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Canadian Recording Industry Claims Drop in Sales

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the statistics-never-lie dept.

Music 259

tyrann98 writes: "The Globe and Mail reports that the Canadian record industry has experienced a 6.4% drop in CDs and cassettes overall (not singles) in the last year - plus a 7% drop in the first four months of this year. They don't know who is to blame, but they have their fingers pointed at you guessed it: Napster. Canadians are one of the world's most connected societies (mainly due to cheap high speed Internet access) and may reflect the direction the Internet is headed. "And indeed they are. Canadians have embraced the practice of downloading songs from the Internet faster and more intensely than most other countries. The surveys show nearly six in 10 of those between the ages of 18 and 34 go to their computers rather than a record shop to acquire songs. There are as many as five million Napster users who sign on to the Web site an average 6.3 days a month. It's about twice the reach the Web site has in the United States.""

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Observation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#180391)

The Globe and Mail reports that the Canadian record industry has experienced a 6.4% drop in CDs and cassettes overall

Isn't that just because Celine Dion retired?

Well, they can try verifying the correlation now (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#180392)

Since you can't find anything on Napster now, it would follow that sales would go up. If not, they can't prove anything; remember, the economy started floundering at about the same time.

Fuck 'em (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#180393)

It seems like the record companies have the impression that they *deserve* a certain amount of money, or a certain number of sales. But if their business model becomes outdated and they don't do anything to keep up we should keep handing them our money for nothing.

When the record industry is capable of offering a service that I think is worth my money, I will give it to them. Until then, I'll steal whatever music I like and I'll support the artists directly when they come into town on tour.

Good (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#180397)

Not only are CDs sold at extortionate prices, they are also a waste of resources. Can you recycle a CD? The sooner the music industry dies, the better.

Re:Copyright tax? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#180398)

By having blank media arbitrarily taxed to "compensate" media companies who may or may not have "lost" sales since someone copied a song (or movie) to the taxed media, the media companies - anyone of them who receive money from this tax - have unequivocally given up their right to enforce copyright with respect to anyone who has copied a song or movie to the "taxed" media. What the tax doesn't address is that people can make copies of media they own -- taxing fair use is one reason this is arbitrary. Nor does it come to grips with people using the taxed media to make their own works. Can I go and get a refund somewhere on the tax I paid if I haven't made an infringing use of the media? No. So the tax stifles my _creation_ of a work & over-reaches by yielding compensation to a pool of creators who may or may not have one of their works on my media. When a government decides to presume guilt (on behalf of record companies), expect the innocent accused to not respect the laws. They (the people of Canada & the U.S. subject to these arbitrary taxes) have nothing to lose by breaking them at this point. We've already paid for it.

I'm just waiting for the book publishing industry to realize they can get a paper tax passed.

Revealing quotes... (1)

Tim Doran (910) | more than 13 years ago | (#180399)

In the article, a professor at U of T sums up the problem with this quote: "The commodity is overpriced, the product is really inconsistent in terms of quality. It's no wonder that people are looking for alternatives."

A couple of paragraphs later, the recording industry boasts that the industry has "the ideas and the energy" to overcome this challenge. His most prominent ideas? "He wants better marketing of national sales charts, perhaps even something on television. He foresees better CD package design so kids will want to own the album."

Hop on the cluetrain, my friend. These two-bit marketing ideas don't address the real problems, articulated above.

Until the industry addresses its shortfalls in quality and pricing (which are, IMHO, inherent in its prized distribution model), people are not going to be motivated to buy music, right or wrong.

Informal economics lesson.. (3)

defile (1059) | more than 13 years ago | (#180401)

My High School economics teacher performed a cute experiment to determine the best price to set for your product and make the most money at it. The term was "market price".

Anyway, the teacher took a survey of the class as to how many CDs they would buy per month if set at a certain price. Obviously, people would dozens if they were a dollar apiece, and significantly less if they were $40 apiece. You graph this, and select the price where # of units sold times price is the highest sum of all of the other samples.

So, what's the target price for 16-18 year old high school students in New York City? About $8.

Why are CDs so expensive you ask? Because teenagers aren't the target market. Adults are. If every teenager in the country stops buying CDs, they'll raise the price for adults who are probably much less net savvy (ie, less inclined to Napster) to compensate.

If Napster consumes their Adult market too, they'd either raise their prices even more to try to capture whatever's left of the non-net market, or cut them sharply to make them more appealing to the general public. I might just warez a CD if it costs $20, but it doesn't seem worth the effort for $5.

Can they set their prices to $5 and make a profit? Of course they can. They may have to tweak their business model a bit (uh oh, we can only blow 5 million on "promotion" instead of 10), but I wouldn't cry for them.

Just because it's illegal doesn't mean people won't stop doing it. May as well legalize it and try to make money at it. :)

Jamaican musicians still make lots of dough. (5)

Forge (2456) | more than 13 years ago | (#180416)

Around here you have studios sprouting like mushrooms. Any DJ with a moderately successful single can build one and many do. We have the same IP laws as the US but vary rarely bother to enforce them.

This isn't about Napster and pear to peer either. It's about dance mixes. Essentially you have a cassette produced by taping the output at a party or nightclub. This is marketed as a mix by selector Bar or sound system Foo. The actual artists are not mentioned and most people can't keep track of who is involved. I.e. It's not uncommon to have parts of 20 songs on the same rhythm played in a 6 minute period. that's just a few seconds each.

How dose this affect artistes? They do not make 1% of what the major hit makers do in the US. In dead they make far more than 1%. At 2.7 Million Jamaica has 1% of America's population (pending the census which starts this summer). BTW: "jedi as religion" probably won't work in a country with less than 1% Atheist and Agnostic combined.

You see people even buy large volumes of Vinyl still. We make copies of everything. We pirate music like there was no tomorrow. the end result is that the typical Jamaican spends a whole lot of money in music shops buying original songs.

we also tend to judge music on it's own merit. This way Steven Segal's Reggae album (Yes, The actor) is a monumental flop. We like the guy (despite "Marked for Death") and give him good reason to love coming here but troth be told his singing isn't that good and his songs don't sell.

By contrast Buju Banton had a number one hit before anyone knew or cared who he was. All this without any real marketing.

What's the point? If the Music industry in North America was as deep in the society as it is in Jamaica more people would take the time to randomly listen to vast numbers of new artists. Publishers would be less able to actually make people buy pore songs and little independents who produce good stuff would have a chance.

the problem is Americans (and Canadians too) mostly just buy what the marketing people tell them to buy and when money isn't available they pirate it. here we pirate everything and then buy the stuff we actually like.

Re:Recycle CD's (1)

richieb (3277) | more than 13 years ago | (#180417)

Last year one of my neighbors use AOL CDs are Xmas decorations on the tree in front of his house. The effect was interesting... :-)

...richie

Re:A matter of control (1)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 13 years ago | (#180419)

Maybe, but I'd guess the record companies can spell 'losing' correctly.

Re:Good (2)

grub (11606) | more than 13 years ago | (#180421)

Sorry I worded that wrong and didn't catch it in preview. What I meant is our dollar has as approximately as much buying power as the US dollar in our respective countries.

