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Pirates Steal Negative $1,400,000,000 from Music Industry

michael posted more than 14 years ago | from the two-faced dept.

Music 589

In exciting news this week, the RIAA announced that due to the massive piracy of digital music "ripped" from CD's and made available over the Internet, the music industry lost negative $1,400,000,000 in CD sales in 1999. In fact, the damage was so extreme that the industry shipped negative 90 million fewer CD's than the year before.

Oh, I can't keep up the fake news any more... In fact, the RIAA reports that the music industry - especially non-copy-protected CD's - is booming. Not only did the record industry sell 10.8% more CD's than last year, they raised their income on those disks by 12.3% - so not only are you buying more music, but you're paying more for each disk you buy. Income from CD's alone increased by 1.4 billion dollars last year. So where's the crippling damage from evil music pirates? If they're suffering so badly, why does their profit chart look like Microsoft's?

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Clearly, we're not pirating fast enough. :) (5)

Ian the Terrible (11944) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241925)

Let's pick up the pace - despite all of our efforts, the RIAA is still firmly in the black.

HA (1)

peelSA (133921) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241926)

The RIAA has no idea how to control what could prove to be the biggest thing since CDs.

double negatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241927)

what's with the double negatives?

Re:double negatives (1)

Pascal Q. Porcupine (4467) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241928)

You know that mass of neurons between your ears? Maybe you should try using them to figure out what he means by the double negatives.

The music industry lost negative 1.4 billion. That is, they gained 1.4 billion.
"'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine [] .

figures.... (1)

nirnaeth (117870) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241929)

SHEESH. I think the riaa would be damn surprised at what would happen if they actually LOWERED cd prices... maybe people would ..... BUY MORE OF them...??? nahh... cant be... first post? *shrug*

They're probably right to some extent (3)

Troed (102527) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241930)

... students on campus don't really buy CDs anymore, which I know many of you can confirm. That we don't like the actions of the RIAA doesn't mean we can't see objectively on the matter.

We need music over the web, micropayable - I'm all for commercial solutions as long as they're not closed standards. If I could buy music for a reasonable amount of money I would - instead of downloading crap quality mp3s (yes, crap quality - people who don't know how to grab without getting click sounds, or mp3-compress with the wrong programs etc)

In fact, I've _stopped_ listening to mp3s - I'm just waiting for the commercial music-over-the-net solutions .. please? Anyone?

because... (2)

JustShootMe (122551) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241931)

Piracy is just pr. You want to demonize people,accuse them of being pirates or whatever. It's all about perception. As in everything else.

Yeah it disgusts me, but...

If you can't figure out how to mail me, don't.

Greed (4)

Trollok (144022) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241932)

I think that to be a record company executive you have to never grow out of that "No it's mine and you can't have it stage" of childhood developement. My parents taught me to share so I guess I'll never make the cut. I refuse to support the record industry, I'll never pay for their music and I hope that everyone else wakes up and gets tired of being spoon fed the mediocre overpriced crap that they are trying to push on us.

Legal action better be swift. . . (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241933)

I've done my part, and I better get sued for -$25,000!

This is very good news for tech. (2)

AndrewSchaefer (89406) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241934)

I'm glad to see that they are doing so well. I actually thought that there may be some impact from audio piracy, but I guess not.

"DVD music video dollar value grew 442 percent from $12.2 million in 1998 to $66.3 million in 1999."

Wow. Now that is great to see. I'm sure that this will mean that we will see more and more titles released for DVD. Looks like VHS sales dropped, I guess that market is moving to DVD.

Gee, I guess that DeCSS didn't have the major impact on the market that it was supposed to have, and that Napster isn't the end of CD audio.

subtract a negative = add a positive (0)

miahrogers (34176) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241935)

If you subtract a negative number you add a positive number. If they shipped negative 90 million cds, then they shipped 90 million above normal. If they had $1,400,000,000 stolen from them they were given $1,400,000,000. Sorry, for griping, it's just my pet peeve.

Oh come on... (2)

kwsNI (133721) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241936)

Hey, like the double negatives there...

I think that the music industry is booming in part because of "pirated" music. Honestly, I've purchased a couple hundred dollars worth of CD's because I really like the MP3s that I've downloaded and I can say that a number of my friends have too.


Re:figures.... (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241937)

Yep, that's the only way to stop copying.
Why should I pay Fl 44,95 (that's around $ 22 ) for a CD when I can buy it over the net for $ 11,95..
The problem is, that nobody in the EC follows the law and do something against price fixing.
The prices in all the shops are almost the same because the record industry don't allow competition (price fixing is against the law).

So, my questions would be: (3)

Serf (11805) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241938)

1. How much more could this have been if there were no piracy?

2. How much less could this have been if people hadn't bought CD's based on hearing pirated music that they liked?

negative loss? (0)

JDLazarus (15077) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241939)

doesn't negative loss = gain?

Mucic Industry (1)

skelly (38870) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241940)

Oh woe is us! We only made more profit this last year than when the WWW first came out. What are going to do? Those awful, bad, bad, bad, evil Internet pirates are not going to lest us enjoy our near monopoly on popular music. I know, let's create a new media scare and blame it on those awful hackers. We can say that the Linux OS allows these hackers to copy our cd's with out care or concern in the world for our rights to charge outrageous fees and reap incredible profits with no concern about the quality of the schlock we produce.

