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Napster: the Day the Music Was Set Free

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the get-off-my-lawn dept.

Music 243

theodp writes "Before iTunes, Netflix, MySpace, Facebook, and the Kindle, 17-year-old Shawn Fanning and 18-year-old Sean Parker gave the world Napster. And it was very good. The Observer's Tom Lamont reports on VH1's soon-to-premiere Downloaded, a documentary that tells the story of the rise and fall of the file-sharing software that started the digital music revolution, and shares remembrances of how Napster rocked his world. 'I was 17,' writes Lamont, 'and the owner of an irregular music collection that numbered about 20 albums, most of them a real shame (OMC's How Bizarre, the Grease 2 soundtrack). One day I had unsupervised access to the family PC and, for reasons forgotten, an urge to hear the campy orchestral number from the film Austin Powers. I was a model Napster user: internet-equipped, impatient and mostly ignorant of the ethical and legal particulars of peer-to-peer file-sharing. I installed the software, searched Napster's vast list of MP3 files, and soon had Soul Bossa Nova plinking kilobyte by kilobyte on to my hard drive.' Sound familiar?"

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243 comments

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Very good indeed (4, Funny)

gunnarbeutner (2337576) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996707)

Clearly proofreading very wasn't very good.

Re:Very good indeed (2)

theodp (442580) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996967)

Oops...that'll teach me to try to cite the Book of Genesis [kingjamesbibleonline.org] off the top of my head. Make that "And, behold, it was very good." :-)

LDS Bible translation? (1)

Latent Heat (558884) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997003)

Maybe you were quoting Latter-Day Saints Church founder Joseph Smith's translation instead of the King James version?

Re:LDS Bible translation? (1)

stuporglue (1167677) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997585)

The official Bible translation for Latter-Day Saints is the KJV.

Small Joseph Smith Translations (JST) are put in the footnotes for reference, and larger translations are kept separately.

LDS Scriptures online (Genesis 1:31): http://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/gen/1?lang=eng#31 [lds.org]
None of the footnotes there are JST footnotes.

Joseph Smith Translation: http://www.lds.org/scriptures/jst?lang=eng [lds.org]
No JST for Genesis 1.

See Also (2)

trancemission (823050) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996719)

Audiogalaxy

Now acquired by Dropbox :(

Re:See Also (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42996775)

I loved Audiogalaxy. You could search for avi files too. Any good FTP search engines around anymore?

Re:See Also (1)

partyguerrilla (1597357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996883)

I tolerated it, but you could mostly find horribly encoded 128kbps songs. At least there was no chance of some asshole disconnecting your downloads at 99%

Re:See Also (2)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997841)

I felt Audiogalaxy was better than napster for finding rare things and complete songs. It was a shame to lose it.

You opened the floodgates of crime! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42996739)

... and you're a monster. A Monster I say! All talented musicians, movie makers and other artists are starving now because of the likes of you!

May you rot in the hell that you created where the only music that sells is for 12 your old teen girls and their computer-illiterate mommies.

Screw you, Metallica! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42996747)

nc

Re:Screw you, Metallica! (3, Insightful)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997057)

Between St. Anger and the Napster battle, those were very bad times for Metallica. Their reputation has never recovered since.

Re:Screw you, Metallica! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42997737)

Except for how it has. They still sell out every show, and Death Magnetic was one of their best albums. No argument that those were bad times for Metallica, but it got better, and their fans forgave them. They've done interviews about how it was mostly some bullshit Lars was in a twist about, and he's the member of the band even fans hate most anyway.

Re:Screw you, Metallica! (3, Interesting)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997897)

I think Load was when Metallica went over the edge and I'm sure they do sell out but they're way too pop and shit since that. They didn't handle their black album success well. The napster thing was lame I guess but i don't blame them. I just don't listen to their music because it's poor now.

Re:Screw you, Metallica! (4, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42998281)

There's different classes of Metallica fan, who are characterized by which album was the last album they listened to. For me it's the Black Album. To many people that album is shit that doesn't even exist. YMMV.

Re:Screw you, Metallica! (5, Insightful)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997085)

You know what saddens me the most? NONE of the music executives/Metallica goons looked at Napster and went, "Holy shit! This is the way of the future, let's investigate this distribution option and adapt it to our own purposes".