Re:Good (4)

grub (11606) | more than 13 years ago | (#180422)

Last time I was in Montreal (not even a year ago) The average CD was about $16 Canadian.. that's about $10.50 US. That's pretty cheap for a CD

If you're up from the US to buy CDs in Canada it's certainly cheap. Our (the .ca) dollar has (approximately) as much buying power as the US dollar in our country. Trips to the US cost us much more as the exchange rate is a killer.

Remember that when we buy a CD for $16CA, it's still costing us $16.

grub

My daughter.... (2)

Kris Warkentin (15136) | more than 13 years ago | (#180425)

is 13 and it took her all of about 5 minutes after we got our cable modem to download and install Napster and start building her song collection. Every time we turn around we're running out of hard drive space....

*sing* I'm a karma whore and I'm okay....
I work all night and I post all day

Re:Point the finger (2)

sharkey (16670) | more than 13 years ago | (#180426)

Stop overlooking the facts to preserve your method of piracy.

His method of piracy seems to be purchasing CDs after he has previewed the songs on them. How is that piracy?

--

Re:Dont think napster is to blaim... (2)

Amanset (18568) | more than 13 years ago | (#180427)

Man, where are you shopping? In Stockholm a new release used to be 189 SEK and is now 199 SEK. That's 20 USD!

And yes, I have stopped buying CDs. I can't say I use Napster that much, I just go a lot more on recommendations from friends, whereas I used to buy stuff I hadn't heard much about. Sometimes it was good and sometimes it was bad. Now I just don't risk it. I am just far more selective.

As someone else said, most of us don't have to buy CDs. It is a luxury, just it is becomming more and more of a luxury now.

Re:Food for thought (1)

Ripat (19963) | more than 13 years ago | (#180430)

Here in Holland, I would rather park my bike, scooter or car in a city without having to lock it, as was possible up to 40 to 50 years ago (and which I think is still possible in some - especially Scandinavian - countries).

Sorry to dissapoint you, but you better lock your bicycle... at least in sweden.

Re:Oddly... (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 13 years ago | (#180437)

Or it could just be that they're feeling the effects of the economic downturn like ever other goddamn company on the planet.

Oh no, CD's are so reasonably priced that they're going to be the last thing people cut back on! Hell, I'd cut back on food before I cut back on mailing my pay checks to the record labels!

Re:The artists vs the labels and the retailers (1)

e-gold (36755) | more than 13 years ago | (#180439)

...

Yes folks, the money made in the music industry is shared between all artists, not in royalties, but in up front advances and signing bonuses.

I agree 100%, that's the way it is right now, no question.

I'm asking (with the self-interest/greed disclaimer from the previous message intact) whether that's the way it SHOULD be? If we (meaning the fans) reduce the crap-subsidy, does that mean we'll get more non-crap from artists, and find more non-crappy artists? I think so, but I'm biased as hell.
JMR

Re:The artists vs the labels and the retailers (1)

e-gold (36755) | more than 13 years ago | (#180440)

I suspect, though, that we will begin to see artists circumventing the recording industry

I sure hope so, but it's tough to find one that will try my idea. Even Courtney Love, who is allegedly annoyed at her record company, has not responded to my pleas. I'd prefer not to discuss payola (nobody would ever use my fine favorite currency for anything nefarious!) but I know it still happens.

Part of this could be due to contractual obligations inherent in the standard RIAA type contracts, though, since I'm talking about explicitly taking the RIAA 5 and their cut out of the picture, which probably sounds bad if that cut sends you on regular trips to Scores...
JMR

The artists vs the labels and the retailers (2)

e-gold (36755) | more than 13 years ago | (#180441)

In my (repeatedly-expressed, I know) opinion, the fans' & artists' interests DO NOT coincide anymore with the huge corporations. Courtney Love, who is now suing her label, has written about this, as have others. Apparently, for that $15 CD, the band gets a very small slice of the pie (less than a buck in the end, I hear, though I'm far from the music business). The rest goes for things like "trips to Scores," to use Courtney's terms. (Scores is a NYC area strip clup.)

The solution, IMNSHO, is a tipjar model. Use my currency (blatant self-interest noted, go ahead and mod me down -1, greedy) or another currency to do a micropayment to the artist/band DIRECTLY! Even if everyone doesn't pay, and they won't, and even if there are some crooks, and there will be, you can make an OK living in a job with tips, and it might just be a better model than what's currently offered musicians by the monolithic RIAA quintopoly. I've been ranting about this solution since CFP99, where I was totally ignored because it's more fun to shout and argue than it is to look at solutions that directly connect artists to fans. Will this make everything easy for artists? No, of course not. You're likely only to get tips for non-crappy stuff, and the days of bundling your shit with the good songs are over, but overall it's going to help artists to directly connect with their fans, and even with our fees (yes, we like to eat) my solution is cheap, since it doesn't send me to Scores (unfortunately).

Any slashdot reader who wants to try e-gold should send me an account number for a small spend. Thanks for listening.
JMR

Music Industry's Old Business Model is Failing (4)

ljavelin (41345) | more than 13 years ago | (#180443)

Of course, it's to the record industry's advantage to speak of doom and gloom - this is a tired political response to get the artists and retailers and government to support this "important" industry in their "time of need". This has been part of their business model since the advent of the cassette.

The music industry hasn't changed. It's been 20 years since the advent of the CD, and the CD didn't change how their business works. The industry failed to take advantage of new technologies to deliver CD compilations defined by the customer in the store. And the industry failed to take advantage of the advent of the Internet beyond a marketing exercise.

And so now, let's legislate. It can be cheaper to buy some laws than to have lower profits for a couple years while their business model is repaired. The retail chains wouldn't it if the business model excluded them ... and Wall Street wouldn't like and stock dips or the possibility of new competition.

Clearly, the industry needs to upgrade it's business model - one that has not changed since the introduction of music video - which is, humerously, less "art" and more "marketing vehicle " (despite the MTV Video Awards).

It won't happen. None of the players in the music industry want to lose their profits - not the artists, the labels, or the retailers. And they'll all fight hard to keep their future profits.

Correlation between decreased Napster use & sales? (1)

TheDeal (41885) | more than 13 years ago | (#180444)

Anyone who has logged in on Napster for the past couple months can tell that it's been on a downward slump. For example at this very moment there are 3,921 users sharing 73.646 files (275 gigs) about a year ago it was 4 times that much. I personally used Napster to sample music before I purchased, and now that 'the music' seems tainted I've stopped buying many CDs.

Napster isn't all. (2)

chrysalis (50680) | more than 13 years ago | (#180450)

Yes, they have sold less records that the previous year. So what ? Just like any product, there are years better than previous ones, and years worse than previous ones.
I don't think that Napster change anything to CD sales. When you get something from Napster, it's just by curiosity. You want to hear what 's last album sounds like. Or listen to old silly goodies just to laugh your ass off. Nothing more. I seriously doubt that a guy who has downloaded a song from napster would have ever bought that song.
Music is not a product like an hair dryer. You buy a record because you love it and because you want to support the artist. You go to see live tours, you tell your friend about that artist because you want to share the pleasure you have listening to him. Napster or any artificial way to steal music will not have any influence on how people love music.

funny you should mention (1)

joq (63625) | more than 13 years ago | (#180454)


Got Bush [antioffline.com]

crap fixed link (2)

joq (63625) | more than 13 years ago | (#180455)


Got bush? [antioffline.com] (fixed)

bullshit (2)

joq (63625) | more than 13 years ago | (#180456)


How many songs do you know with the same titles in them? I know of plenty and when I want to find a song and am unsure of the name, Napster helps my ass out royally making sure not only its the right song, but right person too.