Some fault. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241941)

You could say the same thing about the computer industry and hacking, but nobody does, because there are other factors. Fear the flaming goat.

Re:subtract a negative = add a positive (1)

conio (39484) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241942)

That's the point.


nice grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241943)

Sheesh, are all you slashdot people high school drop-outs or what? Ever hear of a double negative? If they "lost negative $1,400,000,000 in CD sales", then they actually gained $1,400,000,000. And if they "shipped negative 90 million fewer CD's", they actually shipped 90 million MORE cd's than the year before... why don't you go and buy a fucking holt handbook, or take an english 098 class somewhere.

Mp3s have no effect on CD sales (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241944)

I don't think mp3s and other pirated music/video have any effect on the amount of cds sold during the year. If a person pirates a particular music/video media he/she probably wasn't going to spend the money on it in the first place. The amount of cds sold really has to do with how well the economy is doing. 1999 saw one of the best years for the economy in history. Since more people have money, more people will be buying cds. Simple as that.

Haa: Troll is funny. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241945)

This is funny.

Re:subtract a negative = add a positive (1)

Glith (7368) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241946)

Yes, that's the entire point of the article. Perhaps you should read it.

Re:They're probably right to some extent (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241947)

we still buy some music on my campus. you are the only person i have ever heard of who refuses to use mp3's. everyone i know loves them. yes there are some crappy quality ones floating around but it's not THAT bad. you get what you pay for. if i find some music i really like, I will still buy it on a disk. even if mp3's had perfect sound quality, i still want that physical representation of the music with the little booklet and the lyrics and all that stuff.

I've been buying more! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241948)

I don't know about the rest of you, but ever since I've started listening to MP3s, I've been buying more CDs. Listening to the MP3 first is great way to know if you want the CD or not.

Re:subtract a negative = add a positive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241949)

my pet peeve is incredibly stupid people like you. It was a joke, and the negative lost revenues was an important part of it.

All you proved with your post is that you passed 4th grade math. And evidently didn't get much further than that.

Re:double negatives (1)

xee (128376) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241950)

Yeah, and they shipped 90 Million more CDs. Or in RIAA-ese, negative 90 million fewer.

Just think... (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241951)

Just think what kind of income they would have made if the music industry produced more stuff worth listening to, instead of the usual crap they're cranking out.
I'm convinced that the music industry watches the music pirates for valuable info on what kind of music people want. I've noticed several times that old out-of-print vinyl albums I've ripped to mp3 and posted to usenet are suddenly rereleased on CDs. The music pirates are providing free market research on what the studios should resurrect out of the old vaults.

Re:They're probably right to some extent (3)

Shadow Knight (18694) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241952)

... students on campus don't really buy CDs anymore, which I know many of you can confirm. That we don't like the actions of the RIAA doesn't mean we can't see objectively on the matter.

As a student on campus, I can confirm that this is absolutely false! Students around here (Va Tech, where we have ethernet connected to the internet via five T1s and three T3s... it's fast) are buying more CD's than ever. They then rip the CD's for convenience's sake. They do not return them. They keep them. So, I don't know where you get that above statement from... at least at this major university, it simply isn't true.

Supreme Lord High Commander of the Interstellar Task Force for the Eradication of Stupidity

the results are in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241953)

RIAA... now with 90% less evil!

Slashdot == Midvale School for the Gifted (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241954)

And the sheer number of people completely missing the point of the double negative only proves it.

Where do the figures come from? (1)

Halster (34667) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241955)

You always see these figures on piracy. But what I've wanted to know for ages is how they work it out.

Do they assume that every song pirated is a lost CD sale?
Surely noone is stupid enough to suggest that if people didn't pirate it they'd go out and buy it?

my 2 cents (1)

bholmberg (82216) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241956)

I've stopped listening to mp3s. I've still got quite a few hundred megs of them, but it's just been too much of a hassle for me, especially now that my system is no unreliable, I don't even know if I'll have time to finish this post before I need to administer the three-finger salute!

Because of this, I picked up a few CDs the other day, because I needed background noise for some mind-numbing work. After I picked them up, I started thinking of the price advantage of the CD clubs, and how badly I was just raped by Target©! It ticks me off, and I'm wanting one of those new DVD players with the Sony Memory Stick slot for playing mp3s on my entertainment center. I just need to muster up the extra $.

Hypocricy? (1)

caetin (157275) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241957)

Which is more amazing.. that you people bitch and whine about the "corporate" music and the "spoon-fed" attitude, or the fact that you steal said music. Whether or not they're ethical is a personal decision. If they're really the bad bad people you say they are, why don't you 1) not BUY the music, and 2) not DOWNLOAD the music. Its pretty amazing you blasphemize these companies then justify stealing their goods because they're evil.. indeed...

negative amount stolen (0)

canadiankris (156811) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241958)

if the music pirates stole the industry a negative amount of money that woul actually mean they had given the money to them, wouldn't it ?

