nations to their knees for severaldays…imagine what they can do with some focus and motivation on something practical!!

Napster is only the beginning! The public has now realized the power they hold… :smiley:

This is not nearly adequate. The copyright automatically expires at death? So, when John Lennon was shot in 1980, the songs he had just written and recorded for Double Fantasy would have gone into the public domain, and his heirs (to whom the copyrights are transferable upon death if provided for) would have seen none of that compensation? No way.

The old life+50 was a fine compromise. The current life+70 is, IMHO, still reasonable.


If the creators of artistic works are just going to see their works distributed outside of their control and they cannot profit from them, why would you imagine that they would continue to supply the public with created works? Would you spend the money to record and release a record if you knew some schmoe was going to promptly start giving it away for free?

Ummmm…becuase that’s what “artists” do. If they love the music so much…money shouldn’t be an issue. If you’re a real artist…you put the fan in front of the money. Sure it would be nice to not have to work a second job like all 7 of us do…but that shouldn’t matter if you really enjoy playing the music. Maybe sometime down the road, we can all leave our jobs and spend most of the year touring all over. That’s a very good possibility, if we can make enough money to cover expenses and “at-home” costs like rent and utilities.

Actually, I already do. We recorded a 9-song CD for just over $1500, money we made playing local shows. Now, I give away free tunes at, have had our songs on Napster for over a year now, as well as countless other sites worldwide. We also sell a CD on for $5.99, which has sold suprisingly well.

Now…do you think all of that $20 you spend on a CD goes directly to the artist? On average they get maybe a nickel per sale, if they’re lucky…after the label, the producer, the distrobutor, the lawyer, the agent, and the IRS take their cut. Most of the time, this “profit” that the artist sees, just barely covers the rent and other expenses incurred while they were busy recording the damn thing. Most real artists make their money on merchandise and touring. This is separate from those already popular artists who make alot in sponsorship (i.e. BSB/Brittany Spears & Pepsi) and/or can charge $100 for a concert ticket and get away with it.

With this new digital music revolution, there is no need for the record label, the producer, the distributor, and the agent. All you need is a good promoter (which I, as a member of the band, do myself) and eventually a lawyer/manager/accountant to work out the dealings with the gig venues, merchandisers, and taxes. Other than that, the recording can be done yourselves or for a pretty small fee at a local studio.

If this trend continues, the record companies will need to find another way to make money…instead of leeching it out of their artists. No one will pay for something when they can get it for free. I don’t care who you are or what you do…if you can get something for free, to a moral limit, why pay for it?

It’s not like the Napsterites haven’t “payed their dues” by constantly fattening these record execs wallets while the platinum-selling musicians still go bankrupt! It’s not like the Napsterites are “hurting” anyone. I’d much rather people “steal” my music than steal my car…or worse, kill people.

These “Intellectual Property” and “Fair Use” laws have been around since the invention of the cassette recorder. But now that technology has advanced so much…the laws are WAY outdated. If these things don’t change soon, everyone is gonna be a criminal! What are they gonna do, go put half the population of the US in jail? I’d love to see 'em try!!!

Support Napster! Support local music!

okay… I am an artist, and my life-goal is to be successful enough to devote all my time and energies to art. For now [just after my graduation, and the next few years], I will have to have a day job to feed, clothe, and shelter myself, while reserving evenings and weekends for my work.

I create and build the things I do because I want and need to. Having my work appreciated and praised, however mildly, is very satisfying. However, I am not about to just give my pieces away to every person that likes one.

Besides, some programmers love programming so much… should they work for free? Should they put the enjoyment before the paycheck? Should doctors with a genuine love of helping and healing practice for free? Asking people to use their talents for the benefit and enjoyment of others without provding adequate compensation is exploitation.

I would mostly agree with idiotboy.

But on the issue of property rights…

usually, don’t most artists sign those away to the record companies? So, basically, the artists don’t even see the money from their 20-year-old one-hit-wonder that’s made a comeback because it showed up on a movie soudtrack… etc etc etc

I would mostly agree with idiotboy.

But on the issue of property rights…

usually, don’t most artists sign those away to the record companies? So, basically, the artists don’t even see the money from their 20-year-old one-hit-wonder that’s made a comeback because it showed up on a movie soudtrack… etc etc etc

I’ll assume you were trying to be informative here, but please don’t condescend to tell me what artists do and don’t do and what people who love music do and don’t do. I’ve been a part-time recording and performing musician for over a decade, thanks. I also know a lot of people who worl in music and the visual arts. They all love their creations, but they sure as hell don’t want to get stiffed. And some of them, believe it or not, actually like to be in control of the distribution of their work!

Again with the condescension. Truth be told, real artists create because they LIKE to. Whether anybody consumes it is secondary. There, now we each have a definition of what real artists do.

Well, great. Some people would like to actually make back the money they spend recording. Maybe your business plan isn’t what everyone else wants to do.