Now how about a twist on this. Say your an American in Europe or vice versa and have little access to the songs you favored in your home town. Why shouldn't you be able to find it on mp3 for your own enjoyment? No one on Napster is making money off anything any way you want to slice the pie.

Now as for the finality to my follow up,, don't tell me how I use Napster since I'm the one who's using it. I make a hefty salary and can afford to buy cd's at will, however I do enjoy being able to look up a song, perhaps preview the entire cd before I buy it. I've never used Napster to record onto cd because it's just plain tacky and gay.

homophobia? (2)

joq (63625) | more than 13 years ago | (#180457)


Just to let you know I'm far from homophobic so if the word gay offends you then maybe you should think about how you read things. I've got plenty of gay friends and I could care a rats ass about their sexuality as long as their comfortable with themselves. So if you took it that way sorry to burst your bubble but your wrong, I'm not a homophobe.

Im from New York City where when we say words like nigga we don't mean a degrading term for blacks. Like when we say "That's my bitch" we're not saying a particular girl is a slut or demeaning woman, its just the way I talk. Don't like it pass it by.

methods of idiocy (2)

joq (63625) | more than 13 years ago | (#180458)


People sometimes only hear what they want to, never taking the time to look at facts. Logically no one can dispute what I'm saying here because no one can come to my house and see my PC is mp3 free, and my cd racks are full of songs.

It's solely the petty non informative idiots who add comments without actually having a clue. Funniest thing though is when it's done anonymously since it goes to show their lack of actually having any fruitful input, and adds a stable level of "It's hard to believe some people are just so fscking stupid it hurts" to the world.

Point the finger (4)

joq (63625) | more than 13 years ago | (#180459)


Its easy for anyone to point the fingers at Napster when this situation comes into play since news media outlets always depict a single sided view of a Napster user. It seems every single story the refer to users, those interviewed are almost always some sort of unemployed type (mainly young user). As I've stated before, when I use Napster I use it to find a name of a song that I'm unsure before I buy it, or a song someone else mentioned to me, etc., and almost always if I find something I want I purchase it. Look I'm sure there are thousands more who use it with similar intentions, and it's those users you never see interviewed, not because it doesn't exist, but because it doesn't make a juicy story as compared to someone who they pass of as a thief.

Now taking a look at the entire scenario going down, one could also say music sales are down because tech jobs are down, and many people are trying to save in a slumping economy as opposed to spending dot-com-like dollars on music.

If people don't realize how twisted media distorts issues here's my example. About 3 weeks ago some guy emailed me from Yahoo Magazine wanting to do a story about the China/US hax0r war between script kiddies that was overfabricated. Well I was more than happy to speak to him when I saw it, however when I received the phone call the entire interview seemed to go the route of "Well give me some juicy examples of h4x0rs" not the truth about the entire situation. It sort of left a bad taste in my mouth to see that all media really wants to do is sensationalize the issues.

So is Napster to blame here? No. When TDK, Maxell, Sony came out with cassettes companies most likely expressed the same gripes, and as time has shown nothing big came out of it. Now I know not all Napster users are angels in fact I know some do rip and burn mp3's however I would never settle for the quality of an MP3 versus buying a CD since I get the case with information, it sounds clearer, and if I were an artist I would hope someone would extend the same courtesy to me and buy the cd.

Fuck the media

Is it really Napster fault anymore? (1)

GrBear (63712) | more than 13 years ago | (#180460)

I can't comment for all Canadians, however I know myself, and many of my friends have severly reduced the number of CD's we've purchased over the last year.

Why? As a statement to the RIAA.

Until last year, I used to purchase an average of 10 cd's a year (pre-Napster era), however over the last 2-3 years the numbers have been much higher with estimates in the 40-50 range. And finally this past year my purchases have totalled a whopping ZERO.

The industry can cry all it wants now, but I refuse to purchase another CD until they "back-off" with the law suits, and I can one again freely download music to sample before I waist my money on something I really didn't want.

Electronic Music (2)

Portero (66785) | more than 13 years ago | (#180461)

The bureaucrats in the Music Industry wonder why sales of FooBar's CDs have dropped? Here is food for thought....

Every weekend Electronic Music is attracting more and more listeners. Just look at the top Shoutcast station...Electronic right?

Many electronic music artists create their music without the aid of big studio investments because we can use a sampler and our minds. Because the production of pop music has been so formulaic people are now seeing through the triteness and are downloading some really creative stuff.

I think some Recording Industry execs see this and want to focus on getting rid of the means for very creative artists to distribute their work. Other execs, those that don't understand creative work, think the world is really listening to FooBar without paying for it and are mad at the means for that "theft" to occur.

Either way, those in power have a lot to lose with the way tastes are changing.

Re:putting aside the hypothesis (2)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 13 years ago | (#180462)

> Can a Canadian shed some light on the technological literacy in their nation?

Everything from kernel development [openbsd.org] to the illiterate [ccra-adrc.gc.ca] .

If you're asking for a national average, then web surfing, and using application software (i.e. Photoshop) would be there.

Cheers

it's not the price... (1)

KGBear (71109) | more than 13 years ago | (#180463)

I'm not in Canada, but I'm also not in the US. I can say the main motive people in this country (Brazil) have to d/l music from the net instead of purchading CDs is availability. Outside the US in general, it's very hard to find the title you want unless it happens to be in the hit parade or it's considered a "classic" (such as Beatles albums). What appeals to people here is the ability to get older stuff, very new stuff or maybe a single appealing track instead of a full CD. I and most of the people I know would be willing to pay a reasonable price to get these, but the recording industry would rather keep the shelves full of sure sellers and then undermine our ability to buy anything else. That's the real issue here. It's the same with books, by the way.

Re:putting aside the hypothesis (1)

Knobby (71829) | more than 13 years ago | (#180466)

I'm curious does technological literacy mean web surfing? Or does it do deeper into things like ftp, finger, Ssh, etc?

What kind of question is that, eh?

Pedantic note (1)

NOC_Monkey (73018) | more than 13 years ago | (#180467)

Napster is a filesharing service. It does not use HTTP. You cannot access it via Mozilla, Konqueror, Mosaic, Lynx, Netscape, or IE. The daemon running the Napster service is not Apache, Netscape Server, IIS, or any similar beastie.

It's NOT a friggin' WEBSITE!

It's not Napsters fault (1)

grimmy (75458) | more than 13 years ago | (#180468)

.... that there really wasn't alot of *good, worth money* cd's released lately. Think about it, half the songs that are the top of the charts are still from the end of last year. And the ones that they replaced where over 6 months old aswell. IMHO there just isn't enough cd's or even songs being released that are worth the 10 second download, let alot close to $30 after tax.

Oddly... (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 13 years ago | (#180476)

This after increasing restrictions imposed by Napster in the hopes of not being sued completely out of existence. Yes, I can play that game as well as the recording industry can. Maybe it's just all those internet calls for boycotts finally paying off.