RIAA sucks ... (1)

SuperDuG (134989) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241959)

Okay mp3's are evil I'll admit that ... hehehe now that that's off my chest ... Mp3's are illegal and wrong and bad and easy to download just look at napster and open nap ... Music is a pain anymore because of the commercialization of it. You can't hear a certain type of music on the radio unless the commercialized owners want you to hear it. Mp3's give us the choice back and make it so that we can all enjoy whatever it is we want to listen to. On average EVERYONE buys music so I don't know how much it's really hurting the actual industry. I hold the same theory true today ... if I like the band I buy the album ... simple as that.

They need to add more value to the albums! (2)

browser_war_pow (100778) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241960)

Why don't they start doing cool things like putting mpeg copies of the music videos on a separate cd or mail you a cd with the music videos for only the cost of shipping and handling when you buy the album? They need to make the album more than just music, it needs extra content like music videos on it. Eventually the 1.4 billion they announced they lost will look like chicken scratch because no one will buy the albums since they are so bloody expensive. Most of my ska, punk, swing, emo and metal records cost me only around $10-$14.... usually in the $12-$13 range for the more popular ones. However I shudder when I see the prices that people pay for popular rap and rock albums, around $16-$20. I am of the opinion that if they started USING the internet for distribution they could lower the price without lowering their profits. On a side note who does the RIAA think it is kidding by saying that it protects the rights of artists? It only protects the interests of the big labels it represents and their artists. I would be so surprised if they cracked down on a site giving away records from an independent label like epitaph, lookout or moon ska.

Moderate up: (Clever Invective:+1) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241961)

Thank you.

stuff em..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241962)

I have no sympathy for the music industry.A CD in oz costs $30. At that price i only buy the very few i REALLY want, the rest i get on MP3.

Re:negative loss? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241963)

You are a moron. Read the article.

Reality is irrelevant - Pay to Play is end goal. (5)

kbonin (58917) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241964)

All the whining about MP3's is primarily an attempt to prepare the legal grounds for supression of the format later, when they can force hardware manufacturers to suspend MP3 playback capability in favor of SDMI and/or its latest flavor.

The industry needs to make sure that when digital music is deployed (i.e. when _they_ deploy it), it goes out with the ability to be rented (which they prefer), instead of just bought. They also want the full suite of digital copy protections, such as tying it to the device its stored on so you can't share it. To do this they have to supress MP3.

Since Goebbels was right about telling a big enough lie often enough will eventually make it believable, that is what is happening. The media in this country is pretty much controlled by the same corporations that own the music, so you'll hear numbers like this alot, no matter how absurd they are when you apply basic arithmetic to them.

Essentially, the end of "fair use" as it's been known in copyright law for the last century or so is approaching - UCITA and DMCO are other aspects of this erosion of rights.

We have a DVX (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241965)

Buy yourself a DVX player. Give them your CC number and micro-pay away.

Re:nice grammar (1)

Paradise_Pete (95412) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241966)

Perhaps articles such as these should be posted once in a while to ferret out people who can't comprehend them so that they can be banned from reading slashdot.

Re:double negatives (1)

Reno (135309) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241967)

According to this article, the RIAA/music industry, should be in favor of mp3's. They made $1.4 billion last year in CD sales.

Re:negative amount stolen (1)

Glith (7368) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241968)

Yes, that's how businesses work. You pay for things.

The RIAA could help itself (4)

overcode (103467) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241969)

I believe the RIAA should stop whining and fix the problem itself. I for one would pay a small fee for each MP3 that I have a copy of, if that were possible. I hate CD's (a hassle to play compared to MP3's), so I rarely buy them except to support groups I really like. I immediately rip CD's I own so I can play them on my Rio. If the RIAA would institute a fair and reasonably priced system of music vending, I would respect it. Is anyone else with me on this?

Maybe the RIAA should (5)

vluther (5638) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241970)

reduce the price of CD's.. why would anyone want to pay $18.99 for a new CD at Sam Goody's, when they know they can get the same quality for free or even if I pay $3.99 or whatever some of those new mp3 selling sites charge you. Most of the CD's I've bought over the past 5 years, I only like 4 out of 12 songs.. paying $18.99 or even $15.99 is a rip-off. These people need to realize that MP3 is their competition, and their enemy...fight it on it's merits or lack there of, not because it's costing you money.. thats like AT&T saying everyone who uses Sprint or MCI is a pirate because when the customers switched from AT&T to MCI AT&T lost money, so obviously they're bad.

The RIAA could use all the money they spent on calculating how much they lost to MP3s on finding a format better than MP3 or in making the price of CD's a lot cheaper.. CD's still have their advantages right now.. but if I can find a song for free and download it and burn it on to my own CD, why should I even bother to go to a overpriced store ? This old mentality by the MPAA and the RIAA sickens me.. they are like little chidlren refusing to put on a sweater or wear warm clothes when it's -25 celsius outside, just because they liked the summer and hope they winter will go away because they don't like Winter, and because they want it that way.

PS: Sorry for the run-ons..

Hey read the article or don't post... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241971)

subject says all...

Re:How the hell can you lose negative amounts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241972)

Called.... SARCASM?

The industry MADE a ton of money with little or no impact from the vicious hordes of pirates that Dr. Jack (Valente) hates so much.