Re:Screw you, Metallica! (2)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997249)

Even today they should be put in a torture chamber to force to recognize that the music boom of today was in good part thanks to that kind of file sharing.

On second tought, given how RIAA and similars had abused the system since them, that they recognize it is optional, but the torture chamber is a good idea anyway.

Re:Screw you, Metallica! (3, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997339)

They didn't have need to, really. The power of Napster's p2p model was to eliminate hosting costs - the amount of data Napster shifted would have cost a fortune by conventional means. But if you're running a business, that's not an issue. iTunes doesn't use p2p. The only thing that the industry should have learned from Napster was that customers really want convenience and speed.

Re:Screw you, Metallica! (5, Insightful)

nametaken (610866) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997835)

The only thing that the industry should have learned from Napster was that customers really want convenience and speed.

Right, and perhaps just as important, that people didn't want a $16 CD of shitty filler to get the one song they heard on the radio. But the industry didn't learn those things. Instead they were dragged, kicked and screaming, into the iTunes model. Meanwhile file-sharing never died... it got better, and legitimate music purchasing has had to get better to compete with it. Everything has gotten easier, cheaper, more organized, with better quality and consistency. In every way, people won.

Now it's TV's turn. That industry refuses to look five years in the future, so they'll be forced, just as it was with music. People don't want all the garbage that comes with the one thing they like, and they won't tolerate the obscene bill and mandatory advertising.

Today you can spend $35 on a computer, add a free software plugin, and immediately call up any television show you want in HD, no commercials, on demand, for free. It's only going to get better and that industry is going to have to compete or die.

Buggy whip manufacturers have to evolve and it's seldom voluntary.

Re:Screw you, Metallica! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42997373)

They actually tried doing this with a later incarnation of Napster. It used some proprietary DRM format and of course never caught on.

However, look at YouTube. It used to be you could find *anything* there, but the RIAA has completely subverted the site.

Re:Screw you, Metallica! (2)

Kenshin (43036) | about a year and a half ago | (#42998191)

Well, they did say "Holy shit! This is the way of the future, let's investigate this distribution option...", but they ended it with "... and try to hold it back as long as we can."

IF..... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42996755)

At the height of napster the RIAA had worked with them to setup a deal to make 5 cents from every download...

They would now have made TRILLIONS of dollars using zero of their own resources.

Instead they've worked hard to piss of every one of their customers in countless ways. Many of whom will never ever pay them again... And it's cost them billions so far and trillions into the future...

Lets all give them a big round of HA HA! WHAT A BUNCH OF MORONS! They deserve it.

Re:IF..... (5, Insightful)

gmack (197796) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997087)

Strangely enough I cut back on album purchases when Napster died since I had no way to find new stuff I like and nothing I like was ever on the radio. Thankfully YouTube finally replaced Napster for my sampling needs but there were a few years in between the two where I bought absolutely nothing music wise.

I'd say the RIAA out right blew their own leg off.

Re:IF..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42997773)

> ...deal to make 5 cents from every download...
> ...TRILLIONS of dollars...

Hmmm. Not sure about your math there.

Maybe if every person in the world downloaded the same songs 2500 times??

Napster on dial-up (2)

Hall (962) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996781)

I remember using Napster on dial-up (don't think broadband was available or at least not affordable or common). It basically took the same amount of time to download a song as it was long, i.e. 4 minutes to download a 4-minute song.

Re:Napster on dial-up (1)

ickleberry (864871) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996823)

It took 20-25 minutes for me and so often they would fail. It was a real blessing when they brought in the resume functionality. My computer was hardly able to play a MP3, had to stop everything else and fire up Ye Olde Resource Intensive MP3 Player Application. 133MHz Pentium 1 and a 56k modem with a 25 pin RS-232 cable

Re:Napster on dial-up (1)

spune (715782) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996867)

On a machine with the same specs, I was able to play multiple videos simultaneously without delay or any other problem, running BeOS. Of course I had to download everything in windows, though...

Re:Napster on dial-up (1)

DFurno2003 (739807) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996907)

I used to play Starcraft over an rs232 cable, talk about bad latency.

Re:Napster on dial-up (4, Funny)

Tarlus (1000874) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996913)

Yeah, I had a sizeable collection of half-songs there for a while...

