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Napster Users Being Arrested In Belgium

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the what-about-users-of-bathroom-tissue? dept.

Music 325

Coward Anonymous writes: "According to this AP bulletin in Salon, the Belgian police are arresting Napster users. This is a new twist on things, isn't it? Now if only the Belgian police would be so effective at arresting pedophiles..." But don't worry, this only applies to people who have "been warned." How comforting.

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Re:What? (2)

The Famous Brett Wat (12688) | more than 13 years ago | (#428348)

If the public actually gave a shit, they would take a peek at campaign finance records (which are generally publically available) and figure out who was on the take.
The problem is voter apathy.

Are you saying it's possible to vote only for politicians who haven't been funded by corporate interests? I didn't think there were enough such politicians to fill all the available places.

Napster Waffling... (1)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 13 years ago | (#428366)

It had to be said...

So? (1)

Nodatadj (28279) | more than 13 years ago | (#428368)

They're doing something illegal, they've had a caution and they ignored it, now they've been arrested...where's the problem again?

Pre-emptive strikes (1)

Sapphon (214287) | more than 13 years ago | (#428370)

The laws required to prosecute these people can take 18 months to be passed, yet these raids were carried out as early as last december! What gives, how come we only hear about this now?

I am ashamed at Slashdot (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#428433)

How dare you insinuate that Belgians are child molesters? That would be like me saying every American is a pot-bellied, poorly-educated ass-scratching subhuman.

We are all people.

If there's one thing that computers and the Internet should have taught us, it's that we are all the same and we should love each other.

Please, Slashdot, I urge you to change the story description.

-- Jann Flugelhof

i know im gonna get flamed for this.. (1)

nyteroot (311287) | more than 13 years ago | (#428438)

but its actually legal and though it may seem severe, its less.. controversial than many of the things done in other countries (carnivore, anyone?). dont get me wong, i oppose intellectual property laws almost across the board, but as far as following the laws that exist, this seems to be pretty much ok. note to self: stay the hell away from belgium.

Re:So? (3)

Nodatadj (28279) | more than 13 years ago | (#428441)

And as an aside, isn't this what everyone always wanted? "Don't sue Napster...go after the users who are just using the software for illegal purposes"?

This is actually the *right* thing to do (2)

wayne (1579) | more than 13 years ago | (#428445)

If the music industry thinks that people are violating their copyrights, then I really think they should go after those people. Napster just stores file names and lets people search. They aren't the ones who are copying files. Granted, Napster hasn't done much to police their site and may be partially responsible, but they don't get the full blame.

Glad to be an american (1)

samrolken (246301) | more than 13 years ago | (#428447)

There is too much hype over Napster. People need to get a life. Download MP3's from one of the dozens of other places.

Warned? (2)

sc_demandred (309821) | more than 13 years ago | (#428454)

My question here is, what constituded "being warned" in these cases? Was it an email? A form letter? A phone call someone never got? It smacks of overkill for the crime, kind of like Operation Sundevil.

Re:So? (1)

Wire Tap (61370) | more than 13 years ago | (#428455)

I really have to agree with you. The Slashdot community at large seems to feel they have the "right" to download all the music they want - and not pay a cent. Is this right? Only if the artist gives his/her/their permission, and only if. I have used Napster in the past, but lately my conscience has been getting to me, and I have come to realize that it really is not the right thing to do. Sure, the artists make a load of money, and the record companies are swimming in it, but really, that is their job; they have EARNED it, one way or the other. Now, sure enough, someone is thinking "but they are not losing money." And you know what? That does not matter one little bit. It is the PRINCIPLE of the act. Not paying for something that is not yours, and for which you have no right, goes against all the values upon which our society is based. Perhaps we need to reevaluate our stance on this issue.

Bad Napster! (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 13 years ago | (#428458)

Oh man. Okay, I've had nothing good to say about Napster in a looong time. And I still don't.

This just strikes me as Charles Manson telling a bunch of kids to go out and kill their families and giving them the instructions and weapons to do it. Then, after they commit the murders, arresting them and giving Manson a contract with the FBI (aka, napster signing up with BMG, etc).

I don't really care much for either side -- but it does strike me as incredibly ironic and unjust.

This will only wokr for so long (1)

Kagemushaa (259313) | more than 13 years ago | (#428471)

This shows that some govenments are really serious about cracking down on sharing of pirated music, but they will never be able to stop it all. Somebody will always be out there cooking up the next way to share music. If anything, this will just make people try harder to make better programs


What? (2)

Arandir (19206) | more than 13 years ago | (#428475)

Well, the RIAA did it again. They flew their goons over to Belgium and arrested these users, all without triggering off an international incident. What? It wasn't a group of RIAA security guards? It was the Belgium police instead? Damn, I was getting all worked up to yell at a private corporation and now you tell me it was the government yet again. And here I thought only private corporations had that kind of power...

Hrmmm... (2)

twivel (89696) | more than 13 years ago | (#428480)

At least they aren't arresting people for distributing linux source code and "destroying intellectual property" - like Microsoft would like to have done here.
Microsoft Humor []

Re:Warned? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 13 years ago | (#428484)

When you log in to napster, if you happen to join one of the 'channels', there is usually a warning to the effect of "we can't prevent people from sending or receiving copyrighted material without permission, but it's bad so don't do it".

My guess is that's what they're talking about.

Re:What? (2)

BilldaCat (19181) | more than 13 years ago | (#428487)

yeah. how DARE they arrest lawbreakers.


Oooh! Evil Pirates. Aaargh! (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 13 years ago | (#428503)

Amusing, with all the evils in the world that police forces could be concentrating on, they are going after a bunch of people who are trying to get free music!

I mean, yeah, it may be illegal, but I don't see them cracking down like that on the mafia or anything else.

Of course, (2)

Anagon (311355) | more than 13 years ago | (#428507)

The police need to work on their business. Which is more dangerous to society? A bunch of people running around using the Internet for trading illegal music, or a bunch of people running around using the INternet for trading dirty pictures of children?

We need to focus on the problem, not specific parts of the problem. Yes, society has caused part of this, but so has the Internet. Fix that, and you wont have to worry about kiddie porn, or illegal MP3s.

