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Napster Calls MusicNet Monopolistic; Judge Agrees

Hemos posted about 13 years ago | from the battle-of-the-muzak dept.

Music 216

MattW writes "Yahoo is carrying an article from the AP about a development in ongoing Napster litigation. Several major labels and RealNetworks formed MusicNet. Napster complained about an anti-competitive clause in the contract they signed with MusicNet, and Marilyn Hall Patel, best known to this community for her stern condemnation of Napster, agreed, stating that MusicNet had all the hallmarks of an anticompetitive business. The article goes on to state that, "If the recording industry was found to have misused its copyrighted material, it might not be able to successfully pursue an infringement claim on those works.""

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ft (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415496)

First toast [drtoast.com] !

-DFW - alive, and banning won't stop me!

Re:ft (-1, Offtopic)

Ronco Pocket TrollMa (523524) | about 13 years ago | (#2415511)

Although he may be an AC, he still somewhat claimed it. I hereby annex it in the name of Dead Fart Warrior.

No offense intended DFW, just ensuring you maintain your claim.

eray:tfay (-1)

puhtime2go (516969) | about 13 years ago | (#2415523)

Iyay ikelay oasttay. utBay, I'dyay ikelay irstfay ostpay orfay igpay atinlay ayday.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415497)

this blather added to avoid lameness filtering

Linux vs. FreeBSD Filesystem Development (-1)

TRoLLaXoR (181585) | about 13 years ago | (#2415501)

Linux and BSD have different development methods. FreeBSD which uses softupdates is developed by committee, while Linux is headed by one guy, Linus Torvalds who picks the methods that prove themselves after much competition. If more than one way proves itself it is accepted too. It is important to note that Linux is the focus of much development from the big Unix vendors, IBM, HP and SGI who make AIX, HP-UX and IRIX respectively. Since they all want to focus on Linux they are porting over features from their Unix's to Linux. From IBM comes the JFS filesystem and from SGI comes the XFS filesystem, both excellent file systems. Each one is worked on by its own respective team so stability IS a priority and is why these two filesystems are not yet approved for inclusion in the main Linux kernel by Torvalds. Ext3 and reiserfs are two other journaling filesystems which while not as sophisticated as JFS or XFS they get the job done. As far as I know only reiserfs is allowed into the main kernel as of yet, ext3 is ready but the ext3 team requested it not be included yet until THEY feel it is ready so obviously stability is a top priority for them as well. Ext3 is great in the way that is 100% backwards compatible with the standard ext2 filesystem and very easy to upgrade to.

When you ask the question "Doesn't it make more sense to pool together its resources to develop only 1-2 solid filesystems?" you seem to think the people working on Linux are all one big co-ordinated workforce. They aren't. Its a "code if you want to even if you suck, don't worry crappy code will prove itself and will be rejected" type of mentality which while it may seem kind of wild, it leads to very fast development. Linux invites development which is attractive. With the BSD's, even though they are open to accepting code from anyone you kind of have to prove yourself before you can get anything significant done and that's sometimes off putting. And having 4 filesystems isn't a bad thing, choice is good. On OS X we have 5 browsers to choose from, OmniWeb, IE, iCab, Opera and Mozilla/Netsapce Navigator. Should they all pool their resources to make one uberBrowser? In Unix we have 3 to 4 major desktop environments, at least 10 different window managers, and probably 15 different text editors. Should there only be 1 or 2 of each? Why? A year from now this will all be a non-issue. Linux will have 4 very stable filesystems. They are all nearing rock-hard stability as it is.

You also have to keep in mind that there's usually 2 or more branches of any open source Unix at any given time, stable and development. For FreeBSD thats 4.4-stable and 4.4-current. With Linux, the even numbered kernels are stable and the odd numbered ones are development. 2.4.x is stable, and 2.5.x (which hasn't started yet) is development. And in Linux there are two main tree's, the main kernel which Linus oversees and the ac-tree which Linus's right hand man, Alan Cox (ac) oversees. Alan Cox usually tests out new stuff first and if it passes his approval he sends it on to Linus who then tests it himself and then and only then does it get into the main kernel.

d00d! (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | about 13 years ago | (#2415529)

Jesse!

Re:d00d! (-1)

Strom Thurmond (R-SC (310866) | about 13 years ago | (#2415539)

Where's your nbci website?

Re:Linux vs. FreeBSD Filesystem Development (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415532)

> Linux and BSD have different development methods

I think the First Post retards and the Turd Report were more on topic than this drug-induced ramble.

-All your Qaeda are belong to us!