Re:Napster on dial-up (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996953)

Back then I was talking about it with a guy who knew computing well. He looks at me gravely and says, "That's a bad site.". That's all he said about it. About a month later I terminated someone trying to upload a rare Beatles song I had, at 33kps he was killing my bandwidth / download, whch I explained to him. He got even by remotely altering my Win98 settings that made the screen resolution unusable. I spent weeks trying to figure out and undo what he did. I finally had to run the restore disks, wiping the 8gb hard drive and lost all those songs. :-( Taught me a lesson about Napster, and not to use it again.

Re:Napster on dial-up (3, Insightful)

uberdilligaff (988232) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997009)

I wonder whether it taught you a lesson about backups...

Re:Napster on dial-up (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997303)

I wonder whether it taught you a lesson about backups...

I had an iomega drive with a few 100mb disks, had already given it to a friend's wife for her business (she still has it). That's about the best there was then. I think it was 900 songs I lost then, no way to easily backup 2gigs then. You lose in life sometimes, but there's a happy ending. Now I have over 10,000 mp3s (mostly ripped from my local library's CD collection), backed up to a couple of 64gb flashdrives and 32gb micro sdcards. I've learned the 3 B's of computing by now. Backup, backup, backup! :-)

Re:Napster on dial-up (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997739)

In 96 I was regularly backing up 60GB of data nightly. There were lots of options, and if you had the money to buy 1 9GB disk, you could buy 2....

Re:Napster on dial-up (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997025)

Yeah, I could imagine that the Napster client was quite swiss cheese what it comes to security.

Re:Napster on dial-up (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42997109)

It's more likely it wasn't Naspter that hosed his system, but an unpatched system which has numerous ways you can root a win9x box.

Re:Napster on dial-up (3, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997355)

Back in the day, you could just fire up a portscanner looking for netbios shares and gain trivial access to C drive on many computers. I used to do that quite often - then find the desktop folder and leave a text file there explaining the security flaw and urging the user to fix it.

Re:Napster on dial-up (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997363)

Yeah, I could imagine that the Napster client was quite swiss cheese what it comes to security.

Yep, turns out Napster was full of exploitable holes, only 'real' computer nerds knew those tricks then. That guy could've done worse, if he'd wanted to, formatted the drive or something. I got my computer "spanked" instead. A post above reminds me that is was a kind of half-assed music collection I had, lots of half songs from being knocked offline. I swear, kids today don't know how rough we had it back in the nineties!

Re:Napster on dial-up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42998207)

Good for you. Napster bad. You know, most other people don't use Napster anymore either. Keep using that Win98 though. And good for you for firing the guy who knew more about it than you. Clearly you didn't need him anymore. Also its important to let people know that they aren't allowed to do what you do (even though you set the bad example) because you are in charge or something, and deserving, whereas they are just scum to be fired. You don't need them, just use the restore disk, curse them for all the lost songs, and keep using Win98. Good job sparky!

Re:Napster on dial-up (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42996871)

I remember using Napster on dial-up (don't think broadband was available or at least not affordable or common).

I'm in Canada and I could proudly say I've had 1.5mbit/s download speed back then over DSL. Cost $42/mo.

Today, I'm ashamed to say I pay $50+/mo and still have 1.5mbit/s DSL.

Awesome how technology moves forward when there is no competition.

riaa's failure to adapt to the marketplace (4, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996783)

That is really the bigger story. Even now, instead of making money hand over fist printing digital money the riaa would rather create artificial barriers and ridiculous price points for online distribution. If Apple had not dragged them kicking and screaming into the mp3 drm-less world they would have probably broken their cartel by now.

Re:riaa's failure to adapt to the marketplace (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996855)

Yeah, I wish the MPAA would figure it out too. There are obviously lots of advantages to having media in digital form, and iTunes (and others) have shown people will pay for content as long as its drop-dead convenient - even without DRM.

I rip every DVD and Blu-Ray disk I buy, and I strip the DRM off any digital movie I buy, so I can have access to my media wherever I want... but the average consumer can't/won't go to the trouble to set up their own streaming setup. And much as I like Netflix, they're not a one-stop shop yet. The MPAA is missing a huge opportunity for a new profit-making business here.