Not trolling here, but... (5)

tbo (35008) | more than 13 years ago | (#428510)

If you break the law by infringing on someone's intellectual property, and do so repeatedly in spite of warnings, what do you think will happen?

Caveat: I don't think it's right to enforce copyright laws AND impose a blank-media tax. That's screwing consumers, left, right, and center. You should only be screwed once :-)

Slashdot cried when the record companies went after Napster. "Deal with the law-breaking individuals," they said, "leave the company alone." Now, the record companies and artists are going after the users, and we're still crying. Why? Are we all hypocrits?

I agree that much is broken with the current copyright system and recording industry. That doesn't give you carte blanche to rip off artists. Personally, I fulfil my moral obligations to the artists by donating through Fairtunes [] . Unfortunately, it doesn't look like many other people do (judging by donation stats).

Go ahead and flame me. I ask only one thing of you if you do: come up with a viable scheme for artists to make money from their work. If you can't think of one, you can hardly blame the record companies for clinging to what they have.

Another misleading headline... (5)

Croaker (10633) | more than 13 years ago | (#428513)

1) Police *searched* homes for evidence. THey did not arrest.

2) Those searched were users of a website. The authorities were *contemplating* Napster cases.

Re:So? (3)

Chris Johnson (580) | more than 13 years ago | (#428514)

Maybe you want to take that up with David Boies, whose argument is that this NONCOMMERCIAL copying is not illegal (read the law!). Given that, we've got cops acting as the private police force of big corporations. The other explanation is that in Belgium, noncommercial copying is illegal. The other other explanation is that these people being raided are actually running businesses in which they are burning CDs (perhaps of CDs that have not been released by the record companies in Belgium, and won't be: see DVD region control practices, not everything necessarily gets to Belgium) and selling them.

Re:So? (1)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 13 years ago | (#428516)

Not really.

"Don't sue Napster...go after the users who are just using the software for illegal purposes" was supposed to be an absurd possibility, sort of like the cable companies arresting every person who steals cable.

Re:test (1)

samrolken (246301) | more than 13 years ago | (#428517)

If this were an actual comment, people would give a crap and it would be worth posting!

So um... (1)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 13 years ago | (#428526)

...what the hell's been wrong with slashdot all afternoon?

Enquiring minds want to know.

* CmdrTaco is an idiot.

They're easy to track... (1)

travisbecker (104621) | more than 13 years ago | (#428530)

Now if only the Belgian police would be so effective at arresting pedophiles...

It seems like it would be easy to track users who download illegal music, and so easy to catch. This leads to a paradox, in that the people who commit lesser crimes can be punished more severely. (Of course, what constitutes a lesser crime is a judgement call.)


They aren't arresting Napster users! (1)

duplicate-nickname (87112) | more than 13 years ago | (#428532)

Read the story again....they raided to homes of 3 people who ran the website Four cases against Napster users are under review.

They way Salon phrases this story, they make it sound they are arresting Napster users....instead they are just enforcing copyright laws like they should be.

Dear god. (3)

perdida (251676) | more than 13 years ago | (#428535)

I sincerely hope that the kids who have been making a joyful noise [] in Zurich and Davos hightail it to Belgium to give the anti-expression police their due.

I mean, seriously, folks. The value contained on a hard drive of pirated music may be more than it costs to bust the kid, but the actual value there- the kid wasn't intending to sell the music at ALL- makes this operation a huge, expensive waste of time.

The Euro Union loves to rule by fiat, and it loves to show international organizations that it's willing to play by the hard-bitten anti-fair-use rules promulgated in USia. Oh well, so much for enlightenment..

Re:So? (2)

Jagasian (129329) | more than 13 years ago | (#428537)

Many Slashdotters also dislike various government enforced intellectual property laws, such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights. The typically slashdotter sees these things as perverted to the point of throwing large amounts of power in "large corporations'" arena.

For every social action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If corporations abuse their power, the individuals will pull in the opposite direction. Hence, the common use of Napster as a tool for "pirating" music.
If markets are left to their own, they self-regulate. Unions form, public property grows in the form of open source, mass disregard for intellectual property laws in the form of large scale copying... these are symptoms of corporatism getting out of hand.

If you solve only one side of the problem, you will do far more damage than such a polar system does on its own.

Re:Not trolling here, but... (1)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 13 years ago | (#428540)

It's called the Street Performer Protocol. [] It's worked for Prince and (in modified form) Stephen King. Hell, it could keep the record business around by recasting them as venture capitalists [] .

Industrial Police (5)

Digitalia (127982) | more than 13 years ago | (#428543)

With the passages of new content laws in the EU and US, it seems we are coming one step closer to having industrial police running our streets. Gutenberg's printing press brought books to the masses and resulted in an advancement of personal living standards. Let us just hope that the internet eventually serves to redeem itself by benefiting mankind and not the corporations. It's be an awful shame if the internet were responsible for the privatization of the world's governments.

Slashdot ate my rant (long) (5)

Chris Johnson (580) | more than 13 years ago | (#428545)

Slashdot ate my rant in a server hiccup, but that's just as well because this might be a better thread to rant in anyhow. This was originally in the new P2P thread, or would have been if it'd posted normally. Given the attitudes I'm seeing from early posters here I figured it was worth persevering. This is mostly about how uncontrolled peer-to-peer helps me by breaking down artificial barriers to distribution, and how charging for mp3s isn't remotely necessary...

Regarding napster or any P2P thing, all I can say is: please include my content in whatever peer-to-peer network is the latest greatest thing.

Here: []

I am not essentially a consumer. I don't have time to keep in touch with the latest P2P developments- because my time is spent keeping in touch with what affects me as an artist.

It may interest you to know that as an artist using P2P as distribution, I have access to print-to-order stuff over the net, everything from T-shirts to mousepads to coffee mugs, all of which can have my GFX or whatever on it, and I can get paid for selling _real_ _tangible_ stuff... and the very latest development (, just the other day, announced this one) is that I can go to a _good_ hosting service with a fair contract and good artist relations and get Red Book Audio CDs burned to order over the net. This isn't ready yet but it's due by the end of March: I supply a CDR master (I can get professional quality as will quickly become apparent: this is what I do...) and they keep it on file, burn from it when a copy is ordered and keep an image of the CD for 30 days on HD in case of repeat orders to save on filing and handling hassles.