Just a side note... (1)

Catch22RG (71033) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241973)

The proper spelling is "disc," not "disk." Disk is a shortened form of diskette, whereas disc is a round, flat object.

Re:We have a DVX (1)

shepd (155729) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241974)

What's a DVX player? Is this new, or did you mean the dead DIVX standard?

(I'm not trying to point out a typo, but I am not sure... :-)

What the? (1)

Aphelion (13231) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241975)

Perhaps I'm the only one reading slashdot who didn't quite get this, but it actually appeared to me that the RIAA incurred a loss in 1999-- until I read the title for the article. I think that the satire, in this case, was grossly uncalled for.

My confusion was aided by the fact that loss is often reported as negative numbers. Check out some public companies' financial results, and you'll see this.

That's interesting. (3)

Dast (10275) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241976)

I know my rate of cd purchase has almost gone to 0.00. CD's are just to expensive these days, and most of the stuff pushed on us by the record industry is crap.

My school put these strange TV's everywhere that play nothing but the crappy music videos the industry thinks appeals to college students. As a result I've gotten so tired of hearing the same old crap that you couldn't *pay* me to buy a cd. I guess they had the reverse effect intended.

Re:negative amount stolen (1)

canadiankris (156811) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241977)

paying for things wouldn't be stealing then though

The ultimate piracy -- radio (5)

nickm (1468) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241978)

Good grief! How are they supposed to be making money on CDs when people are playing this music for free on the radio!?
I mean, this technology could ruin the recording industry, even if it does help the music industry!
I noticed

What kind of journalism is that? (2)

zeck (103790) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241979)

Couldn't you guys just report things that happen rather than your opinions on them? Honestly, Michael, if you're going to comment on the article, do it in the thread rather than turning the headlines into a confusing sarcastic rant.

Re:negative loss? (1)

Pascal Q. Porcupine (4467) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241980)

That was the point.
"'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine [] .

hmm - my thoughts (2)

rswinford (149063) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241981)

I think the music industry is ethically right in the assumption that the music is there and we shouldn't be trading mp3s. What ethically gets me is that the music industry doesnt seem to get is that it is charging exhorbiant prices for the good they offer, and they have a pseudo monopoly. for instance, if im out to buy a dave matthews cd I can only buy that cd from RCA/BMG. thats right, i could go buy another cd from another company but I want that dave matthews cd, and they are free to charge what they wish on the fans; that is what isnt fair and drives me to trade mp3s.

Re:nice grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241982)

I was going to try not to flame everyone who
responded as you did, but your post had such a
condescending tone I could not resist.

You see, he was using the double negatives for
effect. It was so that when you read the top
paragraph, you'd think it was another article
about how mp3s are costing the music industry.
His choice of words served to strengthen the
message. You really should pay more attention
before posting angry profanity-laden posts to

Fear the Flaming Goat.

Perhaps this would work with other things? (1)

cbustapeck (116328) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241983)

If what people are suggesting is true, that as more music is pirated, more money will be made by the people who sell the music, this could change commerce as we know it.

Cars, for instance. People would copy cars (using 3d scanners and AutoCatalyst) and post them on ftp sites. Users would get most of the value of the car, without all the space that they normally take up. Along with solving parking problems in many major cities, this would also cause car sales and profit per car to rise.

WinAuto, anyone?

Well, duh. (2)

spaceorb (125782) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241984)

Of _course_ they are experiencing an increase of CD sales despite MP3. But consider what is fashionable in music nowadays: Boy Bands and teeny boppers. It has been said before, but fanatical teenaged girls spend more than any other group when it comes to music and movies. Because of the current music trends, there are more sales and higher prices. Fortunately for the music industry, the same group (teenaged girls) that is making all of these purchases know little or nothing about MP3.

However, when these teeny boppers go out of style (as we all know they will), expect the music industry to get hit hard.

Re:Reality is irrelevant - Pay to Play is end goal (3)

kwsNI (133721) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241985)

I think also that it has something to do with the MPAA's lawsuit over DeCSS.

The RIAA is screaming bloody hell over CD pirating. Then the MPAA comes in and says "hey, look at all the problems we've had over people ripping CD's. This is why we need to protect DVD's: So that we don't get the same problem". This is especially true since many of the companies have a vested intrest in both the RIAA and the MPAA (Like Sony).


They lost how much? (1)

llzackll (68018) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241986)

How can they lose money if they never had it in the first place? It's not like people are stealing CD's off the shelf. If they lowered the average CD price to, say, $4.99 each, I bet sales would boom. Most people would rather buy a CD for a low price than spend time looking for it on the Internet, downloading it, and then finding out that it was a poor quality cd rip or mp3 encoding. Time also has a value. Maybe my opinion will change when everyone has high speed Internet access. Wouldn't take much time then

Re:The ultimate piracy -- radio (3)

zeck (103790) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241987)

I realize you were being sarcastic to make a point, but nevertheless keep in mind that radio is not free (except for pirate radio). When you listen to the radio, you listen to advertisements. Advertisers pay radio stations to play their advertisements. And radio stations pay artists and record companies and organisations like ASCAP and BMI for the songs they play. With MP3, on the other hand, nobody gets paid.

not hypocricy, justification (2)

god_of_the_machine (90151) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241988)

It's the same reason that people pirate MS applications. They say "they can afford to lose me as a customer, look how big there are".