Re:riaa's failure to adapt to the marketplace (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42996901)

Yeah, I wish the MPAA would figure it out too. There are obviously lots of advantages to having media in digital form, and iTunes (and others) have shown people will pay for content as long as its drop-dead convenient - even without DRM.

I rip every DVD and Blu-Ray disk I buy, and I strip the DRM off any digital movie I buy, so I can have access to my media wherever I want... but the average consumer can't/won't go to the trouble to set up their own streaming setup. And much as I like Netflix, they're not a one-stop shop yet. The MPAA is missing a huge opportunity for a new profit-making business here.

Buying and riping doesn't do any good. You're just agreeing to all the bullshit the MPAA does.
I just go full riping (from the internet) and bypass entirely the middleman. Too bad for the artists though. Maybe in a decade they'll get the memo.

Re:riaa's failure to adapt to the marketplace (1)

Dan667 (564390) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997273)

I would not feel too bad for the artists. With hollywood accounting the artists are only getting pennies (if that) for their hard work.

Re:riaa's failure to adapt to the marketplace (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997043)

I have an Apple TV and stream Netflix, ITunes and MLB on it

Like most people I have to plans to buy a nas for a 10tb movie library to stream. There are other things to do other than watch movies all the time. And I would buy the DVD before buying a nas just to hold compressed blu ray rips

Re:riaa's failure to adapt to the marketplace (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42997331)

I have an Apple TV and stream Netflix, ITunes and MLB on it

Like most people I have to plans to buy a nas for a 10tb movie library to stream. There are other things to do other than watch movies all the time. And I would buy the DVD before buying a nas just to hold compressed blu ray rips

A compressed blu-ray rip (15-20 GB) can still look way way better than a dvd and almost as good as a full blu-ray. Oh and you don't get annoyed with bullshit previews, forced trailers, forced antipiracy trailers and who knows what else.

Re:riaa's failure to adapt to the marketplace (1)

RobbieThe1st (1977364) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997727)

Hell, a h.264 720p 4GB rip looks far better than DVD quality(and "good enough" in most cases), especially when the full 1080P source video wasn't made with the best cameras...

Re:riaa's failure to adapt to the marketplace (4, Insightful)

Lanboy (261506) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997415)

This is my main conspiracy theory. The years that napster ran unchecked, glorious, glorious years, were the years that the RIAA recorded their greatest profits, level of profit that they have not equaled since. I think that unfettered access to music of all genres makes people better music consumers. I personally became excited about music as I had not been since my youth ( I am an old ) . I bought more cds, I went to more concerts. I have tapered off again because it is just harder to get things done, so I don't bother. The numbers say I am not alone.

I feel the real reason the music companies are terrified of electronic music distribution is twofold.

One, maintaining limited participation in music distribution to protect the status quo, it democratizes the process creating methods of distribution that a smart player could get involved and push the old fogeys out.

Two, electronic music distribution makes the tracking of music sales trivial, and the accurate assignment of funds to the correct copyright holders, and audit by same go from a difficult and arcane process to a simple exercise in database management. This is the last fucking thing the labels want. Since the beginning of the recording industry, the most powerful and profitable labels have gotten there by screwing the musicians. Hiding overseas profits, disguising sales and production runs, overstating promotional costs, accounting errors ( never in the favor of the artist, I assure you ) anything, actualy, to hide the actual profits from the musicians, and send it to the record companies' coke habits.
Try to watch a music documentary from the past 50 years. Find one where the label wasn't fucking the artist over. The labels don't want this to change, this is why they have to be dragged into digital music by their shorthairs, they need time to set up the structures to screw the artists out of their due. If you are ever wondering why packaged and cookie cutter artists seem to thrive, it is because they are more easily bilked out of the profits.

Re:riaa's failure to adapt to the marketplace (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42997545)

The years that napster ran unchecked, glorious, glorious years, were the years that the RIAA recorded their greatest profits, level of profit that they have not equaled since.

Largely coincidental, IMO. The economy was booming, and the mainstream media still dominated the cultural narrative. Much of those profits were teenyboppers buying Britney Spears CDs and baby boomers trying to re-live their youth with some oldass rock bands. Napster widened the perspective of a lot of people, but in the big picture, it was small potatoes.

If the Internet sharing effect were real, you would expect that live concerts and memorabilia would be a booming business now. Instead music biz revenues have continually gone down because Internet-based media makes it difficult to push culture onto the mainstream audience.