I can't begin to express how awesome this is: it's the first time I'm aware of that a musician could set up a burn-to-order fulfillment service (and not have to deal with juggling CDR blanks, inventory etc, or even taking orders) and be selling full-on, uncompressed, bit-for-bit untampered Red Book Audio CDs over the net, with color booklets and inserts! It's the epitome of the internet musician's wet dream, and should be a very nice business for Ampcast.

And it profoundly legitimises peer-to-peer: now, mp3s (or whatever) really _have_ a value. If they get into the hands of someone who wants a proper REAL CD of the music, now they can have one- and if nobody wants one, hey, nobody's out anything! Ampcast just stores one extra boring CD in the files, they're not out the cost of printing up thousands of the things, and I'm not out anything either, except the cost of the CD blank.

This year will see the final maturing of the complete product support network for the internet musician- with burn/print to order for everything from shirts to full-on audio CDs to fscking _mousepads_ we're practically at the level of 'Jackson 5' merchandising capabilities, without using the record industry. That is very, very exciting... now the only thing I'd like to see is print-to-order _posters_... that is just about the only thing left that isn't already covered!

Amazing, amazing... and P2P is the distribution network for publicising this stuff. None of it expects any sort of formal promotion efforts- it's all totally grassroots... which I think is no sort of accident, I think this is the natural reaction to increasing corporatization. People _want_ to discover their own stuff, even stuff that's 'no commercial potential' (as written on old Mothers Of Invention album covers), and having discovered it they'll buy tangible stuff to go with the free digital stuff they have, so long as the tangible stuff is good. What they won't do is be forced to pay money for totally intangible digital stuff that the corporate seller didn't have to pay anything to copy out- that's doomed, the future of making money fairly through IP is being able to offer stuff that is physical and real, that people might enjoy. (Italicisation of stuff in honor of Frank Zappa's typographical style and George Carlin)

Seriously, I always suspected but now I know that the future of being a small indie 'content producer' is to take complete advantage of everything that you can possibly give away or share for free- any digital files, etc, anything at all that you don't have to pay for actual materials, throw it out there! And then, find something that you can sell that is _tangible_ and physical, stuff to rumple and fetish as FZ put it. Shirts to wear, CDs to give nicer sounds and be hard-copy that can't be lost in HD crashes, mousepads to use (different band for every day of the week, why not?) mugs to hold COFFEE etc etc, _physical_ stuff.

Because the equalising effect of worldwide communications makes it possible... put it this way. I've been on besonic for a while, rarely if ever do any promoting, but for some reason lots of people in Sweden have listened to my music. Who knew? I have a track off an electronic album that is very warm and mellow called 'Wood Dragon': at one point it was one of the highest ranking easy listening tracks in Japan. Again, who knew? Supposing I saw that and decided to explore the easy-listening-electronic area some more for the people in Japan who enjoyed it, throwing in some woodflutes and obscure pentatonic intervals (I researched Japanese melodies for a later track and quite liked them). Supposing I made lovely high-fidelity audio CDs available, and stuff like shirts and mousepads, minimising English text and sticking to elegant graphic designs since I know that it's Japan which was showing an interest in the stuff. I could do quite well that way- not getting rich, but paying some bills and buying more synths etc- by doing _good_ _work_ and selling only tangible, real stuff. This is real. The future is now...

So support the P2P networks! This is not about greedy consumers wanting stuff for free. It's about communication and _information_ and I promise you, as an artist, I couldn't GET demographic information like that out of the record companies. The only alternative to P2P and artist independence is the record companies (and other forms of distribution controls and let me tell you a little story... I hang out on a mastering engineer list- and recently one of the top guys came out with a chilling story. He'd worked with an artist for weeks to get the ideal mastering for the artist's CD, testing it in actual clubs, working like mad to balance it just perfectly so it was the best it could possibly be. Then a new A&R guy was assigned to the artist, and against my engineer friend's AND the artist's wishes, decided to assign the mastering to another mastering guy: which is known as a 'shoot-out'. Usually the label wants 'louder, brighter, more' from such a situation, and it's gotten to the point where mastering engineers are _ruining_ the sounds of records just because the labels are _demanding_ that the new record's gotta be louder than the next guy. My friend, I believe, did a terrific job on the CD- just what the ARTIST wanted- but it is _always_ possible to make a CD louder by making it sound worse. And I think that's just what's going to happen, and I pity the artist, because all their work is going to be butchered by a mastering job that squashes it into extreme loudness and ruins the tone- it probably won't even sound as good in the clubs! All because of a new A&R guy who outranks both the original mastering guy and the artist. It's anybody's guess as to whether the artist's career can survive releasing a CD that sounds like crap- you don't get many chances in the music business, and the new mastering engineer has a vested interest in making his mastering sound as _different_ as possible from the original one that took so much painstaking work.

Now, all the mastering guys are absolutely miserable about this general state of affairs, it's hurting the industry, it's hurting the sound of modern releases, and there seems to be no way to get the record companies to stop doing it.

But now, indie content producers can put out full quality audio CDs and none of them are forced to do any such thing- they have _total_ freedom to do whatever their artistic judgement dictates, with the result succeeding or failing purely on its merits- the 'word' of it getting out primarily through word-of-mouth and P2P. THAT is why artists desperately need P2P to thrive and continue- because without it, it is less and less likely that the consumer will even be allowed to hear their art, because already if they have to go through existing channels, the consumer IS NOT allowed to hear their art until label suits have specified which songs, albums etc will be allowed to be released, until A&R guys have dictated the use of mastering engineers counter to the artist's wishes and specifically told the mastering guy to ruin the sound to make it louder louder louder, until corporate execs have decided which markets they're even going to sell the CD in and which markets they are not going to allow it to be available at all.

Only then does the consumer get to 'choose' what they want.

Free market, hell!

herumph (1)

fjordboy (169716) | more than 13 years ago | (#428546)

I only hope that these people that were arrested for using napster weren't also users of or addicts to PHP....that could be a deadly combination. (or is that pcp? doesn't matter, they would arrest you for it anyways)

Oh, pleeeaaase! (3)

aedil (68993) | more than 13 years ago | (#428556)

While I do think that the /. editors are right in not changing people's submissions, at the same time I think people ought to at least have some decency in their messages. It shouldn't become a disgusting lashing out. Should all belgians now start pointing out that while pedophily cases in Belgium did indeed make major news, the US' slate isn't exactly clean with the numerous cases of violence in schools etc. And the obvious inability of the US school and law enforcement system to make something as basic as school safe for kids.