Re:Linux vs. FreeBSD Filesystem Development (-1, Troll)

Trollerama (527718) | about 13 years ago | (#2415554)

j00 r0x0r! Linux bites, only faggots use it. LINUX IS DYING. NAPSTER IS DEAD. Ride the Trollerama.

fp (-1)

Dead Penis Bird (524912) | about 13 years ago | (#2415503)

Propz to all Sunken Kurks!

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Ronco Pocket TrollMa (523524) | about 13 years ago | (#2415516)

Propz to you sir. While you did not get the FP, I still applaud your spirit. Keep it up!

Excuse me? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415505)

What right does Napster have to complain about ANYTHING? It was a business built on piracy, and I'm sorry, but I'm falling out of my chair laughing on this one.

Re:Excuse me? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415569)

I fully agree.

If people are allowed to freely transfer accurate information from one place to another, what will this do to our capability to defend against terrorism?

Just imagine: GPS positions, stolen passwords and so on.

Re:Excuse me? (1, Insightful)

Magius_AR (198796) | about 13 years ago | (#2416013)

What right does Napster have to complain about ANYTHING?

Why shouldn't they have a right? The music labels went out of their way to drive Napster out of business, and now that Napster is ruined and out of the picture, they intend to profit heavily through almost the same exact means Napster was using. If I were Napster, I'd be pissed too.

Magius_AR

Re:Excuse me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2416063)

Last time I checked, you don't need "rights" to complain about something.

Here we go again (4, Insightful)

bstrahm (241685) | about 13 years ago | (#2415512)

Well it looks like we will never be able to download music on the internet. First it was because we weren't paying the artists, just shipping the music to each other, now it is because we have exclusive contracts with the artists to only use the one service that pays them...
I Want my Net-TV (to paraphrase Sting from a Dire Straights song)

Re:Here we go again (-1, Offtopic)

N2UX (237223) | about 13 years ago | (#2415608)

Uhm, Sting was with the Police. Mark Knopfler was the lead for Dire Straights.

Re:Here we go again (-1, Offtopic)

Yokaze (70883) | about 13 years ago | (#2415629)

Nonetheless did Sting sing this line (too?)

Re:Here we go again (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415645)

Sigh... Sting sang background vocals on the Dire Straights song "Money for Nothing" in which he sung "I want my MTV".

Rules for posting...

1) Know facts
2) Post

Not the other way around.

Re:Here we go again (-1, Offtopic)

jchristopher (198929) | about 13 years ago | (#2415661)

Sting sang background on the Dire Straits song, and actually received a cowriting credit, since he used the tune of The Police's "Don't stand so close to me".

Re:Here we go again (1)

ddstreet (49825) | about 13 years ago | (#2415665)

Uhm, Sting was with the Police. Mark Knopfler was the lead for Dire Straights.

Sting was with the Police, but he really did sing the intro 'I want my MTV'. In Mark's own words [knopfler.net] :

"...So I started actually writing the song in the show window. The Police were on MTV all the time doing a thing, they were all saying I want my MTV. MTV was running an advertising campaign for itself and they'd get musicians on saying 'I want my MTV.'


One of the songs that was big at the time, I believe, was 'Don't Stand So Close To Me', and so I took that and put it to those four notes. Sting was on holiday in Montserrat when we were recording the song, so I thought it would be a good idea if he came up and sang it. It was, I guess, very fortunate that he was there. He was just there having a good time when we were working."


And it's Dire Straits, not Dire Straights.

Re:Here we go again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415611)

I Want my Net-TV (to paraphrase Sting from a Dire Straights song)

It's Dire Straits, not straights. Dire Straits is an expression meaning extreme state of distress [dictionary.com] . Dire straights doesn't mean anything.

Re:Here we go again (-1, Offtopic)

maroberts (15852) | about 13 years ago | (#2415662)

I Want my Net-TV (to paraphrase Sting from a Dire Straights song)

Whoever modded this up didn't read his sig. 2 mistakes in one line deserves -5 Stupid

Sting = lead singer of Police
Dire Straights = Dire Straits, lead singer really Mark Knopfler.

Re:Here we go again (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415680)

Whoever modded this up didn't read his sig. 2 mistakes in one line deserves -5 Stupid

Doh! You get a '-3 Foot-in-mouth' for calling someone stupid when they're (half) right!

While he did spell the band's name wrong, he's correct that Sting sang the intro 'I want my MTV'.

Re:Here we go again (1, Offtopic)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | about 13 years ago | (#2415707)

If you're going to gripe about spelling in Slashdot, it's like peeing in the ocean.

And if you're going to suggest someone should get a -5 Stupid for saying something wrong that is actually correct (Sting did sing in that song), what does that say about you?

If every post that had spelling mistakes or grammatical errors was modded down, very few posts would ever get seen. The best way to comment on spelling and grammar (and facts!) is to try to set a good example and not make mistakes yourself...