Of course it could just be that everyone just finally realized that Celine Dion sucks. That's pretty much the entirety of the Canadian recording industry, right?

Or it could just be that they're feeling the effects of the economic downturn like ever other goddamn company on the planet.

I'm all for legislation (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 13 years ago | (#180477)

Here's my suggestion:

Add a "Use it or Lose It" clause to copyright protection. If the copyright holder doesn't do a run of the copyrighted material within (Say) three years of the last one, they obviously no longer value the copyright and the copyright should fall back to the public domain. This idea could use a bit of fleshing out, but it should appease The Mouse and eliminate my number 1 bitch about the whole copyright scene as it currently stands: Once a work is no longer valued, it becomes impossible to find and you can't touch it for longer than you'll live. It's solve the problems of companies that still value their copyrights (The Mouse, MS, and Linux groups) and still provide for copyright's original intent, which was to promote art and the masses' access to art.

Speaking as a Canadian (1)

debaere (94918) | more than 13 years ago | (#180481)

I think the real reason why Canadian music sales have dropped is largely due to the "Big" Canadian bands either not releasing decent albums in the last year or so.

A few years ago I was buying Canadian music left and right because there was a ton of great albums released, but lately there has been few new albums, and a lot of those... well... sucked.

Simple rule of business: If you want consumers to purchase your product, you must release product we want to buy.



DOS is dead, and no one cares...

Re:Scour clone... (1)

debaere (94918) | more than 13 years ago | (#180482)

I agree that prices here in Canada are outrageous, but using the argument of artists not getting their fair cut from record companies as an excuse for Napster/Scour/Whatever is absurd. If you don't buy the album, the artists isn't getting his cut, even if it is way to little.

Now, if you were sending the artists a cheque directly, that would be a different story.

DOS is dead, and no one cares...

Re:What's going to happen (1)

debaere (94918) | more than 13 years ago | (#180483)

The telecom companies got on with the internet. Why can't RIAA do the same?

Well... The telecom industry *IS* the internet. They control the backbones, and every single fibre optic and copper cable that is used it its make-up(at least in North America). Napster is a Good Thing(tm) for the telecom industry in that Napster uses up bandwidth, and the telecom industry is in the business of selling bandwith. Q.E.D.



DOS is dead, and no one cares...

Re:Good (2)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 13 years ago | (#180491)

Last time I was in Montreal (not even a year ago) The average CD was about $16 Canadian.. that's about $10.50 US.

That's pretty cheap for a CD


--

Re:Scour clone... (1)

Groovy Aardvark (100433) | more than 13 years ago | (#180492)

Maybe you're trying to attract sympathy, but in my Canada, we don't pay more than 16,99$ or 17,99$ for CD's (~20$ taxes included).

Pay a visit to www.hmv.com for proof. They're actually more expensive than in-store.

Just great..... (2)

Bill Daras (102772) | more than 13 years ago | (#180494)

....5 people move out of Canada and the resulting sales drop is enough to launch a lawsuit.

Re:Dont think napster is to blaim... (1)

NearlyHeadless (110901) | more than 13 years ago | (#180498)

Every time Napster and CD burning come up on Slashdot, we find out who is a principled defender of intellectual freedom and who is a just a Greedy Arrogant Cheapskate.

I have lots of sympathy about patent issues. They have broad reaching effects and certainly there are too many trivial patents issued--not just in software, either.

But if you think CDs are three times too expensive, just by 1/3 the number of CDs! You'll survive, believe me. If everybody feels as you do, the prices will come down. All the arguments on Slashdot come down to: I can break the law and they can't stop me, nyah, nyah, so they're wrong to even try.

Re:uhh did you read his post (1)

NearlyHeadless (110901) | more than 13 years ago | (#180499)

The government sets the royalty on blank, recordable CDs. They don't have anything to do with the $17 cost of pre-recorded CDs. Those prices are set by record companies and retailers in order to maximize profit.

Re:uhh did you read his post (1)

NearlyHeadless (110901) | more than 13 years ago | (#180500)

That's not what I remember. The feds and the states have filed suits against the record companies for trying to fix prices (See http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/q22000/gee200081 0002089.htm [geek.com] . As that item mentions, the feds had their own antitrust action against the record companies.

Remember that a statistician... (5)

MotoMannequin (112293) | more than 13 years ago | (#180501)

can drown in a river that averages 12 inches deep.

A look at RIAA sales statistics 1991-1999 [riaa.com] reveals that CD sales do not always increase. The data shows growth in the early '90s, but nearly flat sales in the mid '90s, actually decreasing from 96-97.

As a music fan, I attirbute this (pre-Napster craze) trend to the explosion of new, unique bands in the early '90s, followed by a bunch of bland, industry-generated, me-too bands that lacked any originality or edge.

With Napster, record company executives now have a scapegoat for thier ineptness. They want to paint the picture of always increasing sales and profits, else someone surely is tampering illegally with thier industry.

Now consider that retail sales are down in many industries this year [bizstats.com] , and it looks like the record industry is trying to get a good PR spin on the combination of incompetence and a down market.


MotoMannequin

What would be much more compelling evidence? (2)

wunderhorn1 (114559) | more than 13 years ago | (#180502)

I'd like to see an upward trend in sales after the filtering began on Napster.

Napster has been rendered practically useless to me; I haven't used it in weeks, and I've had little luck with any of the alternatives. Presumably this is the case with other people as well.

Of course they'd also have to realize that the US economy is slowing, which tends to effect the demand for stuff like CDs heavily.

Canada and napster as a threat? (1)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 13 years ago | (#180505)

There is a canadian company called Flipr [flipr.com] [http://www.flipr.com] that appears to be working on a napster-ish clone which pays the artist per transfer.

If Canadians embrace their own Flipr, would this solve the problem?


---

Re:Funny you ask... (2)

kfops (124606) | more than 13 years ago | (#180506)

At first I didn't mind the idea of paying a tax on blank media if it went to supporting the artists; lord knows most would probably make more from the few cents of tax than from most record sales. But upon poking around at the Copyright Act a bit more, it seems that the only provision we are really allowed in Canada is to make copies for personal use (from Copying for Private Use [cb-cda.gc.ca] ):

Copying for Private Use
Where no infringement of copyright
80. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the act of reproducing all or any substantial part of
(a) a musical work embodied in a sound recording,
(b) a performer's performance of a musical work embodied in a sound recording, or
(c) a sound recording in which a musical work, or a performer's performance of a musical work, is embodied onto an audio recording medium for the private use of the person who makes the copy does not constitute an infringement of the copyright in the musical work, the performer's performance or the sound recording.
Limitation
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if the act described in that subsection is done for the purpose of doing any of the following in relation to any of the things referred to in paragraphs (1)(a) to (c):
(a) selling or renting out, or by way of trade exposing or offering for sale or rental;
(b) distributing, whether or not for the purpose of trade;
(c) communicating to the public by telecommunication; or
(d) performing, or causing to be performed, in public.
1997, c. 24, s. 50.

Subsection 2 paragraph b seems to rather negative about the whole idea of sharing music... Of course, I could be missing an ammendment somewhere, and if so I'd love to have it pointed out!