Enough said on that...

If you read the article that is reference thoroughly, it should be clear that the arrests were related to, and not Napster. Yes, apparantly they are investigating Naster cases also.

It's really amazing though how critical people are about other countries. Which is strange to come from people in a country where a show like Jeopardy can have an international contest with a US 5 time champion as one of the "international" contestants, putting that US champion against people that do not have english as their native language, and then (I guess) be proud that surprise-surprise the US contestant wins.

See my point?

The article does not make any claim to arrests (1)

proxima (165692) | more than 13 years ago | (#428558)

The linked article does not state anything about arrests. The first paragraph says:

Acting on complaints from the music industry, police have raided the homes of users of music-sharing websites looking for evidence they infringed copyright rules, the prosecutors' office said Thursday.

Let's get the story straight here - houses were searched. In addition:

He said the searches were part of an investigation of the Internet site, but added four cases against Napster users were currently under review.

These are not Napster users (necessarily), but that of the now-offline site (see for yourself [] . According to the article (at least) no searches have been conducted due to user activity on Napster, 4 cases are under review.

What I would like to know is . . . (1)

Brainboy (310252) | more than 13 years ago | (#428561)

I would like to know how fo these Belgian police know the difference between people using Napster for illegal copying and people using it for dtrictly legit purpose i.e. artists which WANT their music all over napster.

Re:What? (3)

tbo (35008) | more than 13 years ago | (#428562)

Not too many people on /. have clued into this, but most of the injustices slashdotters complain about are perpetrated by the government. The remaining crap is usually the result of braindead laws (DMCA, UCITA, patent laws)...

Yes, someone will say that stupid laws get passed because corporation X bought senator Y. Think about this: corporations don't vote--people do. If the public actually gave a shit, they would take a peek at campaign finance records (which are generally publically available) and figure out who was on the take. The problem is voter apathy.

Remember, only governments have armies.

New Customer Service Strategy!! (1)

JWW (79176) | more than 13 years ago | (#428565)

Question, how many of you Napter users have ever bought a CD?

Ok, everyone lower your hands.

Next question, how many of you would ever buy a CD again if the record company had you arrested?

And I thought only Microsoft treated their customers this way ;-)

Funny bits (4)

Private Essayist (230922) | more than 13 years ago | (#428567)

All right, I know this is a serious issue (pro and con), but this segment of the article struck me as funny on several points:

"Marcel Heymans,"

"Hey, mans!" [I didn't say it was sophisticated humor...]

"general director of the Belgium branch of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry,"

'Phonographic'? There are no phonographs involved in this case! Get yerself an up-to-date group name and then we'll talk.

"said he warned police of alleged copyright infractions. Heymans said his organization had tracking equipment that could search for users "by the thousands."

Whoa, thousands, dude! That's, like, a lot, right? ...well, it is Belgium...

Re:I am ashamed at Slashdot (1)

Trojan (37530) | more than 13 years ago | (#428568)

Note that these were likely the words of a Belgian AC that submitted the story...

In other news... (4)

D. Mann (86819) | more than 13 years ago | (#428569)

In other news, a man caught shoplifting CDs from a local record store in East Brunswick, New Jersey was arrested today for theft.

Can you believe that? They arrested someone! For stealing! First the thieves, then the child molestors and rapists! What's this world coming to?

Re:This will only wokr for so long (1)

_Splat (22170) | more than 13 years ago | (#428571)

Well.. If the governments are seriously dedicated to stopping the proliferation of pirated music, I think the amount of cases will go down. It's kinda like people can still smoke pot in private and get away with it for the most part, but the government adds a certain element of risk that discourages some people from doing it.

Re:Not trolling here, but... (4)

DunbarTheInept (764) | more than 13 years ago | (#428572)

Slashdot cried when the record companies went after Napster. "Deal with the law-breaking individuals," they said, "leave the company alone." Now, the record companies and artists are going after the users, and we're still crying. Why? Are we all hypocrits?
Slashdot is not a person. It's a set of people. SOME slashdotters said 'deal with the lawbreakers not Napster'. SOME slashdotters complain now when record companies go after them. To make your charge of hypocracy stick, you've got to show that there's some overlap between those two subsets of slashdotters, and even then your charge of hypocracy would only apply to those people in the overlapping area.

This is a common fallacy when arguing with people in a group: assuming soladarity where there is none, and calling people hypocrites when different individuals say things that contradict each other.

Re:So? (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 13 years ago | (#428581)

I guess the real lesson from all this is "Be careful what you wish for."

Other criminals (1)

HongPong (226840) | more than 13 years ago | (#428584)

Brussels police spokesman told reporters today that in their ongoing crackdown on copyright violators, professional 'information warfare' officers uncovered a massive and dangerous underground network of 'thieves and antisocial miscreants. From the press conference:

American reporter: So, are Belgian authorities now aware of the piracy caused by Hotline and Carracho servers run amuck distributing Adobe Photoshop and such?

Spokesman: We're looking into that, but this situation is far more serious than that. We have found that various American companies have had their complete operating systems pirated, source code and everything!

American reporter: Did Belgian hackers steal the Windows 2000 source code?

Spokesman: No, fortunately. However, professional hackers are now using a system called "mirroring" to propagate both the source code and compiled programs of American companies. On their underground web sites, they seem to idolize some uber-hackerwho goes by the handle RMS. We have contacted the companies but they haven't gotten back to us yet.

American Reporter (mutters): No wonder you people can't hold the Germans every couple decades. Jesus!


Re:So? (1)

Nodatadj (28279) | more than 13 years ago | (#428585)

So really, they just wanted to be left alone, and do what they wanted, fuck the law.

Weird, thats what I always thought...

Re:Bad Napster! (1)

ZachB (45395) | more than 13 years ago | (#428588)

I think that's going a little over the top there. There's just a slight difference between murdering people and downloading MP3's, for heavens sake.

Re:So? (1)

hexx (108181) | more than 13 years ago | (#428590)

Anyone crying about freedom of speech and such needs to face facts: Trading copyrighted songs is illegal whether you like the music industry or not.