...otherwise your going to loose you're mind in this place. :)

Re:Here we go again (5, Interesting)

Bonker (243350) | about 13 years ago | (#2415669)

Well it looks like we will never be able to download music on the internet.

Hmm... I'm downloading music from the internet *right now* from a P2P filesharing service called USENET.

Steve Vai rocks, BTW...

Despite the best efforts of the RIAA to stamp out filesharing services, they have yet to seriously move against Usenet or convince any of the major ISP's to not carry the alt.binaries hierarchy. (I beleive Earthnet caved into the BSA and stopped carrying a lot of the alt.binaries.warez groups)

Moreover, many ISP's have started to refuse requests from entertainment companies to TOS users because they share copyrighted material. They cite issues such as DHCP IP addresses and non-provability, but what it really boils down to is the fact that the ISPs realized that they'll start losing customers if the becoming known for TOS'ing their users.

Sharing is alive and well, neighbor, and as long as its easier to share than it is to buy music, then the RIAA will just be spinning their wheels.

"The more you tighten your grip,
the more star systems will
slip through your fingers."

Re:Here we go again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415908)

Steve Vai rocks, BTW...

That is a matter of personal opinion. IMHO Steve Vai = shit.

Re:Here we go again (5, Insightful)

eXtro (258933) | about 13 years ago | (#2415736)

Thats not entirely true. We'll always be able to download music off the internet. The only real question is when will we be able to legitimately download music off the internet? Napster got in trouble for two reasons 1) RIAA is extremely greedy and 2) Napster was greedy.


The only reason for Napster itself to exist was to skim money off of peer-to-peer networking. Once Napster became involved in fact it was no longer really peer-to-peer networking, there was an entity in the middle that operated as an information broker. Some percentage of the songs transferred via Napster were copyrighted, it seems fair that the copyright holders of those songs should be able to negotiate a percentage of Napster's revenue based on that. The RIAA, through its extreme greed, did the wrong thing and for all intents and purposes shut down Napster. If they were smart and/or less greedy they would've negotiated a fee based on the knowledge that they can't really stop file sharing but can get an indicator on what percentage of files are infringing. This would've been pure profit for them since their distribution costs are zero.


Instead they're going after each new adulterated peer-to-peer network and shutting them down. The problem is they still aren't stopping file sharing and also aren't making any money off of it. Every side really loses, including the consumer who obviously really wants to be able to download files off of the net.

The Turd Report 10/11/2001 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415515)

Hello everyone. Sorry for not posting for a week or so. I took a
vacation. I went to see the US Grand Prix at Indianapolis. Nothing feel
better that taking a shit at a track or stadium, esp when just as a turd
comes out, the crowd erupts in cheers. It felt like they were cheering
for my turds. I almost cried; it was touching. That turd was a 9. It
was long and coiled around the bowl. It had a nearly perfect brown color
to it.

The next day's turd was a 0, due to the track food and the party keg of
Grolsh i drank in the stands.

The rest of the turds during vacation were average. I think it may have
to do with the foods available in Indiana.

Today's trud was quite nice. It was a deep black color. It was also
shaped/composed kinda funny. It was shaped and looked like a pinapple
grenade. It looked as if it was made of dozens of marble sized
turdlets. It was pretty hard as well; it took quite a bit of pushing to
get it started out of my ass. It was small and flushable. There was no
smell to it, which is odd. I rate today's turd as a 6.

Re:The Turd Report 10/11/2001 (-1)

Shitsack Comments (256887) | about 13 years ago | (#2415552)

Is there a way to subscribe and get the Daily Turd Report delivered directly to my e-mail inbox every morning?

Re:The Turd Report 10/11/2001 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415595)

Maybe. I am trying to give something back to the Slashdot community. For all the love that the crack addicted mods have given me over the past several months. In the spirit of OSS, I am thinking of open sourcing my turds. Everyday people could recomend food for me to eat and I will report back the kind of turd that it generates. The food must be something I like, so not everyone will get their way. Linus only allows certain things into his kernel; I will only allow certain things in my turds. I will release my turds under the BSD license; I want everyone from home turd enthusiests to large corporations to experience the joy of my turds and to use them in anyway they see fit. Please comment.

Re:The Turd Report 10/11/2001 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415627)

Hey, great idea!

I'm looking forward for the Daily Turd Report.

It's frustrating to look for your reports on Slashdot, though.

Re:The Turd Report 10/11/2001 (-1, Offtopic)

The Turd Report (527733) | about 13 years ago | (#2415677)

Well, I have just set up this new account to make that easier. I am glad you enjoy my turds as much as I do.

Re:The Turd Report 10/11/2001 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415631)

Faggot, all your turds are dented on one end and no one cares to see them.