What's going to happen (1)

JayFlatland (125245) | more than 13 years ago | (#180510)

Okay, here's my thoughts on what's going to happen. I'm sure all kinds of people have said different versions of this, but here it goes anyway.

Arguing that CD sales go up because of Napster just isn't going to hold water for very long. When the process of getting music into my car gets to be easier through the internet than shelling out the $15 or whatever for a CD, I'll be doing it. For some, it already is that way.

What's going to happen is this: CD sales will drop. Recording industry profits will drop. Recording artists profits will drop. Big time rock stars will not be any longer (e.g. Metallica). Instead, microbands will spring up, bands that like to make music rather than make lottery levels of money. People will search for genres of music, instead of bands names.

The recording industry is at least intelligent enough to forsee the first two steps, and they panic. The fact that they fail to forsee any further steps amazes me. If they shifted towards creating online communities to search for music, they score one of the biggest directed marketing audiences in existance. Think about it, they could sell annoying little ads to various companies, marketing to very specific audiences. Kinda like this FUCKING THINKGEEK AD that keeps blinking in my face. Yes, I hate ads as much as the next guy, but I'd rather look at ads for things I might want rather than pay $15 for a CD.

The telecom companies got on with the internet. Why can't RIAA do the same?

piracy as the boogieman (1)

revengance (132255) | more than 13 years ago | (#180514)

That's the favourite of the motion picture and recording industry. They seems to be living in the delusion that movies and musics are luxury items that the demand increases when the price increases. They should seriously sort out their thoughts. Bribing the government will get them somewhere but they are sure alienating the consumers now. Anyway, we all know that statistics says what HUMAN want them to say. Anyway, the more logical explanation is the coming recessions. Being luxury goods, people will tend buy less in hard times like now. And they should be glad that it is not a 90% fall like the nasdaq. I dun see nasdaq blaming napster (yet!).
anyway, those RIAA companies exec should get a clue. Their way of distributing musics SUCKS and they should learn from napster not condemning it. People would want to reward other people for their work but only if it is convenient and price is reasonable. By going through the net, they can potentially cut down the price of EACH song by a lot. At the same time, they can potentially earn more by bypassing the middleman! but of course they dun want to offend the retailer blah blah blah all those shit. They dun understand that by going through the web, they can sell much more because if I happen to hear a song on the radio and want to hear the song again, I will feel more incline to make a purchase then. (ask the girls). but if I wait till when I am free to buy it, then I might not want to buy it anymore.

HeHe (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 13 years ago | (#180518)

First CanadaArm, now this.

---=-=-=-=-=-=---

Re:Observation (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 13 years ago | (#180519)

I hate to say it, but you've got a good point there.

---=-=-=-=-=-=---

Re:Another explanation? (1)

FreezerJam (138643) | more than 13 years ago | (#180520)

I here ya! It's a cold country, my home heating bill is up 128% since this time last year, I was laid off - and they think I'm buying few CDs because of Napster?

(The difference in the heating bill would cover about 5 *expensive* CDs a month!)

I hear auto sales are down, too. Maybe that's Napster's fault, too - all those people using the net instead of driving.

article blames recording industry (1)

filldup (141495) | more than 13 years ago | (#180522)

The Globe article actually lays as much blame on the recording industry as on Napster, pointing out that the industry's pricing and sales tactics (singles albums padded with shite) are largely to blame for consumer's behaviour. All in all, it took a fairly anti-record-industry stance.

Another explanation? (2)

Misch (158807) | more than 13 years ago | (#180529)

Is it possible that instead of it being Napster's fault that it could be because of the recent layoffs that Canada has been expereincing? The US isn't the only country being hit by increasing numbers of layoffs. Combine that with an increase in price, and entertainment dollars are really being hurt!

I mean, last year, RIAA had a study which showed that album sales in 60+ stores located near colleges and universities had drops in record sales. Is Napster to blame? Possibly. But they also forgot to mention that the average price of a CD had increased while the income students do make hadn't increased. I think it's reasonable to say that the increase may have caused sales to drop off. I'm no economist, but I do know that when you increase prices without a corresponding increase in income, demand drops off...

Re:uhh did you read his post (1)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 13 years ago | (#180530)

However, the U.S. government did (at least if I remeber corectly) pass legislation to make mass market retailers (Wal-Mart, Circuit City) unable to sell CDs for the low,low prices they once did... Because the music industry and regular record shops didn't want the public getting used to those low, low prices.

Right now, in my state at least, I do not know about the rest of the US, is trying to pass similar laws so that Sam's and other retailers can't undercut regular gas stations.

I remeber this being big news a few years ago... It's sucks too, because you used to be able to get CDs at Circuit City for $9.99 that were $15.99 elsewhere... No longer.

Re:Manufacturing is not the only cost (1)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 13 years ago | (#180531)

Manufacturing is not the only cost, my friend. Some artists may take a year (or more!) to make an album. Granted, that's not all hardcore 40 hours a week work.

And yet, the artists probably only recieve 1% of the money from their album... if that (unless they are a megastar who has the power to renegotiate their contracts).

Re:The artists vs the labels and the retailers (1)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 13 years ago | (#180532)

Actually, the way it works is this: The record companies give you an advance AGAINST YOUR FUTURE ROYALTIES. Then they record your album, produce it, etc, and all the cost of this go against your royalties. When you tour, they bill you for your van, your tshirt production, etc, all against your royalties. All advertising and promotion they do for you, they charge you for, again, against your future royalties. They even charge you legal fees for contracts signed, accounting fees for keping track opf record sales, fees for having your records shipped to the music stores, etc.

This way, they are guaranteed money for their services if your album sells at all, since they have already charged you for most of it. And you will most likely receive an insanely small portion of the proceeds from your album. Most "one-hit wonder" bands, bands who sell hundreds of thousands of CDs at $17 bucks a pop, on the books probably still OWE the label.

Not to say they are tortured, starving people.. no, they got a nice advance, got to go on tour, be in a video, have sex with groupies, have fun. BUT, the record label has made far more off their work than they did themselves. Doesn't seem fair to me. Especially when, if the band isn't doing as well, they are kept from going out on their own because a label will demand the band pays them all this money (and records) the band owes them before allowing them to even self-distribute a record.

Re:Dont think napster is to blaim... (2)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 13 years ago | (#180535)

I think that's true, but I wonder how much they could really cut the cost of CDs. Everyone knows that CDs are cheaper to manufacture than cassettes

There you go. Cassettes cost like $8.99 and they are profitable. CDs cost less to make, but cost nearly twice as much? There's a problem there.

Re:Recycle CD's (1)

Chiasmus_ (171285) | more than 13 years ago | (#180539)

However, if you do get this to work, I say the first targets should be anyone using cell phones in the car, while driving.

Sure, because cell phones are far more distracting than taking a flying metal AOL CD in the face.

Copyright tax? (5)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 13 years ago | (#180541)

What I want to know, is how much of this is due to the "tax" on blank media? How many people, seeing this tax, now feel they have paid for the privilege to download the music?

Scour clone... (2)

yulunga (175525) | more than 13 years ago | (#180542)

those of you Win32 users who miss the Scour app, there's an alternative: Morpheus [streamcastnetworks.com] i've been using it for a while now, and can find (almost) everything i need with it...

as for us Canucks downloading more mp3s, when you factor in CDs that cost about $25 or more after taxes, downloading your music collection suddenly appears a LOT more appealing.

as for calling us 'immoral' or whatnot for 'stealing' music, ask the Industry what happened to their promise of lowering CD prices? and how about giving the artists a fair percentage of the profits?

they can kiss my northern butt for all i care.