Re:riaa's failure to adapt to the marketplace (5, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42998215)

They wouldn't be making any money. That's the point. They are no longer needed because artists can get their music directly to the fans, no physical reproduction or distribution necessary. They are also terrified of Amazon and Apple who could easily become the next big music labels and crush them.

In the UK we have one high street chain music retailer left, and half its stores just closed as it went into administration. Soon the only places selling physical music will be supermarkets, who are big enough to screw the BPI and all the music labels who are part of it.

We are seeing the desperate thrashing about of a wounded animal as it gets ripped apart.

Next up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42996825)

DRM Free PS4 / XBOX 720 / WiiU games.

Mod me down RIAA owned slashdot mods, I'm working on the Jailbreaks right now.

Sound familiar? (-1, Troll)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996847)

Nope .. not at all .. I have paid for every bit of music that I own, starting with LPs & singles, cassette tapes, CDs and even downloads. (Yeah I know I'll have to buy the White album again)

And I prefer music organized in an album .. with a theme .. and good liner notes .. and artwork!

Now get off MY lawn

Re:Sound familiar? (1)

trancemission (823050) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996861)

Yeah I know I'll have to buy the White album again

Why?

Re:Sound familiar? (1)

wylf (657051) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996931)

Why?

Men In Black reference?

Or maybe just "real life"; the White Album has been re-released a few times, and the "true fans" (or whatever) can be relied upon to go and buy the latest and greatest... (sound familiar?)

Re:Sound familiar? (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996971)

Why?

Men In Black reference?

It was purely a MIB reference. Although I am interested in the latest anniversary release of Lawrence of Arabia.

On the the other hand .. Han shot first!

Yes it does (1)

future assassin (639396) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996925)

Except for me its started running MS Personal Page server in 97 on dial up and WarFTP before Napster because popular.

As for buying my entertainment well I sure as hell do but i buy it at pawnshops. Yah I paid retail for 100's of DVD/Cd's I bought and got ripped off on price but then I said fuck it and for the last 6 years I've been hitting pawn shops and getting my dvd's for $2-4 and buy 5 get on free. I have around 700 dvd's/600 cd's

Fuck the artist and movies studios. Its about ME saving money.

Re:Sound familiar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42996927)

You misunderstand the nature of the purchases you have made. You don't own any music. Unless you wrote it yourself, in which case you didn't pay for it.

Re:Sound familiar? (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997059)

I'm pretty sure in that case, you at least own the physical equipment used to perform, record and produce that music... and that stuff doesn't exactly come free. So in a way... actually, you did kind of pay for it. Just not directly.

Re:Sound familiar? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42996937)

Nope .. not at all .. I have paid for every bit of music that I own, starting with LPs & singles, cassette tapes, CDs and even downloads. (Yeah I know I'll have to buy the White album again)

And I prefer music organized in an album .. with a theme .. and good liner notes .. and artwork!

Now get off MY lawn

People like you are more annoying than thieves because you love to march around, pound your chest and for no reason at all constantly have to announce to everyone how you dont steal. Youre as bad as people who do bad things and then find jesus because all they do is march around and shove stuff down the throats of anyone within earshot when in reality no one ever asked or even cares.

Because really now, what exactly was the point of coming and proving how righteous you are to a bunch of strangers? Is your ego so huge and your self esteem so low that you feel the need to just blindly push your self righteous bullshit on us?

Re:Sound familiar? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42997163)

On top of all that, he also is direcly funding the RIAA and MPAA finances so they can bribe more politicians and harm the free internet, yeah people like him are clearly guilty of funding terrorism.

Re:Sound familiar? (2)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997995)

On top of all that, he also is direcly funding the RIAA and MPAA finances so they can bribe more politicians and harm the free internet, yeah people like him are clearly guilty of funding terrorism.

You are making a big assumption that I buy/bought my my music in the US. You do know that there are other places in the world don't you?

Re:Sound familiar? (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997953)

Is your ego so huge and your self esteem so low that you feel the need to just blindly push your self righteous bullshit on us?

Nah it was because the article was subtitled from the get-off-my-lawn dept..

Oh and btw you seem to be a little humor impaired today. I bet you even took that "Yeah I know I'll have to buy the White album again" comment seriously.