I hate McDonalds, but you don't see me breaking into their restaurants at night, stealing their "beef" patties and giving them away on the street the next day.

Suck it up. Yes, the current music distribution methods are antiquated. Perhaps they should even be updated. There are other ways to let those in charge know about this.

And maybe, *just maybe*, since the music industry is a growing [] multi-billion dollar business, they're still doing something right.

If those Napster users didn't break the law in the first place, we would not have to listen to idiots complain about the music industry stepping into a possible legal quagmire and complaining to the police.

Sorry Slashdot (2)

atrowe (209484) | more than 13 years ago | (#428591)

I hate to say it, but those Belgians had it coming. Before you blindly mod this down as a troll, hear me out!

We've all pretty much extablished that 'sharing' copyrighted music is illegal. Not only in USia, but in most countries around the world. If I recall, there's only two countries that do not observe US copyright law.

According to the article, the police only arrested those "who had been clearly warned yet persevered with the practice." so they sure as hell couldn't have claimed ignorance.

I know most slashdot readers are long-haired freedom zealots, but can someone please explain to me how this is in any way surprising. Look at the facts, people: You're stealing. It doesn't matter whether you're stealing MP3's from recording artists, or you're stealing physical items from retail stores, the fact of the matter is, It's still stealing. If you steal from a store, the store is the victim. If you mug someone on the street, the person you mugged is the victim. If you steal MP3's, the recording artist who invested a great deal of time and money into their art is the victim. As long as the crime causes anyone hardship, it must be stopped!

Sad, but what else? (2)

Gannoc (210256) | more than 13 years ago | (#428593)

Right now, I view the music industry the same way I view Microsoft.

They release poor quality product, they treat their artists and customers like dirt, and they relentlessly attack anything that might infringe on their total control of their industry regardless of the consequences.

I will not patronize them.

On the other hand, if someone set up a site distributing pirated copies of Windows 2000, i'd fully support Microsoft's right to sue them.

Instead of worrying about people who are breaking the law, we should be concentrating on the use of technology to free artists from music industry contracts that rip all of us off.

Wot, da chocolates won't do? (1)

isdnip (49656) | more than 13 years ago | (#428594)

Sort of brings new meaning to the word "phlegm", no?

You hit the nail on the head. (2)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 13 years ago | (#428602)

They're doing something illegal, they've had a caution and they ignored it, now they've been arrested...where's the problem again?

And as an aside, isn't this what everyone always wanted? "Don't sue Napster...go after the users who are just using the software for illegal purposes"?

Dead on. (I'd have modded you up but I wanted to chime in, too.)

The piece of the Napster defense that I agree with totally is the claim that they're just an indexer, the file transfer is between two users, and when a copyright infringement occurs it's the work of the users.

Zorching Napster for "abetting" the copyright infringement has a "chilling effect" on other search engine authors (and other pointers-out-of-resources) by making them responsible for any misdeeds by users of their product. So they have to both self-censor and put in a lot of extra work to avoid culpability.

This theory could be used, for instance, against crime reporters to keep them from pointing out the neighborhoods where drug dealers hang out. If a reader goes there and buys drugs, suddenly it's RICO time for the reporter for "abetting".

But copyright violation IS against the law. So if the Napster users WERE actually making copies of copyrighted works in violation of the law, their neck is on the block, and correctly so. It was very nice of the prosecutors to give them a warning and only come after them when they persisted. Now they get to have their day in court, and the courts will determine if their particular copymaking constitutes fair use.

Penalties for copyright violation are draconian. This is because it's so hard to actually catch the violators. So when they do catch one they make an example of him.

The legal system's solution to the "whack a mole" game is to use a BIG mallet and hope the spray of gore scares off the rest of the moles.

Free riders (2)

tbo (35008) | more than 13 years ago | (#428606)

You have the classic free-rider problem, though. Even if you're guaranteed to get your money back if X isn't published, you're still better off by letting others pay, and getting the product free.

Also, how would the street performer protocol deal with "One Hit Wonders"? Bob publishes his smash hit single "Crying for Napster", and everyone loves it. Subsequently, everyone donates money to fund the publishing of "Gunning for Gnutella", which turns out to suck the big one.

In the current system, you wait for the reviews, and you just don't buy it if it sucks. In the SPP, you've already paid by the time anyone finds out it sucks.

Yes, reputation, yadda yadda, but how well will that work in areas where a given person often only publishes one or two works (think college textbooks)?

There are many, many flaws with SPP.

Re:i know im gonna get flamed for this.. (2)

Incongruity (70416) | more than 13 years ago | (#428607)

dont get me wong, i oppose intellectual property laws almost across the board

Maybe this is a reaction a little different than you might have expected...maybe not, anyhow, it's just a thought, and no flame is intended...anyway...

So you'd support, sun, apple, any company, or any person taking code that is say, open sourced, and integrating it into their products, which of course will be closed source, and making money off of it? That my friend, is also what intellectual property laws protect against. They are in fact underpinning the whole open source model as well as all the stupid and frivolous patents and what not. So, in my never to be humble opinion, one should be more careful when making such sweepingly broad positions.


Napster Illegal, but Mary Jane legal! (1)

ShaggusMacHaggis (178339) | more than 13 years ago | (#428613)

you can't be arrested in Belgium for possesing pot, but you can be arrested for using napster?! what the hell?? (They just passed pot decriminalization laws simular to the netherlands there)

Breaking the law is breaking the law. (1)

winnetou (19042) | more than 13 years ago | (#428616)

Now if only the Belgian police would be so effective at arresting pedophiles...

"But there are worse crimes" is a lame excuse, you can't blame it on the police, they didn't make the law, they are just enforcing it. Continuing to break a law after you have been notified that you are breaking it is rather stupid.

Re:Bout time? (1)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 13 years ago | (#428617)

I do not find this off topic. It may not be on the topic of the story, but it IS on topic by the fact that I could not read any attached comments to this story for quite a while.

Re:I am ashamed at Slashdot (1)

Silenterror (316577) | more than 13 years ago | (#428619)

almost every american IS an ass-scratching pot-bellied subhuman

Re:So? (1)

SmellMyTeenSpirit (207288) | more than 13 years ago | (#428620)

That "right" is felt in retaliation to outrageous prices for terrible cds. However, if I have enough respect for an artist, I will buy their cd. You screw us, we screw you.