Couldn't have been.. (1)

Capt. Beyond (179592) | more than 13 years ago | (#180543)

The massive drop in the stock portfolio, now could it? naaaaa, that would be too easy. It's all Napster's fault. Yep, that's it. It's all them wiley college students, for the love of god, TRADING music! Couldn't have been all those high-tech layoffs now either. Nope, it's, yep you guessed it, Napster's fault. Used to be they went after people for copyright infringement that SOLD bootleg music for a PROFIT. Not any more. The very act of giving now has become illegal. Imagine that, you can't even GIVE music to somebody. Now if that isn't messed up, I don't know what is... great spirit help us all....

Re:Dont think napster is to blaim... (5)

kryptkpr (180196) | more than 13 years ago | (#180544)

That same CD, upon coming to Canada, gets marked as an "Import" and suddenly becomes $40CDN (~$25+ USD). Add to that our amazing 15% sales tax (Ontario), and they're wondering why we choose to download music from the net, as opposed to paying OUTRAGEOUS prices for it?

Re:putting aside the hypothesis (1)

zakath (180357) | more than 13 years ago | (#180545)

I'm not sure about Canadians being more tech literate but out governments have played active roles in promoting tech literacy. I think this has helped the spread broadband connections and internet connectivity in general. When I bought a PC 4 or 5 years ago my province (NB) refunded the tax portion of the purchace. Also broadband connections such as ADSL are much less of a headache to obtain than they are (AFAIK) in the US - I ordered mine from my telco, only one company to deal with, and 4 days later was hooked up without any problems - and I live in a small community (10000 pop.).

Dont think napster is to blaim... (5)

boaworm (180781) | more than 13 years ago | (#180546)

A spokesman of the record business in Sweden said a few weeks ago something like this :

We have seen a 5 % drop in sales, it must be Napsters fault, so we must raise the price to compensate for the loss.

This is absurd.. why do they think people care to search and download music from the net ? Because its expensive! Here (.se), a full cd costs something like 170 SEK, (17 USD). If the raise the price more, its even more profitable to download the music, and they have to raise prices even more.

If a CD cost like 5 USD, i doubt piracy would be an issue anylonger. Napster didnt create the need, the need created napster !

putting aside the hypothesis (1)

tester13 (186772) | more than 13 years ago | (#180551)

Without getting into the idea of whether or not Canadians "steal" more the Americans, I must say that I've been very impressed with my connections to their P2P clients. The internet definitely seems (from my point of view as an American) better understood in general. Can a Canadian shed some light on the technological literacy in their nation? I'm curious does technological literacy mean web surfing? Or does it do deeper into things like ftp, finger, Ssh, etc?

Re:Dont think napster is to blaim... (4)

GemFire (192853) | more than 13 years ago | (#180558)

"But if you think CDs are three times too expensive, just by 1/3 the number of CDs!"

That is what the problem is - people, whether they are using Napster or not - are buying fewer CDs. Because of Napster, the blame is not placed on a product already too expensive so people are buying less of it. They accuse Napster of stealing their profits.

In the 80s, when Videotapes first came out they ran about $80 each. People didn't buy very many - they rented and copied (or waited for HBO.) When the price came down to an average of $20, the sales tripled (at least!)

Currently, I spend an average of $20 per YEAR on CDs. I used to spend (when they averaged $12 per CD) about $30 per MONTH on CDs. This has everything to do with price. If a CD were $5, I'd probably spend even more money, but for $20 each, I'll just listen to my older music and the radio - very, very few CDs are worth $20 (the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon CD is $20 - you can get the entire movie for hardly anything more.)

Drop the prices - increase the sales. Raise the prices - increase the downloads. It is really that simple.

Who is to fault. (1)

davonds (196851) | more than 13 years ago | (#180562)

Blame Canada. Actually blame the RIAA. When Napster went into business CD sales spiked, the rampant trading of sound files generated increased interest in new and old music. When the RIAA's case against Napster became public CD sales dropped, do the math. CD sales dropped, because Napster users started boycotting the RIAA, not because the could get the music for free, but because they were offended by the RIAAs tactics. Unfortunately the Napster community has no public spokesperson to get their message out, so only the RIAAs version of the facts is made public. In the long run, everyone will lose.

It's all a matter of physics. (4)

empesey (207806) | more than 13 years ago | (#180571)

Just like time, this is all relative. Canadians may see a 6.4% drop in sales, but with the exchange rate, Americans see it as a 4.8% drop.

This figure gets even lower as you approach the speed of light.

Re:Dont think napster is to blaim... (3)

vitamino (210402) | more than 13 years ago | (#180572)

If a CD cost like 5 USD, i doubt piracy would be an issue anylonger. Napster didnt create the need, the need created napster !

I think that's true, but I wonder how much they could really cut the cost of CDs. Everyone knows that CDs are cheaper to manufacture than cassettes, but there are lots of other things that contribute to the price. Engineers have to get paid for their work of recording the music, and advertising and promotion is very expensive, too. Add to this compensation for the artists, and 17 USD doesn't exactly seem very exorbitant to me.

If a record doesn't sell, then they lose money, even. The more popular music ends up subsidizing the newer less popular music. I don't claim to know very much about the industry, but how much can the record companies really afford to lower the price?

Then again, if sales are slipping, could it be they put out one too many lousy records?!

A matter of control (1)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | more than 13 years ago | (#180579)

Well, that is really what is to be expected. You ask the "Recording Industry".
q: So what are your sales now.
a: They are going down, a lot!

q: What do you think is the reason, Napster?
a: Hell no. We don't mind loosing control in fact we believe that us not having control is boosting sales. If it was not for Napster, we are quite sure that we would suffer even worse.

Their major problem is that they won't settle for less than total control.
What they need in terms of selling music over the internet is not total control with perfect encryption.
They need a product where the music is copy protected in a way where people can't copy it, and here's the important part. without knowing that they are doing something "wrong". Like downloading a program to break the copylock.
Now, that won't stop people from copying but you are sure that everyone know that what they are about to do is wrong(slap on the hand:-)).

So if they now would provide me with a site where I could download all(!) the music I wanted for a price, so I could play it on my pc, put it on my Sony Network Walkman etc. I would be happy to pay for it.
But they would need to get it right, I don't want to have to surf between 10 different record companies sites to figure out where the group i want to hear, is signed so that I could get the songs that I want. It needs to be on one site(will never happen)

When the site has been created, you could make a system where parents made a account for their children where they could use a fixed amount of money each month since they don't have credit cards :-). And through that way, teach what is right and wrong. These days everyone gets the lesson that if you want to get music fast, its on the internet, it is free and it is(was) on Napster.
The record industry needs to get on the waggon and show that they are living in the same world as everybody else.
May I close with a statement that I am quite sure that has been said in a boardroom here and there:
I used to be with it, but then they changed what "it" was. Now, what I'm with isn't it, and what's "it" seems weird and scary to me.