Sheesh .. kids today. Now get off my lawn.

Re:Sound familiar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42996947)

(Yeah I know I'll have to buy the White album again)

Why -- if you have the vinyl, you probably have a truer copy than anything digital
you can get today. I really don't believe that re-releases are remastered. It doesn't
make sense for the industry to do that and then release it on sub-par media (yes iTunes
@128k is sub-par.)

Re:Sound familiar? (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996989)

(Yeah I know I'll have to buy the White album again)

Why -- if you have the vinyl, you probably have a truer copy than anything digital
you can get today. I really don't believe that re-releases are remastered. It doesn't
make sense for the industry to do that and then release it on sub-par media (yes iTunes
@128k is sub-par.)

Whoosh .. you need to keep up with your pop culture references

Re:Sound familiar? (2)

Kreigaffe (765218) | about a year and a half ago | (#42998023)

Remastered is just code for "we fucked the dynamic range to make it louder"

Re:Sound familiar? (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996979)

Own? Guess again.
You paid for a medium and format specific license.

Re:Sound familiar? (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996999)

Own? Guess again.
You paid for a medium and format specific license.

And I can take that medium and format specific license and along with the medium itself legally sell it.

Are you also going say that I don't own the books I bought either?

Re:Sound familiar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42997201)

Subtle difference. You own books. You own CDs. You don't own the music. This is important because it's root to one of the valid reasons for violating copyright: If you owned the music, you wouldn't need permission to read the CD, create an MP3 and use it with a player of your choice.

Re:Sound familiar? (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997209)

Subtle difference. You own books. You own CDs. You don't own the music.

Yeah like when I say I own my car that I really mean that I own the rights to the designs by Honda.

Re:Sound familiar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42997845)

> Subtle difference. You own books. You own CDs. You don't own the music.

Just using the term "music" is far too vague. In this context, if you own the CD you legally own a physical copy of a recording of a copyrighted performance. You don't own the copyright or publishing rights.

So if "music" in this context means the recording, then yes, you own the music. If "music" means the performance or the published songs, then no, you don't own the music. But even so, you may have the right to copy it in certain circumstances under fair use rules, which can be very complex. It's not so cut and dried as you imply.

Same with books. Books are physical copies of abstract literary works. You may or may not have the right to copy it if the copyright/publishing rights to the work are owned by someone else. You may own the books without owning the "work" itself.

Not exactly the first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42996877)

People shared files long before Napster came on the scene.

Among other means of sharing, we had BBS's, FTP sites, and Usenet.

Re:Not exactly the first (4, Funny)

guttentag (313541) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997121)

Dude, everyone knows [wikipedia.org] Fanning stole Napster from Seth Green while he was napping...

Re:Not exactly the first (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997259)

Sneakernet worked best for me . . .

Re:Not exactly the first (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42997491)

And offline, we had sneakernet.

seriously (2)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997837)

I used to get them from DCC bots on IRC back in the early days. It was so well managed there was even a search script that worked across all the bots.

...and creativity was caged (2)

zugedneb (601299) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996905)

If we could not download music, and had no money to buy, we would gather, have some cheep bear, some tabacco, and sing some songs, and have some good time together.

Now, we all sit isolated with our computer and praise the "geniOus" in others.

Keep up the good work guys.

Re:...and creativity was caged (0)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997263)

Cheep bear? I never heard a bear cheeping. Got a Youtube link?

Napster & Audiogalaxy (4, Interesting)

timmyf2371 (586051) | about a year and a half ago | (#42996917)

I used to use Napster and subsequently Audiogalaxy back over 28.8k dial-up and it took around 20 minutes to download an MP3 (always at 128Kbps bitrate). These days, I can get a 1080p Blu-Ray rip in that same 20 minutes. It was always a joy seeing a new track had been completed.

The thing I loved about Napster was that there was loads of cover songs and live performances on there and it was so easy to use.

Then when it all came tumbling down thanks to Metallica et al, seeing all the replacements pop up all over the place. Kazaa, Limewire etc all full of viruses and dodgy bitrate files.

These days, it's not worth the hassle to go pirate music anymore so I just pay for Spotify Premium. It is probably closest in functionality to Napster and has a great selection of mainstream and random tracks.