Re:But more importantly (1)

rst2003 (301788) | more than 13 years ago | (#428621)

But more importantly, this only applies to the Belgians.
In Germany they first came for the Communists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me -- and by that time, no one was left to speak up.
--Pastor Martin Niemoller

Re:Bad Napster! (1)

Red Pointy Tail (127601) | more than 13 years ago | (#428622)

You're right, and if anyone think Napster is all for community service, better think again.

From Napster's FAQ:
Q: How does Napster make money?

A: Napster, Inc. has not chosen to make its business model public at this time. Napster, Inc. is a privately-held company.

That right folks, they are in it for the profit and I personally don't blame them, though I do have something against them using the 'open-everything' and 'us-against-those big medias' argument to set our geeky hearts aflutter.

In fact, I'm sure they are soooo glad that they have started to crackdown, like the time they were 'forced against their will but what can they do?' to sign-off their souls to Bertelmanns, as they can then use it as an excuse to start getting cracking on getting the money roll in. excellent ploy, i must say.

everyone, use opennap :)

Re:Not trolling here, but... (2)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 13 years ago | (#428623)

I won't flame you, and I do have ideas on viable schemes for artists to make money from their work, but I won't expound upon them here...

What I will say is that I hope nobody stops using Napster because of these arrests. I hope every single user is found, arrested and put in jail. It would be amusing to watch the government try to deal with a few hundered thousand new inmates who also happen to be from a value producing segment of society.

Re:Bad Napster! (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 13 years ago | (#428624)

Tell that to the RIAA.

Re:In other news... (1)

jsurc (316565) | more than 13 years ago | (#428625)

But just as a person stealing a CD from a shop loses the shop $12, a person copying a CD from his friend costs the record producer, publisher and the retail outlets a combined total of $11.70 (the physical object being worth maybe $0.30). Why do these organisations not have a right to go after the pirate just as much as the shop has the right to go after the thief?

My congratulations to Belgium. (1)

George Walker Bush (306766) | more than 13 years ago | (#428626)

My fellow Americans, it is clear that such so-called peer-to-peer services are eroding at our economy and are causing our robust country to enter a economic downturn. How can we survive and maintain our free market if those who labor to produce our entertainment are not compensated justly?

You may cowardly try to hoist a veil of freedom of speech, but in the end, it is stealing, plain and simple. You may not like having to pay for work, but IT IS THE ARTIST'S RIGHT, PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

We must rise up and unite against the scourge of Napster, and its ilk. I commend our ally, Belgium, for setting such a noble and well-deserved precedent that I am sure will be emulated the world over. Thank you, and God bless America.

-- George W. Bush President, United States of America -- George W. Bush President, United States of America
George W. Bush

Re:Not trolling here, but... (2)

sludg-o (120354) | more than 13 years ago | (#428628)

Concerts, dude.

For 2920 of the last 3000 years, musicians have made their living performing live.

Which laws? (2)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 13 years ago | (#428629)

The laws required to prosecute these people can take 18 months to be passed, yet these raids were carried out as early as last december! What gives, how come we only hear about this now?

What makes you think they needed a new law? Copyrigt violation is already against the law.

You don't need a special extra law to say "It's also against the law if you use a computer" any more than you need one to say "It's also against the law if you use stone tablets, a chisel, and a mallet".

Re:Sorry Slashdot (1)

HongPong (226840) | more than 13 years ago | (#428630)

It doesn't matter whether you're stealing MP3's from recording artists, or you're stealing physical items from retail stores, the fact of the matter is, It's still stealing. If you steal from a store, the store is the victim. If you mug someone on the street, the person you mugged is the victim.

Well I have said this before and I will say it again: IT IS NOT THE SAME! If you steal a CD, the store is out the cost of shipping, stocking, etc. etc. not to mention the profits of the sale. If you download from Napster, the record company and the store may lose the profits of the sale. If you copy something, the first person still has the original. This is NOT like mugging a person or stealing a TV.


Be ashamed at the Belgian police (5)

Coward Anonymous (110649) | more than 13 years ago | (#428631)

I wrote it and my intent wasn't to imply that all Belgians are pedophiles.

It was only meant to stress the hypocrisy of things when the Belgian police was very quick to arrest those dangerous Napster users while letting the likes of Marc Dutroux [] run wild for months murdering 8 y/o girls.

Re:In other news... (1)

Sadfsdaf (106536) | more than 13 years ago | (#428632)

TROLL, but i'll make a quick bite incase it wasn't... the analogy would only work if the theif copied the cd from his friend... the store is losing money and PHYSICAL PROPERTY, not virtual..

Re:In other news... (1)

jsurc (316565) | more than 13 years ago | (#428633)

By the way, I omitted the artist from the list of people who benefit as he probably gets the least... And I forgot about him. How easy it is to do that!

So, we're being arrested now... (1)

crashnbur (127738) | more than 13 years ago | (#428634)

... for what we like to listen to?

Oh, it's not for acquiring the music, but in the way that we acquire it. So, let me get this straight. It's a crime to use software to combine zeroes and ones in such a manner that sound can be reproduced... It's a crime to use someone else's creation, the software, that does this, even though there were no laws existing previously saying that this was illegal.

Here in the United States, there is something called the ex post facto law...

Re:Not trolling here, but... (4)

tbo (35008) | more than 13 years ago | (#428635)

I'm sort of referring to the editors, here. Their little comments on the stories tell you how they feel about a given issue, and you can see they disapprove here. Yet they also disapproved of the prosecution of Napster. I'm pretty sure there are some users who agree with them. I also noticed a distinct absence of a "Go RIAA" sentiment in the comments about the RIAA suing Napster.

Yes, saying "all" was overly broad of me.

Stealing (2)

Chris Johnson (580) | more than 13 years ago | (#428636)

Actually, I think it would make a lot of sense to formally define stealing as 'taking something away from someone so they don't have it anymore'. Otherwise, life will just keep getting more and more nonsensical, and you'll end up legally forbidden to _think_ about enjoyable IP, or to hum tunes as you walk down the street.

Funny how Napster users are treated as criminals- but Puffy is supposedly okay! Be careful that your positions are internally consistent- on some level you're stubbornly defending Puffy's 'right' to earn money from rapping over other people's sampled music. It doesn't wash...