--------

Manufacturing is not the only cost (2)

infiniti99 (219973) | more than 13 years ago | (#180581)

5 bucks? That's not much. Remember you are paying for content, not for the price of the media. Of course it's cheap to make the actual CDs, but what about the music? Manufacturing is not the only cost, my friend. Some artists may take a year (or more!) to make an album. Granted, that's not all hardcore 40 hours a week work.

At my company [affinix.com] , we just finished an RPG for Gameboy Color. It will probably sell for $30. I wish we could sell it for more though, considering the amount of time/work/energy it took to make. As is, we'll probably break even on expenses. Did you know the cost of producing a cartridge is less than $1? That's just the manufacturing cost. When you start piling on the expenses (employees, outsources, publishers, middlemen) it gets out of control.

You never know, some of these CDs you speak of may actually be worth much more than 17 dollars. Our game is worth well over $30, I can tell you that much.

-Justin

Re:Manufacturing is not the only cost (1)

joestar (225875) | more than 13 years ago | (#180582)

You are not paying only for the content. You are also paying for distribution and reseller. Don't forget that distributors + reseller (retail) take generally more than 60% of the gross margin price. So take $5, remove taxes (in Europe it's generally from 15 to 25%), you have 4$. Remove 60% for distributor and reseller, you have $1.60. Remove $0.5 to $1.0 for the media (the range can be more, it depends of how many your press), it remains $1 to be share between artists and music industry. It's only 20% of the final price. As $15 is the usual price for CDs in Europe, the margin is more confortable ($3 per CD), but it's not so much.

I think if we want CDs cheaper, they have to be distributed directly on the net so you cut distributors & reseller margin and you can decrease the final price.

As a Canadian I couldn't agree more... (1)

los furtive (232491) | more than 13 years ago | (#180596)

I was one of the first to hop on the Napster bandwagon back when there was regularly less than a gig of mp3s available and a good 6 months before even the alternative papers caught on to it. Since then I have not purchased a CD from a music store for close to two years (minus a Miles Davis Box set).

Will I ever purchase another CD again? Not if I can help it! It's all swell to say that people who use Napster go out and buy more CDs, but we are only fooling ourselves and trying to fool the industry at the same time by saying this. The reality of the situation is that some people may be buying a few more CDs, but in general most people are slowly replacing their CD collections entirely with MP3s, eventually cutting out the record store entirely. Maybe today I can only find a few songs from the latest album, but as things progress it will become easier to find those missing tracks, thus removing any need whatsoever for going to the record store.

Think I'm exagerating? A quick poll of my friends shows that on average they all have at least 5000mp3s in their collection...try bucking a trend like that!

A better alternative to Morpheus (1)

los furtive (232491) | more than 13 years ago | (#180597)

Damn straight! Download 2 CDs a month and the money you save is enough to pay for your High Speed connection.

Personaly I wouldn't recommend Morpheus but rather the superb WinMX [winmx.com] .

Re:Alternatives (1)

diamondc (241058) | more than 13 years ago | (#180599)

theres also Audiogalaxy. theres an easy to use windows client AND a linux binary only daemon, which works, but is clunky to set up. it's still centralized like Napster, but it's definetly the place to go for mp3s now a days (has anyone TRIED the official napster servers lately? can't find anything good.. )

wtf (1)

IanA (260196) | more than 13 years ago | (#180601)

what do you mean, people getting music for free means they don't pay for it?!?!

Re:Point the finger (1)

IanA (260196) | more than 13 years ago | (#180602)

You're defending napster because you get free music and ignoring the facts.
What about the people I know at my school with thousands of mp3s, all available on cd?
Most people I know personally download music they would otherwise buy and just burn it to cd.
Stop overlooking the facts to preserve your method of piracy.

Re: Little be unknownst (1)

Husaria (262766) | more than 13 years ago | (#180604)

There was an Independent American Music Label, (don't know the name, I doubt it is RiAA affilated), but, the head of the company wanted to sue every Napster user for pirating Music. It was thrown out of court due to lack of evidence, I will post the link as soon as I find it, but it is interesting to note that these idiots are widespread.

Re:Misplaced Statistics. (1)

jonwalters (265904) | more than 13 years ago | (#180606)

I haven't paid more then 20 dollars with taxes in so long, where are you shopping? Jonathan

Recycle CD's (3)

teambpsi (307527) | more than 13 years ago | (#180617)

I save all my AOL and other "recyclable" CD's on a big dowel. It makes for interesting "art" when light shines through it.

My long term goal is to make a "disc-gun" like the kind you had as a kid that would fling the disc out. Given that the metal content of the disc itself is just sprayed on aluminum in most cases there isn't much for creating something magnetic -- directly. However you might be able to get something to superconduct in order to fling it like a rail gun ;)

Otherwise, some combination of air-cushion (like and air-hockey table concept) could work -- start by spinning the CD up and then kick it out!

the whole apparatus could be mounted on the back of a pickup truck for "urban-assault" -- i think i'm seeing a weapon for Unreal or Quake!

...but don't try this at home kids.....

More of the same. (1)

Libster (308301) | more than 13 years ago | (#180618)

Although it may be statistically correct that Canada has embraced the world of online music sharing more than anywhere else... is this article in any way surprising on a global scale? It is really just more of the same EMI (etc) whinging about the plummiting profits. The Internet has stolen business from a multitude of industries and thats just how it is. We should stop reading articles like this and ignore the hole ongoing musical "controvesy" by not even buying into it or trying to fight back and get on with doing what we do best... pull in as much music as we can! Im with Canada!

big labels and napster (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 13 years ago | (#180619)

It is only a matter of time. Eventually the stratigy of threats and lawyers will not win .. "All the kings horses, and all the kings men, couldnt put the riaa back together again"

Funny you ask... (2)

freeweed (309734) | more than 13 years ago | (#180620)

The tax actually doesn't amount to much (I can still get blank CD-R's for under 50 cents CDN$ if bought in bulk), but effectively, Canada's laws DO allow for legal mp3 sharing. Section 80 of our copyright act states (note this isn't verbatim):

Canadians can copy music they own to a blank medium, like an audiocassette or videocassette. So long as it's for personal enjoyment, copying is legal. Copyright owners - the record companies - receive a portion of the proceeds from blank media sales.

Re:Food for thought (1)

roguerez (319598) | more than 13 years ago | (#180623)

Where do you get this? I would like to see some proof. Right now it looks more like this is the way you would want it to me, but not the way it is.

Re:Food for thought (1)

roguerez (319598) | more than 13 years ago | (#180624)

That should read: "would want it to BE", of course.

Re:Food for thought (1)

roguerez (319598) | more than 13 years ago | (#180625)

Why would I be convinced that Napster is good and that copyright laws are worthless and should be banned?

Why is 'copying music' with Napster (nice try) so very different from stealing a bike? Bands (e.g. Metallica) have made it clear that do not like it when their work is copied through Napster. Who are you deny them their rights?

Of course everyone copies something sometimes, we all exchanged cassette tapes with one another and now we burn cdrom's and use(d) Napster. But to act as if that should be legalized without any real argumentation is a different story. That's like legalizing exam fraud because it worked so good for you once, and the teachers are assholes.