It's justification, a silly excuse that helps people sleep at night. But the end is the same, whether its software piracy or music piracy, content producers lose out. I know I'm biased because I'm a software producer... but why shouldn't I expect that people pay for my products if they want to use them? It's my right to expect that in a free-market system such as ours. Oh damn, I'm ranting again aren't I? =)

Last point -- if you can't afford something that you want, that doesn't mean you should steal it no matter how big or evil the company may be.

mp3 a blessing in disguise for RIAA? (5)

Lucretius (110272) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241989)

For quite some time the RIAA has been telling us that mp3 is destroying its revenue base due to illegal pirating... this data could possibly throw a kink into that argument, but I'm not going to be so compulsive as to say that for sure (though I would like to).

Now we must admit that this really does bring up some of the philosophical debates of .mp3's and piracy. I mean, if in an age where piracy is rampant and no user who has access to use an mp3 would ever go out and buy a CD (at least according to the worst rhetoric of the RIAA), then this data is apparently an anomoly and we should just ignore it.

Personally, I think this is a great way to point out that mp3's do not actually stop the purchasing of CD's, but rather promote them in the sample-before-you-buy theory. Technically we could sit around in music shops, listening to each and every CD we can get our hands on (if you happen to have one of those nice CD shops around) to see what we like, or perhaps we can just go online in the comfort of our own home and check out some stuff that other people have recommended to us, or that we have found by happenstance (the same thing that we would do in the record shop, except we can do this at 2:00am, when insomnia rears its ugly head). While the record company will obviously lose some money from people having nothing but pirated music, the overall purchasing of the music could be stimulated by the existance of mp3s.

There is, however, the other point to bring up. Music sales have increased because the economy is booming and people are just out there spending more money, most of whom have no idea what an mp3 actually is and wouldn't know how to operate a computer in order to use them in the first place.

Then again, there is the thought that they are using Britany Spears to spread subliminal messages hidden in her artificial bustline to get more adolescent kids to buy stuff... ;-)

But, back to the subject, I don't know what the numbers were from last year, at least I don't remember them being mentioned in the article), so I can't completely compare these ideas (and then again, how can someone truly proove an idea such as this.... but I digress). However, the data leads me to beleive that mp3 isn't the evil that the RIAA makes it out to be (NB - I didn't beleive them in the first place), or so the numbers would have us beleive...

Re:Oh come on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241990)

True. I just bought a Queen CD after coming across some of their mp3s on the web. The effect mp3s have on the music industry isn't really that much different from the effect that radio has.

Re:stuff em..... (1)

helix_r (134185) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241991)

A CD in oz costs $30.

No way! Is that true? What a rip-off!

Re:Massive theft: This is not funny. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241992)

Fooled? I understand relativity and am pretty sure you don't. Was Einstein trying to fool you too?

Theft? I think the term "theft" can be defined by those who have the most dollars to manipulate/bypass the law. In a purely legal sense(pre-trial) can claim the entire world is stealing from them. But is this actually the case? Who is doing the stealing in this case?

Come now, you are using a commercial perspective to preach morality and ethics. Is this really a proper location for you to be placing a soapbox for such things? You aren't fooling me. The executive perspective likes people who are stupid and are in shock that lo and behold they are finally getting their long leashes pulled in.

lose -$1.4 billion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241993)

Shit, I could afford to lose -$1.4 billion.

Re:Where do the figures come from? (1)

CFN (114345) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241994)

I believe they do exactly what you say. And so does the software industry.
I have always felt that this is totally rediculous. Just cause I dl some warez, it does not mean I would have paid $.50 for that crap.
It is so stupid that companies are allowed to do accounting in this matter, especially because people (running warez sites, for example) can be charged with stealing multi-millions of dollars worth of goods from a company, when the company's actual losses were much much less.

come on people (3)

lexiconbt (53463) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241995)

so i'm sitting here, at work, relolading slashdot, when i see one of the best headlines in a long while. yeah, i laughed out loud in my office. then i read the article, then i read the comments.

i might have guessed that maybe one id10t would post...... "um... i dont get the obvious joke embedded in this headline", but come on people, there are too many comments destroying my illusion that slashdot readers are a bit smater than the average person.

how about we think before we get that first post. slashdot is about sharing knowledge and fun... not about having the most karma, or complaining over bad posts, or repeat posts, or pretending that were more important than posters, linus, or god.

lets try to respect slashdot... and congrats michael for a great post.

//end rant


What about the artists? (2)

Jerad (65975) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241996)

I just thought I'd throw in some discussion not related to music distributors and publicists. What about the artists who we all so enjoy listening to? What happens if they cease to be payed for their efforts and no longer produce the music? While I realize and agree with the opposition to forking over hard-earned to big conglomerate corporations, it is those companies who provide artists with a label and a means by which to earn profit through notoriety.

I don't think music should have to be stolen to prevent our money from getting to the conglomerates. However, the artists must still be payed to continue their great work. Devotion to the art is fine, but it doesn't pay the bills.