Linux Torvalds ditch his kernel ??? (-1)

sales_worldwide (244279) | about 13 years ago | (#2415526)

Don't blame him. Is he going to use BSD fomr now on?

hello (-1)

Shitsack Comments (256887) | about 13 years ago | (#2415528)

I was wondering if anyone here has any experience cleaning jizz stains out of cat hair.

Re:hello (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415547)

> I was wondering if anyone here has any experience cleaning jizz stains out of cat hair.

Just shave the cat bald. No more jizzy hairballs, and the cat looks sexier too!

Re:hello (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415583)

No, I've never found my cat to be stained afterwards. Maybe you should look at your diet?

Should have dealt with this earlier (5, Insightful)

gorillasoft (463718) | about 13 years ago | (#2415530)

From the article: "Napster's attorney argued to the court that an agreement reached earlier this year between MusicNet and Napster contained a provision unfairly giving MusicNet the right to terminate the contract if Napster sought agreements with other labels."

This seems like something that Napster should have dealt with or drawn attention to during negotiation of the contract. It makes one wonder why they would even sign a contract of this nature. If nothing else, calling attention to it earlier may have helped them in ealier litigation. The only plus for them in signing the stringent agreement is that they have rights to the music now, and may be able to strike this part of the contract to enable them to gain rights to other labels' music in the future.

Not at all. (5, Insightful)

werdna (39029) | about 13 years ago | (#2415706)

If nothing else, calling attention to it earlier may have helped them in ealier litigation

Only if they had a crystal ball. Napster DID counterclaim for misuse, by the way, albeit on other grounds.

But your facts are way off. The agreement did not exist at the time of the preliminary injunction hearing, so it couldn't have been raised at the time. Facts not on the record (that is, not adduced in the earlier injunction proceedings) are not relevant to the appeal, which is what we have been watching the past 18-24 months.

It couldn't have helped them on appeal. It can only help them going forward. They will use this, and already have.

Re:Should have dealt with this earlier (2, Insightful)

Atlantix (209245) | about 13 years ago | (#2415716)

If during the negotiation of the contract Napster had successfully removed this clause, then they would not have been able to accuse the music industry of anti-competitive practices. By leaving it in, they gained the ability to say "Hey look at this terrible thing we were forced to sign." It might be a bit dirty, but Napster clearly needs anything they can use in their favor. And I'm sure no one here thinks the music industry is being completely open and honest while trying to knock out P2P sharing.

How can this be bad?! (0)

steveo777 (183629) | about 13 years ago | (#2415537)

We can download audio from Robin Williams [musicnet.com] !

Re:How can this be bad?! (-1, Troll)

Trollerama (527718) | about 13 years ago | (#2415543)

Faggot. The Trolls now rule the earth...

Misuse of copyright nulls infringement claims? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415538)

If the recording industry was found to have misused its copyright material, it might not be able to successfully pursue an infringement claim on those works.

That seems a pretty heavy statement. I wonder how much of it was reporter/editorial speculation and how much of this was actually discussed by the judge.

Considering the "BMG, Warner and EMI" are probably over 50% of the commercial music world already, a finding that they can't pursure copyright infringement claims could be monumental.

Re:Misuse of copyright nulls infringement claims? (1, Offtopic)

mgkimsal2 (200677) | about 13 years ago | (#2415555)

Damn it - I logged in, but it still took these as AC comments... :(

Re:Misuse of copyright nulls infringement claims? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415993)

That's really sweet.

You made a substantive comment, which was marked up, because it was of interest and contributed to the discussion.

Then you realized your precious ego wasn't going to get 'karma' from the markup, so you had to chime in and make a feeble attempt to claim credit.

And for your feeble attempt you lost karna.

Excellent! Finally somebody gets PUNISHED for assuming the moderation system is for giving credit. It's not. It's for improving the quality of the discussion.

Get off your fugging ego, buddy.

Re:Misuse of copyright nulls infringement claims? (3, Informative)

buss_error (142273) | about 13 years ago | (#2415739)

It's black letter law. Use copyright to maintain or establish a monopoly, loose the copyright.
IANAL.

man, mainstream music sucks (2, Funny)

ReidMaynard (161608) | about 13 years ago | (#2415549)

sometime in the future....

me: Man, I just can't get than new Madona song out of my head.
BMG-Warner-EMI-Borg: You owe use $2.11

Now (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415550)

If only we could keep the nerd posts at 1 or higher to a minimum then everything would be great.

Re:Now (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415649)

But then who's going to patiently explain that you can't do kernel level hacking in VB?
Or that _actually_ the Linux filesystems are efficient?
Or that you can't have an O(n) NP complete algorithm?

We need the humourless tits to make trolling fun.