If what you imply is true, namely that Slashdot is the bastion of the GPL, this community would be in a very sorry state. But I know its not true, there are enough readers who do not without any real consideration see the GPL as the one and only true free software license. Free software has it's merits (I wrote a paper about it which is online on my site, unfortunately its only available in Dutch), but the GPL is only one of the many free licences under which software can be distributed.

I have the impression that a lot of Slashdot readers condemn the music industry because of their own hidden agenda: the possibility to freeload as much mp3 as they can (gives another meaning to Gates' quote "information at your fingertips"). Of course cd prices are (too) high, but that doesn't legalize copyright violations. Defending such a thing only shows the sad state of your argumention, which is really close to non-existent.

Re:Food for thought (1)

roguerez (319598) | more than 13 years ago | (#180626)

I wrote a response to this but it never showed up. Checking whether this works..

Re:Food for thought (1)

roguerez (319598) | more than 13 years ago | (#180627)

That's weird. I'm sure I saw the confirmation that my message was posted.

Anyway, it was about toll roads which I saw on my Swedish holidays. You were expected to pay by putting money in a can yourself (no one was there to check things). A bad person could skip the payment or steal the can. Appearently it worked because we saw several of these toll systems (the last time I went to sweden was about 8 years ago, I think).

In the Netherlands, up to 10 or 20 years ago you could buy fruits and vegetables along the road by taking it from crates and paying the right amount (which was written down on blackboards). There was no person to sell it. Eventually this didn't work anymore, which I think is a shame.

Re:The artists vs the labels and the retailers (1)

Nurgster (320198) | more than 13 years ago | (#180629)

Artists get such a small amount because they get HUGE advances (I'm talking tens, if not hundreds, of thousands here). The money from the CD sale itself goes into paying off the advance on royalties.

Once total royalty sales > advance, usually the money the artist gets increases.

Another factor to consider is that 90% of the artists don't even cover production costs. They sell so badly, are so unheard or are just so crap that people don't want to buy the albums.

It's up to the remaining 10% to foot the bill for the majority, and that means their albums need to be higher priced to pay for it.

Yes folks, the money made in the music industry is shared between all artists, not in royalties, but in up front advances and signing bonuses.

Re:Fuck 'em (1)

Compton Q. Groundhog (320295) | more than 13 years ago | (#180630)

So, it would seem, you have the impression that you "deserve" their music?

What I want. (1)

WoefullyFat (324813) | more than 13 years ago | (#180632)

Like you care what I want, but... Remember when they told us that soon we'd be able to go to the music store and pick 15 songs and they'd smack them onto a CD and give it to us right then? That's what I want, and I don't think I'm the only one. That's the only reason I use Napster, anyway. I like making mix CDs, but I don't want to buy a whole album just to get Girlfriend in a Coma and then a whole other album to get Under my Thumb. I know a lot of people say this, but if I could just legally BUY those goddamn songs one at a time from the record companies, I would. Even if there was some sort of brutal encryption to prevent me from giving it away, I wouldn't care because that other guy can spend $2 on the song if he wants it. I also think that if the RIAA companies provided this service themselves, they'd have a much better legal and moral footing to fight things like Napster and Gnutella and all their siblings. Imagine RIAA saying, "We try to make our music available on the web for a fair price, but then people steal it," instead of saying, "We're trying to force people to buy $15+ CDs to get the one hit that Generic Band has, but instead evil anarchists just GIVE IT AWAY!"

It's the music (1)

Superpaz (445451) | more than 13 years ago | (#180639)

I purchase almost every CD that I like. But I haven't purchased as much within the last year as I have in previous years. Why? Because most of the music coming out today sucks. I was at Best Buy the other day and they have a section where they have all the top CD's on display. I like a lot of music but I was only liked maybe 1 or 2 CDs that were on display. It's the music I tell ya. I think the music industy would love to regulate the entire internet. If they get their way they will.

Re:Dont think napster is to blaim... (1)

pjgunst (452345) | more than 13 years ago | (#180641)

you're absolutely right. As you might have read in a previous /.-article, in Belgium we have the same problem. The representative of the music industry was thinking about sueing ALL belgian napster users. In the meantime, CD-prices haven't dropped and downloading music became even more popular. This summer, they will triple the price of a CDR in Belgium to tackle the problem. Futile!
What they don't realize, is that most users now shifted to downloading MPEGs of their favourite music videos. The music industry should realize they don't offer any value for money. So: there are (IMHO) 2 solutions
1) A price-cut
2) Instead of selling legacy CDs, add some value by selling the music videos on DVD for the same price.

Dos this mean that... (1)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 13 years ago | (#180642)

....Whenever sales of CD's drop, it's automatically Napsters fault? If I remember correctly, record-sales have been at a record-level recently. But RIAA and their henchmen think that it doesn't prove a thing. But when sales of CD's drop 0,0003%, they start shouting "See! We were right! Napster is hurting our business!"

Oh please!

Problems with Big Media (2)

Zen Mastuh (456254) | more than 13 years ago | (#180647)

There is a little flamewar a few threads up where someone replying to this post [slashdot.org] says that

Did you ever think maybe the media presents a single sided view of murder? Maybe it's alright too. The meida [ sic ] means nothing in this, YOU know you're stealing and THEY know you're stealing...
You have forgotten that murder has been an abhorrent act for thousands of years--long before the invention of the media. This whole Napster issue is much more complex. With Napster-like software and PayPal-like software, the world doesn't need to give billions of dollars each year to the leeches in the recording industry. The media, of course, sides with the industry and particularly the industry's trade association: the RIAA. Don't forget that a CD is a medium, a newspaper is a medium, a television news station is a medium, and that the plural of medium is media. Got it? Now explore Who Owns What [cjr.org] , courtesy of Columbia University, so that you can find out why Big Media has such an incentive to show only one side of the story--their side.

There is an appropriate quote, from Wilson I think: "A journalist's job is not to tell the truth. A journalist's job is to write sensational stories that sell newspapers."

Here are a few issues that Big Media chooses to ignore in order to do their jobs:

  1. The profit margin on a CD is much higher than on a cassette. Why are they gouging the consumer?
  2. When the RIAA goes to court or Washington, they speak endlessly about protecting the rights of the artists. However, when a recording company signs a contract with an artist, nothing could describe the transaction better than the metaphor of anal rape (no lubrication, of course).
  3. Music sales are indisputably dropping. Shouldn't that be expected in the time of increasing unemployment and collapse of the dot-bomb industry?
  4. For many years there has been an increase in the number of stores selling used CDs. These are bought from individuals (hence the "used" moniker) and sold for a drastically lower price. It is possible now for the same number of CDs to be sold while the sales dollar figure plummets. This can take place in America or Canada.

To further disillusion you, I am providing this link [projectcensored.org] to interesting stories that Big Media censors by under-reporting. Most of these stories are important in the grand scheme of things. Putting these stories on the front page would be detrimental to Big Media's primary goal, which of course is to maximize their shareholders' profit. Bookmark the link and come back to it next year to see what you missed in 2001.

To summarize, the recording industry is no longer needed. Because America is a banana republic, yet with a much more esoteric manner of palm-greasing than your typical banana republic known as "campaign contributions [billionair...orgore.com] ", the industry is not giving its dying breath. Instead it is struggling by any means necessary to outlast its timely demise. Judging by the support in this sid, I think their means are working.

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