With the inexpense of advertising on the internet, as well as the tremendous and diverse audience out there, doesn't it make sense that artists should begin to promote themselves and sell their own music? If artists could somehow distribute their own music via the internet at rates considerably lower than those of major labels, I would not be adverse to purchasing music. Just a thought.

Yes, it does. (2)

jorbettis (113413) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241997)

That was the whole point of the article.

The MPAA had a net Profit of $1,400,000,000.

I thought that that was a clever but simple and straight forward joke on Micheal's part. It is interesting that so many people appeared to be misled by it.

Re:RIAA sucks ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1241998)

Hey, who are you thinking that just because someone buys CDs that MPEG3 distributed songs aren't hurting the industry? Anytime someone can get the same thing that's normally charged for free, they're going to get it free.

Re:So, my questions would be: (2)

limpdawg (77844) | more than 14 years ago | (#1241999)

I think that the obvious conclusion is that nearly everyone who could afford to buy cds did, along with downloading music they didn't buy. The argument that it's ok as long as we download something that we wouldn't buy anyway seems to have a financial proof to it now. I know that in the past I have never spent more than $30 a year on cds, even before I knew what an mp3 was, and that I have spent more than that now, that I listen to music that sounds interesting to me from Napster, then buy the cd because I like the songs on it.

Sort of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1242000)

When referring to CDs, you're right, disc is correct. But Disk also means a thin circular object and is the more common spelling outside of recorded media. In fact, Webster's just lists "Disc" as a variant of "Disk". []

A boycott maybe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1242001)

I listen to the radio. I've played with mp3s before, but they would use up too much disk space to hold the variety of music I listen to. I feel RIAA needs to die. Artists should control all aspects of their music. The recording industry in my opinion is, has been and could possibly forever be a negative influence on the art form.

I, as part of the minority, agree. (3)

shepd (155729) | more than 14 years ago | (#1242002)

Double negatives were neither necessary for impact, nor added to the readability of the story.

The story should have read: "Pirates cause $1.4 billion gain in CD Sales. Also, 90 million more CDs are shipped.".

Or, better yet, (but without the intended effect, yet more accurate):

"Despite pirates, the RIAA sees a $1.4 billion gain in CD Sales with 90 million more CDs shipped".

I wouldn't have posted this, but there are _way_ too many people bitching on slashdot, supporting the use of double negatives in english language for "impact" in this story. Readability adds impact, double negatives detract from it. That is why "Yo English teecha neva told ya's to use da sentence 'I ain't never gonna come back'". :-)

Flame me on the fact that double negatives are wrong, and I'll /prove/ I'm right.

Flame me for bad grammar, and you will be ignored.

Re:RIAA sucks ... (1)

SuperDuG (134989) | more than 14 years ago | (#1242003)

but with it being free I've found that it's harder to transport and appreciate ....


Re:What kind of journalism is that? (1)

ilkahn (6642) | more than 14 years ago | (#1242004)

I guess I am curious as to when and who said that slashdot was journalism in the first place?

Re:Oh come on... (1)

The CrapHead! (5146) | more than 14 years ago | (#1242005)

I think that the music industry is booming in part because of "pirated" music. Honestly, I've purchased a couple hundred dollars worth of CD's because I really like the MP3s that I've downloaded and I can say that a number of my friends have too.

Yeah, I've bought several CDs after listening to MP3s.. Even my girlfriend has bought CDs after listening to the MP3s I've downloaded.. :)

Re:not hypocricy, justification (1)

caetin (157275) | more than 14 years ago | (#1242006)

I totally agree with you mate.. i do software production too, for windows and linux.. although most of my linux stuff is actually for php3 and i let almost anyone who asks have my code.. the justification is a moot argument.. they're bad so i'll be bad too. great reasoning there.. i had always expected the readers of this page to have better arguments and hell, ethics, than what i'm hearing. It sounds like an AOL rant.. guess thats whats happening with the commercialization of linux.. they asked for it :)

Yes, Einstein was a con artist. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1242007)

Just another eurosocialist pseudo-scientific pseudo-intellectual spouting nonsense to impress the rubes. Not a single scrap of evidence has yet been uncovered to support any of his so-called "theories". Just one more academic welfare program for people incapable of doing real work in the real world.

Those who can't produce, must steal. That would explain your permissive attitude about piracy. You can't make music yourself, and your resentment leads you to crime.

Re:What about the artists? (5)

CFN (114345) | more than 14 years ago | (#1242008)

This is exactly why we need to support mp3 and other easy to produce formats, to eliminate the RI execs, A and R men, managers, and shiest lawyers from taking loads of profits.
The recording companies take a tremendous cut of the profits, the artists are the ones being shafted. In addition record execs. seem to only want to produce crap Nsync and Britny Spears type shit.
If artists could produce and distribute their work directly, more of them would be heard, and could reach their niche audiances. It would increase artistic diversity. Assuming the cost for this new media would be much cheaper then a current CS, if a system was in place so that the artists could earn the money directly, they would earn even more money then they do now, because no shiesty middle men would take a big cut.
Internet music is a way to increase diversity, and to ensure that quality voices are not lost amongst the crap pop music. This is the real reason the RIAA is opposed to mp3 and the like, and the real reason we have to fight them.