It may not have the original stratagy (1)

motherhead (344331) | about 13 years ago | (#2415557)

but it looks like big music business and the RIAA have been given all the rope they need to hang themselves.

Re:It may not have the original stratagy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415856)

God lets hope so! And wouldn't it be wonderful for the general public to see the music "industry" for what it is... a cartel.

sounds kinda familiar, but... (0)

psyklopz (412711) | about 13 years ago | (#2415558)

um, what's a napster? i used to know...

Re:sounds kinda familiar, but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415590)

Mod this shit down it is lame shit.

Re:sounds kinda familiar, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2416014)

Fairly soon, when the losers who started the Napster company are crushed and the wellknown name is sold off to pay the settlement, the Napster trademark will be purchased and reused by some other business.

I am voting for a company in the United Kingdom to purchase the name and use it as the brand for a line of adult diapers for aging 'ex-hipster' boomers.

Other services (2, Interesting)

steveo777 (183629) | about 13 years ago | (#2415564)

BTW, this may be a little off topic, but there are other services that allow music to be redistributed throughout people. Are these sites catching RIAA flak yet? Or does the RIAA not notice sites that don't get public spotlight?

I'd mention them, but I'm sure people know what they are. And I don't want them catching any flak by my account.

Re:Other services (2, Interesting)

DahGhostfacedFiddlah (470393) | about 13 years ago | (#2415670)

Better yet - is there any online repository of *solely* free-music, that artists have made free? I see a lot of MP3s on a lot of artist sites, but no central place where they can be searched/downloaded. I'd like to move from the mainstream, but it's so hard since Napster closed - there aren't enough people on any of the other services to reach the critical mass that it had.

Re:Other services (3, Informative)

peter_gzowski (465076) | about 13 years ago | (#2415693)

The RIAA is going after the FastTrack [fasttrack.nu] network (KaZaA [kazaa.com] , Morpheus [musiccity.com] , and Grokster [grokster.com] ) next. This is going to be the next big battle, as this network isn't centralized (at least, not as centralized as Napster was), so the RIAA will have a harder time proving that FT is responsible. Another intesting thing about the FT network is that the latest version locks out the open source client that the giFT project [sourceforge.net] is developing (it worked again briefly over the weekend, but now it's broken again). While they try to get it up and running with the new FT network, they say that they're also developing and their own open source network (OpenFT).

In parallel with the FT assault, the RIAA, as of Monday, decided to go after AudioGalaxy (read about it in the NY Post [nypost.com] over here [nypost.com] ). AudioGalaxy has filters in place, but the RIAA says they aren't good enough.

who /is/ fair? (5, Insightful)

SirSlud (67381) | about 13 years ago | (#2415568)

Exclusivity deals are quite the hot topic right now. Intel is taking heat from the EU for exclusivity provisions it has with computer distributors. my boss and I were wondering why someone like Coke or Pepsi is allowed to ensure exclusivity with its distributors (fast food chains, etc)? Whats the difference?

Re:who /is/ fair? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415619)

In the case of the fast food chains, it's mostly due to the fact that pepsi or coke actually OWN the companies :P

Re:who /is/ fair? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415894)

Well, Pepsi bought some fast food chains, anyway (I think they've sold some of them recently). But everyone else just voluntarily aligned themselves with Coke since doing otherwise would just be feeding their competition.

It's never fair (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about 13 years ago | (#2415705)

my boss and I were wondering why someone like Coke or Pepsi is allowed to ensure exclusivity with its distributors (fast food chains, etc)? Whats the difference?

None. It's restraint of trade in all cases.

I always think it's amusing that Coke is somehow perceived a symbol of "rampant capitalism" when they are so strongly opposed to free markets.

Re:It's never fair (2)

JabberWokky (19442) | about 13 years ago | (#2415825)

None. It's restraint of trade in all cases.

In DeLand, Florida, there is a Pizza Hut that serves Coke products - advertised on the fountains, etc. I always (as did other observant people) wondered about this abberation (most people never noticed). I wonder if that's to protect them, or if the owner just decided "damn the company line, I like Coke".

--
Evan

Re:It's never fair (3, Informative)

Bonker (243350) | about 13 years ago | (#2415964)

I used to work at a Pizza Hut, so I'll clear this up.

PH corporation is a subsidary of Pepsi Cola, along with several other big-name fast food chains like Taco Bell and KFC. Most of the PH's across the nation are maintained by several district offices and report directly to PH corporation, and therefore back to Pepsi Cola.

Pepsi considers this an expensive way to do business because, while they profit from those stores (Markup on a Pizza was close to 5000%) they still have to pay wages and administrative costs. I'm not sure of the math, but Pizza Hut beleives they ultimately make more off of Pizza Hut franchises thank they make off of wholly owned stores.