National Medal of Technology for Fanning, Parker? (5, Insightful)

theodp (442580) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997021)

Want to screw with the USPTO? Nominate Fanning and Parker for a National Medal of Technology and Innovation [uspto.gov] , "the highest honor awarded by the president of the United States to America's leading innovators." Funny thing is, they probably deserve it!

Napster put music in a cage. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42997033)

It didnt set anything free. All it did was help lock down music even further because it turned the music industry into a bunch of right wing zealots hell bent that would go on to try and ruin anyones life it could that downloaded music even if they already owned it, they put even more restrictions on copyrights in general and rallied the entire entertainment industry behind it to abuse their customers.

You can thank napster for starting the chain reaction that has led to so much internet censorship in america, unfair treatment of users and horribly bad DRM. True other things brought that stuff about but napster was what started it all and got it all going because it gave the MPAA and the RIAA legs in their anti piracy cause which has led to them influencing politicans and laws.

Napster was a service based around the idea of ILLEGAL activities. But because we could all justify downloading music on it we dont condemn it because it was "big faceless evil corporations" that got hurt so we didnt care at all. We can justify stealing when it benefits us. Whether it be stealing a song because hey those record companies have billions, or taking an ink pen from the bank that isnt intended to be free because hey its only a pen and the bank can afford millions of them but if someone steals a million dollars then you would call him a criminal because 1) You didnt get any of that money and 2) Because condemning that person makes you feel less guilty about your many petty crimes. Bottom line is, whether it be a ink pen, a neighbors newspaper or a song or a million dollars stealing is always stealing.

Did I use napster? Hell yeah I did. But Im atleast not enough of a hypocrite or turn a blind eye to the fact that using it for its intended purpose was wrong.

Re:Napster put music in a cage. (0)

houghi (78078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997153)

Napster did not turn anybody into anything. They already were a bunch of right wing zealots. Just ask the late Zappa. He was not very happy with them. That was in 1977.
I am sure there are other even earlier examples that shows similar things.

Re:Napster put music in a cage. (0)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997433)

If you're compiling a collection of 'zealot moments.' I'd suggest the Betamax case in the US (In which Sony attempted to ban the VCR) and it's UK equivilent with the Amstrad dual-cassette deck. But if you're looking for age, the oldest I can think of would be in 1905-06, when one of the artist associations of the day called for a ban on a new-fangled technology, the player piano, arguing that it would end creativity in the music industry: People would just listen to the same rolls over and over until the end of time.

Re:Napster put music in a cage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42997755)

I'd suggest the Betamax case in the US (In which Sony attempted to ban the VCR)

Rewrite history much, sony created betamax and they were sued by the movie studios, the result being a finding that Sony (and other manufacturers) weren't liable for contributory infringement, since the devices had a significant non-infringing use. This is pretty far from the evil Sony trying to ban the VCR

Re:Napster put music in a cage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42997359)

The music industry has a long history of getting in the way of progress. Napster was neither the first nor the last thing that upset the RIAA.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Taping_Is_Killing_Music [wikipedia.org]

Re:Napster put music in a cage. (2)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997495)

Did I use napster? Hell yeah I did. But I'm at least not enough of a hypocrite or turn a blind eye to the fact that using it for its intended purpose was wrong.

But still enough of a hypocrite to actively participate in something yourself that you apparently *DID* know was wrong? Hmmm. Okay... good to know.

Re:Napster put music in a cage. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42997529)

Obvious troll is obvious.

The RIAA was hell bent on stamping their boots on the downed throats of men everywhere with campaigns like 'Home taping is killing music'

We also had them ruining future formats like DAT tape and DVD Audio thanks to obscene amounts of DRM the general public are indifferent. Who's to blame? the RIAA.

And before that ... (1)

houghi (78078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997039)

And before that we had the video cassette. For videos we had VHS.
Also : music is NOT set free. The last time music was free was before copyright.

Re:And before that ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42997219)

Laws don't define reality. Music is free. We live in a post copyright age.
The fact that many people haven't realized this yet doesn't detract from it's truth.

Download resuming (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42997081)

The thing I remember most about Napster was it didn't have download resuming. I almost can't believe there was a time when EVERYTHING didn't let you pause and resume downloads but I think even at that time you still needed GetRight or Gozilla to resume browser downloads.