No. No, no, no.

The record company holds the copyright on: The actual, physical sound recording. Nobody can use that recording without permission of the record company. After a certain period, those rights revert to the artist.

The songwriter and publisher hold the copyrights on: The actual songs–music, lyrics and arrangement. Nobody can cover that song without compensating the songwriter and publisher. After a certain period, the work enters the public domain.

The RIAA did attempt to get recorded works classified as “works for hire,” usurping the publisher’s/songwriter’s copyrights, but they failed to do so. In your example, the one-hit-wonders, assuming they wrote the song in question, get paid every time that song is broadcast or sold. If their original recording is used, the record company controls that and gets paid for its use. If the filmmaker doesn’t want to pay the record company, he can have someone else record the song. (Like, say, Natalie Merchant doing “One Fine Day” for the movie of the same name.)

Here’s how it works: Remember when Nike used Revolution in a sneaker spot? They used the Beatles’ recording, for which they had to get the permission of Capitol Records. If they just wanted to use the song, they could have had some Beatles soundalike record it, and they would only have needed to provide the proper mechanical license fees to Northern Songs Ltd., the publisher.

Actually, Darqangelle, there are many associations, the most popular being ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Artists, and Producers) that, from what I understand, will pay royalties on things like radio play, TV airtime, webcasts, mp3 streams, movie/TV soundtracks, commercials, etc. Regardless of whether you’re signed to a label or not, these agencies should still provide musicians with some compensation, no matter how miniscule.

However, I just received my ASCAP packet this week, and could be wrong on a some of this info…I’m still wading through it.

pldennison - I’m sorry if I offended you. I wasn’t trying to be condescending. I’m just giving my opinion. Whether you agree with it or not is fine…

Yeah…a definition based on your opinion. To me, there is nothing secondary about consumption. Whether it’s just your mom, or your cat, or millions of screaming fans…or it’s just yourself. You are still “consuming”. You like it or you don’t. You are still a “fan”. And of course creating is something you like to do, or you wouldn’t do it. But if you compromise your personal taste or style to make a few extra bucks…you have “sold out”. Like it or not…you are no longer an artist, but an enterprise, a company. That’s the difference between an artist and a “sell out”. The artist refuses to change for money, but is welcome to accept money for his work. A “sell out” will sell itself to the highest bidder, giving up integrity for a fortune.

If no one but you consumes it…there’s no money to be made, right? So in the case of “non-consumed art” I suppose there is an exception…there’s no money being made there.

Wouldn’t we all?! Damn, I wish I could get the time back I spent on washing the dishes or cleaning the house.

Now, I never said I didn’t want to make the money back we spent on recording. But it took some work to get it back. It took playing live shows. It took going out and promoting. In order to get the promotion and exposure needed to get the shows, and the people at the shows, was to allow people to listen to our music without having to spend any money. People will be more likely to give a blind listen if it’s free!

Being a decade-long artist, you can’t tell me your main income comes from CD sales! If so, you’re very lucky and I’d like to know what label you’re on! :smiley:

I agree giving away music is no way to make a profit…but when labels want nothing to do with you, what else have you got?

However, regardless of what you’re in the entertainment industry for (the money, the fame, the fans, the enjoyment)…there’s no way that anyone can stop this trend. If the teeming millions want something…they’ll get it. No matter what the RIAA does. No matter what the Government does. Another Napster will come along…and bigger and better one. One that can’t be “shut down”. The only way to shut it down is to shut the entire internet down, and that is never gonna happen.

Getting away from the turn this thread has taken, I thought I’d throw in what I thought was a great quote from Mark Cuban.

"Just another example of the recording industry doing its best to shoot itself in the head. It finally has a single destination Web site where 40 million plus digitally ready music fans go to celebrate their PERSONAL interests in music. Napster has become the ultimate music community. Rather than taking the easy road by offering those 40 million plus people the option of buying virus free, guaranteed quality and multi-format choices of hassle free downloaded music at realistic prices, they take probably what will go down in history as the stupidest business move every made, and shut the doors on the largest congregation of music buyers in the history of the world.

What the music industry will be left with is their ongoing fantasy of trying to drive music consumers to industry owned Web sites in enough volume to generate any material amounts of digitally delivered music revenue. The music industry has already spent and lost more money trying to create viable Web sites for digital commerce then they could ever possibly lose to downloaded music for personal use via Napster. With Napster gone, the cumulative total that the labels will spend trying to recreate their own personal crapsters will exceed a billion dollars easily and get absolutely no results.

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Aglarond - EXCELLENT QUOTE! I couldn’t say it any better than that!
pldennison - I would again like to apologize if I’ve offended you in any way. I extend my open hand for shaking. I have no bad blood in my body, and only enjoy the sharing of opinions. This is one of the more intelligent conversations I’ve had on the subject, and have gained alot of insight from you. I also am intrigued to know more about what you do. Please share if you’d like.