Thus, unlike Taco Bell, there are a great number of Pizza Hut Franchises across the the country. Those franchises are owned by individuals or other companies who pay PH and Pepsi a precentage for the right to use the Pizza Hut logo, recipies and to participate in speicial promotions. Since they are privately owned, the owner has the right to do anything he wants in the way of adding or subtracting things from the menu. Most PH franchises offer Coca-Cola products in addition to or instead of Pepsi products. They may also do things like add or subtract certain toppings that can be ordered on a pizza. Some Franchises opt to not sell Pizza Hut's 'Thin Crust' pizza, because automatic dough rollers are fairly notorious for crushing finger bones.

Re:It's never fair (2, Informative)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about 13 years ago | (#2415943)

There is a Subway here in Gaithersburg, MD that has fountains for both coke and pepsi right next to each other. That's the only place I've ever seen it, and it was kind of freaky.

Re:It's never fair (3, Insightful)

greenrd (47933) | about 13 years ago | (#2415944)

Well it's quite simple really. Without adequate government intervention, capitalists will conspire to destroy free markets. As... guess who... said?

Adam Smith.

Nobody's fair. (5, Insightful)

e-gold (36755) | about 13 years ago | (#2415749)

And everybody (most-especially me, to get any self-interest out of the way) wants to be the middleman. The question artists and consumers should be asking themselves is, "what kind of middleman do I want?" The current middleman/men? is what I call a quintopoly (a five-way monopoly) which has survived up to now largely because of the difficulty artists have had in directly reaching their fans through traditional means. The quintopoly is top-heavy with management who are used to (as Courtney Love put it [hole.com] ) lots of trips to Scores and other perks. Life for the artists (even when they "make it") is therefore not nearly as lucrative as many imagined before Courtney's rant [hole.com] , which appeared in Salon a while back.

The internet changes (or should change) all that (and yes, I hope that the change will benefit me). How can music consumers make sure that most* of the money that they spend on music goes to actual musicians instead of non-producers? Well, I have a few ideas, but

http://www.scottmccloud.com/comics/icst/icst-5/ics t-5.html [scottmccloud.com]

and

http://www.scottmccloud.com/comics/icst/icst-6/ics t-6.html [scottmccloud.com]

show some cartoons that explain things visually better than I ever could in this rant. Enjoy.
JMR

* - anyone promising artists "all" the money is probably lying.

Speaking ONLY for myself!!!

Re:Nobody's fair. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2416039)

Please don't link to anything from Courtney.

She is the Yoko Ono of her generation.

Actually, I recently purchased the Ono 'Plastic Ono Band' album, and she's a far better artist than Courtney Slut ever will be.

Re:who /is/ fair? (2)

phillymjs (234426) | about 13 years ago | (#2415802)

My boss and I were wondering why someone like Coke or Pepsi is allowed to ensure exclusivity with its distributors (fast food chains, etc)?

Well in the case of PepsiCo, they either own, or own a large interest in another company that owns: Kentucky Fried Chicken [kfc.com] , Taco Bell [tacobell.com] , Pizza Hut [pizzahut.com] , D'Angelo's Sandwich Shop [dangelos.com] , Chevy's [chevys.com] , and California Pizza Kitchen [california...itchen.com] .

Exclusivity deals like this are not a problem, because Joe Consumer still has a choice-- if you don't want to drink Pepsi products with the food you get from those places, you can always take the food home and drink whatever you want with it there, or you can eat someplace that offers Coca Cola products instead.

~Philly

Re:who /is/ fair? (2)

EisPick (29965) | about 13 years ago | (#2415901)

Whats the difference?

The difference is when you are a monopoly, or when you are a group of competing companies acting together to form a monopoly.

Phillip Morris can cut deals with retailers to deny display space to other cigarette manufacturers, because they only have 50% or so market share in cigarettes. But American Tobacco (Skoal, Copenhagen, Red Man) will probably lose a lawsuit over the same practices because they have over 90% market share in smokeless tobacco.

I would guess that if the record companies wanted to do this individually, they'd be okay. But because they're cooperating to restrain trade for the whole industry, they won't be allowed to do this.

Welcome to the realm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415572)

of the trolls. You have no change to be moded up make your time.

your kidding... (3, Funny)

hex1848 (182881) | about 13 years ago | (#2415576)

napster actually won a court battle?

Perhaps Patel has seen the light... (4, Insightful)

Green Aardvark House (523269) | about 13 years ago | (#2415579)

If the recording industry was found to have misused its copyright material, it might not be able to successfully pursue an infringement claim on those works.

Could this be new life for Napster? Some of the public has noticed this, that the labels act in a form of cartel, especially since they are investigation for anti-trust violations [slashdot.org] . They have also been successfully sued for price-fixing in the past as well.