This all reminds me of an SNL sketch... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1242009)

Way, way back (maybe even when SNL was good), SNL did a sketch with Scott Bakula playing the part of fictious country singer Mack Reardon in a biographical series about his life. Unfortunately, bad things kept happening when he tried to put out new records. In this case, it started a riot, where people lootted record stores, and the following happend:

"...People would steal my records, and then after the riot was over, they would go back to the store to return them for store credit. So, at the end of that month, instead of a royalty check, I got a bill."

(I'm not sure if that's an exact quote, but the idea is the same)

Well I would just like to say (1)

DLeary (151490) | more than 14 years ago | (#1242010)

Well maybe I'm one of the few people who do this but I actually buy the audio cd/game if I like it enough, how ever I will get an MP3 if there is only one song on the cd I actually want/like. Dunno I spose thats just me. -D_Leary

Frightening, isn't it? (4)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1242011)

You know, I always ignored those "I'm leaving Slashdot, I'm sick of all the stupid people / the trolls / etc." posts... but damn, it looks like almost all the intelligent, insightful people really have ditched Slashdot.

I need my geek fix too frequently to give up on slashdot, but you miss so much reading at Score=2, and you see so much garbage reading any lower. And now that the trolls have figured out that they can get accounts just like anyone else for the +1 bonus, and they can post often enough to waste moderator points on marking them down rather than marking insightful stuff, so the Score=3 posts get scarcer and scarcer.

Fuck, I probably need to post this anonymously, too, since the decay of Slashdot (and Western-fucking-Civilization) is "off topic", and will be marked down just like the dozens of legitimate "put software release 2.3.48ac4 in it's own section" complaints in other threads.

Of course, we're stuck with clueless moderators, since the 33% of people who visit slashdot most often make themselves ineligible to become moderators; that way we get "the average reader". Yay, average people.

Dedication Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1242012)

This is Casey Kasem with a first -- a dedication to an organization.

And not just one, but two, organizations.

Spinning this one especially for the RIAA and MPAA from Cartman:

Duh danna dan nuh,
Duh danna dan nuh,

Come on, everybody, you know the words ...

Re:RIAA sucks ... (2)

shepd (155729) | more than 14 years ago | (#1242013)

>Mp3's are illegal and wrong and bad

No way man. Pirating music is "bad". MP3s aren't. :-)

Sorry to point that out, but nowadays, EVERYBODY thinks MP3 == pirated music. 'Fraid it ain't so...

1/2 my library of 60 Audio CDs are in MP3 format now, and counting. Much more convenient, to have 5 albums (compressed at something decent, like 192 kbps VBR) on a CD, rather than just one.

I agree with the rest of your points though. The ability to pirate music off of the internet has allowed people to sample music from groups that would have never been considered in the Music Store. The internet and MP3 compression has really opened up the amout of quality music availiable to people, simply by making the "try before you by" scenario reasonably possible.

Again and again... (1)

tilleyrw (56427) | more than 14 years ago | (#1242014)

This is simply another re-iteration that the MPAA/RIAA/xxAA is slowly coming to realize that "times they are a-changin'". They will have to be slapped in the face by the economy for a bit longer to realize that our old and dated distribution methods will have to change when digital media is concerned.

I have nothing more to add.

People are being more Cautious? (1)

james_moriarty (114305) | more than 14 years ago | (#1242015)

I hit three record stores in Toronto this weekend. An HMV, a Sam's, and small second-hand store on Bloor street. You know what was interesting? They *all* have listening posts where you can ask to listen to an album before buying it.

We all know that if we buy an album, chances are most of it will be crap (except for the song you bought it for.) Of course, there are exceptions.. so could it be mp3s are letting people be more confidant in their purchases?

Re:mp3 a blessing in disguise for RIAA? (0)

CFN (114345) | more than 14 years ago | (#1242016)

Speaking of Britany Spears, is she 18 yet?
Because I want to see her naked and petrified, while I pour hot grits on myself. (all while i set up a nice beowulf running on her two tits).
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Re:Oh come on...shareware? (1)

Zurk (37028) | more than 14 years ago | (#1242017)

its the try before you buy shareware concept thingy which kicks in - if those stoopid studios allowed poeple to download a few songs legally from each cd as mp3's more people would like those songs and buy cds.
oddly enough, for music & videos (think movie trailers or even poor quality ripped movies) it does work. for shareware software i dunno tho...shareware seems to have pretty much died in favour of payware or freeware.

Re:They need to add more value to the albums! (2)

Issue9mm (97360) | more than 14 years ago | (#1242018)

Personally, while I agree with you in that there should be more than just music on the cds, I really hate the current implementation of it. My fiancee just got a Natalie Imbruglia CD (Don't ask me which one, I'm not a fan), and wasn't able to view the contents of the CD because they had a video embedded into the contents. I picked up the newest Blink182 on a whim and had the same problem. There's a video on there, and while I was able to play the CD itself in Windows CD Player, I couldn't find anything even resembling the contents of the CD in its directory structure.