Waiting 20 minutes for a song you really like on dial-up and seeing the other user cancel it at 99%, sound familiar?

Early napster=trove of unreleased material (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42997177)

What I liked best about the early Napster is that collectors shared a trove of unreleased and rare material. Demos, live cuts, b-sides, non-album tracks - almost anything I could think of, I'd type it in and download it. I got digital versions of stuff that would have taken me man-years to digitize from the originals I had (LPs, cassettes, etc), and stuff that would have cost bazillions to buy from dealers. Remember, back then in the late 90s, the current practice of adding rare tracks like b-sides to CD releases of LP records (which were usually about 40 minutes long, giving plenty of room for extra tracks on the CD) was just beginning, so a lot of this material was very, very rare. As Napster got more popular, all this stuff faded away quickly to be replaced by stuff you could buy in stores on CD. I've always thought that was one of the greatest tragedies of file sharing.

First Chance (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42997251)

Napster was the first and last chance that the music industry was GIVEN to embrace digital distribution, they instead chose to embrace the legal system. The result was that Napster (Not a P2P service but a centralized & controllable service) was shut down.

Who'd have thought that the largest market demand possible would cause someone to develop a product?

Then came P2P, which they are suing the operators of Search engines / Indexers.

The came distributed P2P so they are suing the users.

Next comes anonymous & encrypted P2P

Ah the beginning ten years later (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997307)

Figures they'd think napster was the beginning. there were many ways to download music long before napster. napster was simply the first to get caught with legal troubles.

They were the beginning of something else (1)

Voyager529 (1363959) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997867)

Yes, there were indeed ways to download music long before Napster. There were ways to "copyright infringe" music before computers. Let me break it down for you...

Before Napster, there were FTP sites you could browse. Today, you can google $SOME_ARTIST, $SOME_SONG, and "Parent Directory" and usually find what you want...but that was far from the norm in the days of AltaVista. Usenet browsing is similarly possible if you're able and willing to dig.

Before using the internet, we used our 4x CD burners to copy CDs onto blanks. Before that, we used dual-deck cassette recorders, and before that...reel-to-reel, I guess. The point is that being able to retain and listen to permanent copies of songs users hadn't paid for indeed did not start with Napster.

What set Napster apart from the others was the fact that it was widespread, easy for novices, didn't suffer generational losses, or for the individual who wanted the song to know the person who had it. The fact that it was very easy for others to use it meant that they could share their collections, and it didn't take too long for the total breadth of music available on Napster to widely eclipse any existing distribution mechanism in existence at that time.

Ok.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42997353)

Before iTunes, Netflix, MySpace, Facebook, and the Kindle, 17-year-old Shawn Fanning and 18-year-old Sean Parker gave the world Napster.

And what relevance do any of those besides iTunes have when it comes to purchasing and listening to music?

Re:Ok.. (2)

theodp (442580) | about a year and a half ago | (#42997675)

Easy world-wide distribution of digital media was the intended link; perhaps not so clear upon re-reading. ::-)

Sex wit4 a 8igga (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42997483)

this exploitation, invited back again. consistent with the as liitle overhead one common goal - is ingesting PROSPECTS ARE VERY become an unwanted free-loving climate

Memories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42998017)

Mine was Meatloaf - Paradise By The Dashboard Light... nothing will top that download.

It WAS a revolution (2)

KublaCant (2847303) | about a year and a half ago | (#42998043)

In the place I worked then ( a startup, later acquired by BMC of Austin, Texas and then vanished into nothingness ), music at the workplace was unheard of. So we put money together for a pair of speakers and a sound card, hooked those up to an old PC - and there we went. Each had his say for an entire day: classics, French chansons, hard rock, mainstream - Napster had it all. Those were the days !

Started it? I don't think so. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42998103)

I suppose these jokers have never heard of IRC or what went on there before Napster.

I had ~200 albums (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42998137)

Other than that, it sounds about the same. At my first office job, I had about 1000 songs in my napster collection. Nobody knew what was happening in those days. My bosses knew I used napster at work. People were more concerned with the bandwidth (rightfully so).

Before (and during) napster, I spent a good chunk of my spending money on music up until the lawsuits came. I stopped buying music not because I could pirate it, but because war was declared against me and mine.

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