The judge should have noticed these types of actions sooner.

Now they're on to something (5, Insightful)

weez75 (34298) | about 13 years ago | (#2415582)

It seems Napster has figured out that when members of a market collude (act in concert) they are in fact an oligopoly. This in many cases is more powerful than a monopoly. The number of companies with the resources to promote and distribute music is very small. That means that by antitrust definitions they have the most influence over price as well as the ability to create unfair barriers to entering the market.

What this means is that someone finally has figured out that the way to fight the situation isn't to attack record companies for protecting their works but instead, attack their methods of controlling the market.

You and I can in turn support this effort by not buying music from those colluding in this market. Quit complaining about the record companies and the way they handle Napster and Morpheus--just quit buying their products. Buy independent label artists, listen to the radio, pick up an instrument and play it. Let the file trading companies fight the antitrust battle...

Re:Now they're on to something (2)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | about 13 years ago | (#2415715)

I think that if they attack the collusion and not a specific entity it becomes a RICO (racketeering) case, not an anti-trust action.

This is good because IIRC RICO is a CRIMINAL action, and leaves the companies open to everything from fines to revocation of charters.

Disclaimer: IANAL

Re:Now they're on to something (5, Interesting)

fishbowl (7759) | about 13 years ago | (#2415897)



> This is good because IIRC RICO is a CRIMINAL
> action, and leaves the companies open to
> everything from fines to revocation of charters.

It allows for something else that I find delicious: Prison time for executives.
And the best part? You can end up in prison
because you are the highest level of authority
that "knew or should have known" about the violation.

That means you don't even have to have your manicured hands dirty to be escorted out of your
ivory tower in handcuffs. Even if you "don't know" about the corruption in your organization,
if the FBI can prove that you "should have known",
you're responsible.

I love RICO. OSHA is pretty good like this as well...

Bwa ha ha ha ha (1, Funny)

WyldOne (29955) | about 13 years ago | (#2415591)

Perfect case of Dog bites human. I hope Napster gets a good bite out of the recording labels. Pitt bull any one?

Re:Bwa ha ha ha ha (0, Offtopic)

Maskirovka (255712) | about 13 years ago | (#2415815)

I'd prefer a case of alien bites human, injects a spore, which eats the human from the inside out in excrusiating pain, which eventually kills them.

Maskirovka

Call me a cynic will you

There's an oversight that needs to be corrected... (3, Funny)

sphealey (2855) | about 13 years ago | (#2415593)

You mean that ANTI-TRUST law applies to the music industry??? Howdidd 'at happen? Have to get that outrage corrected right away - "Senator Hollings!".

sPh

'bout freaggin time. (4, Insightful)

Hooya (518216) | about 13 years ago | (#2415600)

tho napster's 'business' model was questionable, it was questioning something more questionable.

bear with me. napster by itself -- wrong. but napstering the products of a cartel -- at least it brought to light the cartel that is the RIAA. hope something is done about the cartel. until then i have boycotted 'em by not buying any music (yeah, yeah, what difference can i make? right? well, you're not getting my $16.) no i don't steal it either. i just play what's on radio (that's still legal right? even tho i don't pay for the content 'streamed' to me thru my radio...) in other words, i have done away with the concept of owning any CDs or tapes. we don't 'own' them anyways right?

my $.01. what can i say, the economy is shit and i can't afford $.02 for this crap.

What about the RIAA? (0)

dave-fu (86011) | about 13 years ago | (#2415618)

So a joint venture of the music monop^H^H^H^H^H labels is monopolistic, but an organization of them that's been known to fix prices and is deadset on receding Joe Average's rights so as to unnaturally force customers to stick with their now-antiquated business models isn't?
Hopefully this is a step in the right direction, not a has-been corporation throwing pebbles at a media giant-by-design.

Big doesn't always win... (1)

albat0r (526414) | about 13 years ago | (#2415625)

or I hope so! These days, we always see the _Big_ corporation/organisation (you can replace _Big_ by the name of your choice) winning over the little one in court battle. This time, I hope that MusicNet will be found guilty, this will show people that the giants in the record industry can't do whatever they want with their copyright toys...

Slashdot exaggerates! Crowd goes wild! (1)

Anarchofascist (4820) | about 13 years ago | (#2415626)

It wasn't judge Patel who said "smells bad looks bad is bad", that was napster's own counsel. The good judge referred the question to experts, and accepted that the argument might be valid.

I dunno, when are the editors going to stop playing up and exaggerating stories? I don't understand sometimes. You know I only read slashdot because it has this wonderful user base and excellent moderation system, which makes it the most readable "news" site on the net.