I know, I know, why do I need to see the contents??? Well, I wanted to rip em into MP3 format. To pirate?? No. To play in my DVD player. I've got an Apex Digital DVD player(which I like very much), and it also plays MP3s. My current trend has been to take as many of my CDs as possible, and cram them (in MP3 format) onto an ISO9660 formatted CD so that I could listen to them on my DVD player. This saves me the time of changing CDs, and allows me to pick and choose the songs that I wanna listen to, and arrange them into 'moods' I might be in when I want to listen to them in. (One mood for cleaning, one mood for relaxing, etc...)

Unfortunately, I'm not able to do this with at least two CDs currently, and I've heard about others (The only one I can recall is the newest Beastie Boys CD). Yes, this does prevent pirating (I guess, I see Beastie Boys and Blink182 MP3s all over the place), but it also makes me feel more restricted. While I believe that I could rip these things if I really wanted, I don't like Blink that much to take the time. (Haven't even tried it on my Linux box, anybody know?) However, I do feel like I've been forced into a specific path set by the creators of the CD. Almost feel like I somehow agreed to a Microsoftian license agreement without my knowledge, and I fear that the EULAs we are trying to get rid of will be adopted by the RIAA.

And as far as my ska, punk, etc., I usually won't pay more than $10 for a CD. We've got a really good distributor here, and most of the stuff I like (Victim's Family, Kyuss, Guttermouth, Catch22), I can not only find anywhere else, but can't find as cheap.

I'm rambling now... good bye.

Re:New Colors (1)

shepd (155729) | more than 14 years ago | (#1242019)

Other than the fact that the links aren't my browser's default colour, I find the newly coloured slashdot perfectly useable.

Just my 2 cents...

Did anyone READ this report? (2)

Kythorn (52358) | more than 14 years ago | (#1242020)

I can't mention a sign of the "industry" losing any money at all in the link that was posted. In fact, as far as I can tell, they're reporting growth in cd/dvd product sales from the previous year. To quote:

"According to the RIAA, manufacturers saw a 3.2 percent net unit increase in audio and video product shipped to domestic markets (from 1.12 billion units in 1998 to 1.16 billion units in 1999). The corresponding dollar value of those shipments at suggested list price increased 6.3 percent from $13.7 billion in 1998 to $14.6 billion last year. "

Here's another paragraph

"Despite the maturity of the format, in 1999 full-length CD shipments grew nearly 11 percent over the previous year. On the other hand, while shipments of CD singles remained flat at 56 million units, this was a significant improvement over 1998. Growth within the CD singles format is being driven by CD maxi singles, which increased from $35.7 million in 1998 to $65.3 million in 1999. Full-length CD unit shipments grew 10.8 percent from 847 million in 1998 to 939 million in 1999; full-length CD dollar value grew 12.3 percent from $11.4 billion in 1998 to $12.8 billion in 1999."

In fact, the subtitle of this article itself clearly states

"RIAA Reports Recorded Music Market Enjoyed Solid Growth In 1999 DVD Growth Explosive, CDs Solid, Cassettes And Music Videos In Decline"

So I ask you again, does anyone actually read these articles, or do people merely read what other people CLAIM the article says and their OPINIONS on it, and then start a discussion based on that? I mean, if slashdot has degraded that far, thats fine and I'll shut up, but I wasn't aware we had descended that far at this point in time.

Re:What about the artists? (1)

chez69 (135760) | more than 14 years ago | (#1242021)

you would have to sell quite a few $14 cds to pay for a tour...

they need the music compoanies to pay for touring, production, equipment, and other things. not everyone has huge amounts of $$$ when they start off in the music business.

Funny, but true. (2)

HerrNewton (39310) | more than 14 years ago | (#1242022)

Really like the sarcasm, Michael, but doesn't it sound like the bullshit the RIAA is using in its own propaganda? "MP3s hurt music sales... we're selling more music! People place 'intrinsic value' in music!"

What they've been spoon-feeding the media (it's kinda incestual in a way... they've been media-fucking their keepers; e.g., Time-Warner, etc. who have interests in music and news media) is exactly that: a huge contradiction. I'm going to assume that their sales statistics are based on fact. This means that their entire crusade against MP3s is based on non-existant evidence. The RIAA wants us to believe that MP3s are hurting music distribution, when in fact their monetary sales and unit sales are both substantially up? Doesn't make sense.

Of course the few odd pirates will impact the bottom line, but I'm guessing there are a lot of people who get an MP3 from a friend, off the net, etc. and then go buy the album. A friend just turned me on to Neutral Milk Hotel via 200MBs of MP3s that she had up on restricted FTP server. Guess what CDs are going to be in my mail box on Monday? Two Neutral Milk Hotel albums.


I will never buy another CD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1242025)


With napster, my 1.5MBit/sec ADSL downloads, my 8x Plextor CD-R, my cheap 30g IDE HD, and a spindle of blank CDs, I will never buy another CD again unless it's blank. Got me?

Just another pirate.

Re:Yes, Einstein was a con artist. (1)

JustShootMe (122551) | more than 14 years ago | (#1242026)

Actually, that is COMPLETELY incorrect.

Einstein's theories are among the move widely and conclusively experimentally verified theories in history, right up there with gravity. And I'm a musician... so I can make music for myself. :)

Yes, I know you're a troll. But that is ridiculous even for a troll.

If you can't figure out how to mail me, don't.

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