Arresting napster users is easier (1)

Silenterror (316577) | more than 13 years ago | (#428637)

Well, they can't catch the pedofiles so hey, they just go after folks just trying to grab a tune on the net. "those who fear death are too weak to face life"

Note to self... (1)

Fast Ben (241758) | more than 13 years ago | (#428638)

When in Belgium, use Gnutella :)

Re:So? (1)

Spunk Junkie (310106) | more than 13 years ago | (#428639)

The only problem with this is the fact that they can prosecute us, but we can't prosecute them for overcharging and pushing the likes of Britney Skank down our throats.

It's depressing, but it's the way it is. They can start charging $1000 per CD for the latest N'Sync clone, and if you download one MP3 of it, you're breaking the law. Until such time as being a money grabbing asshole with the morals of a sewer rat is made illegal, the "you screw us, we screw you" equation will have an "and then you prosecute us" added to the end.

This is getting ridiculous (1)

Skipio (13086) | more than 13 years ago | (#428640)

First we see an article where the author proclaims "MS Wants To Outlaw Open Source" when the MS representative merely said that he worries if the government encourages open source, and that open source is a threat to intellectual property. He didn't mention anything about outlawing anything.
Now we see just as false report about "the Belgian police arresting Napster users" when in fact the police has only arrested people who operate "music-sharing websites", not Napster users. The Belgian police is reviewing four cases brought against Napster users though.

Perhaps I'm being overly critical but I don't think it would have been too hard for Timothy and Hemos to actually read those articles before posting them on Slashdot. And could you please refrain from jumping to conclusions too soon. Sometimes I think Slashdot is turning into some kind of National Enquirer for Geeks.

The Extent (1)

jjr (6873) | more than 13 years ago | (#428641)

The the Music industry is willing to is sicking.

Re:They aren't arresting Napster users! (1)

Strom Thurmond (R-SC (310866) | more than 13 years ago | (#428642)

What fun would /. be without needless sensationalism, hmmmmmm?
Strom Thurmond; the dean of the US Senate...

They should have been arrested (3)

Wah (30840) | more than 13 years ago | (#428643)

because unless I'm mistaken (and Salon didn't go into it, damn troll journalism) no doubt owners, who were the only ones to get raided as of yet, were not just typical napster users. I'd guess that was an old school mp3 pirate site, with banners, hiddens links, top50 links, etc. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, the site (obviously) is gone.

Personally I think it should stay very illegal for people to make money off of the intellectual property of others without compensating the copyright owner. However, I think the free exchange of such things should generally be allowed, and definitely for music. I see nothing wrong with giving it away, I see something wrong with selling it.

Re:The Extent (1)

gunner800 (142959) | more than 13 years ago | (#428644)

Yeah, enforcing the law. What bastards.

My mom is not a Karma whore!

Re:I am ashamed at Slashdot (1)

arbitrary (168829) | more than 13 years ago | (#428645)

How dare you insinuate that Belgians are child molesters? That would be like me saying every American is a pot-bellied, poorly-educated ass-scratching subhuman.

No, that's just in redmond ;)

What the heck? Don't you people read? (1)

Whatanut (203397) | more than 13 years ago | (#428646)

Well I'm baffled again. Did anyone bother to read the article again? They weren't arrasting or raiding napster users. They were raiding website operators. 'Course this can lead to napster users being targeted. But the only mention of napster in the article was that the ruling for going after these people came a few days after the appeals ruling over napster.

Good (1)

jsurc (316565) | more than 13 years ago | (#428647)

Surely the whole point of arguments about intellectual property and electronic freedom is not that intellectual property shouldn't exist and that everyone has a right to rip off artist's work, but that technical systems which attempt to 'enforce' the laws hinder legitimate use of technology and make life worse for everyone (except the suits with their fingers in the pie). Thus efforts like SDMI, shutting down Napster and restricting the user's ability to access and use the data they have in their possession in any way they see fit within the spirit of copyright law are a Bad Thing. Charging extra for SCMS audio CDs is a Bad Thing - I personally don't like the fact that if I buy a CD to do live recordings onto a budget CD recorder then I have to pay extra for the medium because it is assumed that I will put it to criminal use. These 'solutions' do nothing to solve the problem whilst creating complexity and hindering legitimate use. But if you want any records or music or studios at all, somebody has to pay for it - copyright law itself is not a Bad Thing, and as such, I am personally in favour of zero-tolerance legislation to permit the enforcement of copyright law. I am led to wonder why record companies don't seem to be pressing this line particularly hard. I suspect the massive profits to be made from copyright 'protection' systems have something to do with it.

Reevaluation indeed. (2)

erotus (209727) | more than 13 years ago | (#428648)

I don't really disagree with you on your points here, but there is one thing about this that really pisses me off. I'm not saying that artists or corporations don't deserve compensation for their work. What I am saying is that laws are being skewed to protect corporations instead of the individual. Do you really think the police would go after people downloading recordings of amateur/unestablished musicians whose recordings are copyrighted?

Maybe the Belgian police are trying to make an example out of somebody in order to scare others and deliver a clear message, but then again maybe not. The point is this: Don't the police have anything better to do than go after downloaders? Why are they not sitting in their cars in the red light district? Why are they not walking the streets to insure peoples safety? Surely there has to be more important criminals to go after.

I'm not justifying the actions of those who were warned about downloading. I'm simply saying that if this example is setting a precedent of what is to come, then we have more to worry about than Napster closing it's doors.

Re:So? (1)

yardgnome (190624) | more than 13 years ago | (#428649)

To me, downloading copyrighted music could be viewed as a protest against the exorbitant prices charged by the music industry. When CDs first appeared everyone was shocked at the high price, but the RIAA promised that it was only so expensive because it was a new technology, and that it was worth it for the increased sound quality.

It's now how many years later, and CDs actually cost the same amount of money (if not more) than when they debuted. And don't try to tell me that making CDs is just as expensive now as when CDs appeared.

I believe that downloading copyrighted songs says, "I'm sick and tired of paying $16-20 for a CD it cost the recording industry $1-$5 to make. I refused to be taken advantage of just because the alternative method of distribution is under attack by the RIAA's own lawyer-goons."


I think I speak foor all americans when I say... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#428650)

We are all pot-bellied, poorly-educated ass-scratching subhumans. It's undeniable. But please note, the story oonly insinuates that a significant minority of belgians are child molesters, betting odds are that you aren't. So don't get all huffy.

Re:Not trolling here, but... (1)

delong (125205) | more than 13 years ago | (#428651)

Artists tour to sell CDs, dooood. Artists make money from selling CDs, doood. Only massively successful artists make any money from touring, and most touring is paid in large part by studios as, essentially, marketing cost. Most bands who haven't hit the big time, LOSE money on tour.

I suppose you are now going to suggest they sell T-shirts?


Re:I am ashamed at Slashdot (2)

Fortyseven (240736) | more than 13 years ago | (#428652)

That would be like me saying every American is a pot-bellied, poorly-educated ass-scratching subhuman.

We aren't?

Re:What? (1)

Arandir (19206) | more than 13 years ago | (#428653)

The remaining crap is usually the result of braindead laws

And since only the government can pass laws, I guess teh ENTIRE blame rests on them.

The size of the crime (1)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#428654)

It almost seems that the casual copying is being treated as just as horrible as drug abuse.

Maybe the psychs can make up another disease to go with this (they have made up [] enough of them), so we can go after the recording companies like we do after drug cartels.

Musical Addiction Dependency, or some such thing.

These people need help with their music addictions!


and (2)

Wah (30840) | more than 13 years ago | (#428655)

coaster, and mugs, and cds, and whatever the heck else anyone will buy. Buy your band's domain names, get someone to make you a decent site, practice, put up a couple songs, practice, hope people like you enough to keep you on their hard drives, practice, tell everyone to listen to you, be really good at playing music, rinse, repeat. a simple recipe to success.

Re:Sorry Slashdot (1)

hime (5963) | more than 13 years ago | (#428656)

Give me an ffen break. The artists don't lost CRAP. It's the money-sucking-lets-try-to-kill everyone's-freedom RECORD companies that lost. And you know what? WHO CARES? These companies are MONOPOLIES. If the artist got all the money, it might be a different story - but I think not since the record companies make MILLIONS off some of the more popular albums. And do the artists see this? NO!

You are what is commonly referred to as "wrong". If an artist gets a percentage of the cost of each CD (which is typically how their payment is structured), and the artist sells less CDs, both the artist and the label lose money.

No, this does not excuse the fact that labels do treat artists poorly and are structured to get artists into debt so they have to do what the label wants. But it does poke a hole in your very flimsy rationalization.


zencode (234108) | more than 13 years ago | (#428659)

god damnit. would people get it through their thick skulls that owning a copy of a song that you, yourself, did not buy is 100% legal in the united states. the only reason why napster is coming under fire is because they're a profit organization. it is completely legal for me to make copies of my entire backstreet boys collection (this is the humor portion of our show) and hand them out at the park street subway stop here in boston long as i don't charge for them.

this is a big heads-up for the whole "they got what they deserve" crowd. [/grumble]

My .02,

Re:So? (1)

kz45 (175825) | more than 13 years ago | (#428663)

did the record companies force you to buy the CD's??? No, I think not. If people were to stop buying CD's at such a high price, the record companies would learn that they can't rape the public. But, the average person continues to bend over, and take it. I believe napster is in the right, but for all the right reasons. If napster is held responsible, this would set a precedence for other software companies to be un-necessarily attacked by the RIAA or some other group who is not responsible. The users who are violating the copyrights are responsible. It seems people on this forum are just shifting the blame around. "it's the users, not the software company". "The RIAA is violating napster users' rights". Who's fault is it now?? It's the Artists', for making me want to listen to their music.

I wish some people would just GROW UP?!

Not to change the subject, but individuls have been attacked for violating the GPL.

Just something to think about.......

Re:What? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 13 years ago | (#428665)

"Remember, only governments have armies."

That's not at all true. Microsoft has an army, it's called 'Microsoft Security'. Try sneaking around their buildings at night, and see who stops you and how well armed they are. Most if not all large corporations have private armies. They just don't typically have quite the level of men or weaponry as a typical government army, but they are there.

Re:Not trolling here, but... (2)

Chris Johnson (580) | more than 13 years ago | (#428666)

Why would any sane person want to take a 'go RIAA' stance? They boast no virtues but power, they don't even do a very good job, they rip off consumers horribly, they rip off artists worse, they've been tied to organised crime for _decades_ and now you want to see people rooting for them?

Some of us consider them more harmful than any sort of IP-stealing, and justifiably see the whole Napster thing as verging on civil disobedience, or even guerrila warfare, hitting these titanic organisations which control people's lives and careers in the only way they CAN be hit- short-circuiting them, rendering them unnecessary.

The only reason... the ONLY reason that you see OK music coming out of the RIAA and comparably little worthwhile stuff coming out of the grassroots and indies and net musicians, is because the RIAA people have been clinging to complete and total dominance and control for _decades_! It's like saying nobody can make a web browser as good as Microsoft 'because look what's out there'. The fact is, existing media like radio, music stores etc. are so totally controlled by the RIAA that it is effectively a complete lockout- you can't get in unless you sign with the RIAA on their terms.

That's no form of capitalism, no form of free market, and nothing defensible. I would ask you to reconsider your desire to find defensible things about the RIAA. I feel it is very misguided, and really a stretch. The fact is, it is justifiable to try and act against the RIAA's interests, particularly by such nonviolent means as simply copying music- and more people should be acting against the RIAA's interests. The more you learn about how the business really works, the more you will probably agree with that...

Re:But more importantly (2)

Bob McCown (8411) | more than 13 years ago | (#428667)

LISTER: All right then, a time machine. She can invent a time machine, and we could all pick whatever period in history we wanted to live in.

RIMMER: Well, it'll be the nineteenth century for me. One of Napoleon's marshals. The chance to march across Europe with the greatest general of all time and kill Belgians. Marvellous.

Re:This will only work for so long (1)

Kagemushaa (259313) | more than 13 years ago | (#428668)

This is true, and it may push it underground for awhile, but somebody will come up with the next killer music sharing app, and it will be main-stream again. For example, people traded mp3's online before napster, like on irc and stuff, but it ttok an easy to use app like napster to get it off the ground. I think this will happen again

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