Direct Quote from article (2)

MatriXOracle (33400) | about 13 years ago | (#2415651)

"Patel said MusicNet appeared to have the hallmarks of an anticompetitive business enterprise that ``looks bad, sounds bad and smells bad.''"

I dunno, it would appear to me that Patel did actually say that.

Re:Slashdot exaggerates! Crowd goes wild! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415709)

I dunno, when are readers going to find better things to do than bitch about the editors of slashdot?

If /. offends you so much, quit reading. But for all the gods' sake, shut the hell up.

We need a lawyer here (2)

Tony Shepps (333) | about 13 years ago | (#2415641)

I'm completely in favor of an examination of the whole beast, but how can a judge use one case to open up another entirely separate ball of wax? Without something like a class action suit against MusicNet or maybe Commerce or someone in enforcement beinging an action, isn't she pretty much hogtied to only rule on what Napster is doing?

Re:We need a lawyer here (1)

linzeal (197905) | about 13 years ago | (#2415684)

The music industry cannot pursue claims against napster if its hands are being dirtied in a related facet of the industry (online music distribution).

Re:We need a lawyer here (1, Offtopic)

Catbeller (118204) | about 13 years ago | (#2415976)

I do believe the Judge can pinch-hit for a lawyer. Rumor has it that most judges are lawyers, or at least were.

BTW, this is wickedly great news, but a bit too late to save Napster. It is, tho... vengeance.

Re:We need a lawyer here (2)

Animats (122034) | about 13 years ago | (#2416050)

Napster's attorney raised the issue, as a defense. Conspiracy in restraint of trade can be a defense to copyright infringement.

Napster could also, separately, start up an antitrust suit against the music industry, perhaps joined by other parties. That could be interesting. When all the big companies in an industry form a consortium to exert stronger control over the pricing of their product, it's hard to argue that it's not restraint of trade.

yupp (2)

Hobbex (41473) | about 13 years ago | (#2415654)


All the potential users for such a service are already using MusicNet. Go ask Hillary Rosen and Lars Ulrich yourself if you don't believe me...

Let's see what they lobby next (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | about 13 years ago | (#2415699)

You can bet that the music monopoly will now concentrate its lobbying effort to bribing congressmen into softening antitrust laws to fit their needs.

Fuck the majors and anybody signed to them (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415731)

Boycott all major label artists, even if you like them. Buy nothing that comes from an RIAA affiliated label and they will waste away. They survive and abuse you over and over again only because you collude with them by buying their product. Artists collude to be ripped off too by signing recording contracts with the illusions of stardom that the industry promotes to gather more slaves. Artists must revolt. Consumers must revolt. That's the only way to break the monopoly and free yourselves.

Restraint of trade (2)

sulli (195030) | about 13 years ago | (#2415752)

You know, this all looks to me like a pretty clear violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, which prohibits "agreements, combinations or conspiracies in restraint of trade." If RIAA and MusicNet aren't a combination in restraint of trade, I don't know what is!

"misuse claim" (1, Redundant)

fishbowl (7759) | about 13 years ago | (#2415855)

"If the recording industry was found to have
misused its copyright material, it might not be able to successfully pursue an infringement claim on those works. If the recording industry was found to have misused its copyright material, it might not be able to successfully pursue an infringement claim on those works."

I have two problems with that sentence.
First, it is purely editorial, and
not derived from the facts of the story. Judge
Patel did not say anything so strong.

Secondly, it bothers me that the subjunctive case
has nearly been lost in the English language, even
among journalists. That sentence should start
"If the recording industry were found..."

As it is written, it has a possibly different meaning than the writer intended. Forgetting how
and when to use the subjunctive limits the range
of verbal expression when a distinction is needed
between events that have happened in the past and
hypothetical events.

I'm not a number (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415867)

I am a free man!

Re:I'm not a number (1)

Captain_Jackass (472496) | about 13 years ago | (#2416062)

Whatever, 2415867

It's over (1)

aeo (517448) | about 13 years ago | (#2415889)

Go see live music.

The end of the RIAA? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2415923)

I doubt that the RIAA will lose their ability to enforce their copyright, but imagine if they do: there will be an awful lot of artists (actually, a few big names) who will be really pissed at the music companies for throwing away an important source of income. Can you say "major lawsuit"? This would finally dispel the myth that the RIAA is looking out for artists (when a growing number of people understand that the RIAA is only there for the record companies - which don't mind if a small percentage of artists actually make some money).

YACC - Yet Another Anonymous Coward

You're missing something very interesting (2, Interesting)

jackjumper (307961) | about 13 years ago | (#2415933)

At the very end, the article says that the judge "said she may appoint a special master to examine all documentation, including artist contracts" (emphasis mine) before ruling.

Including artists contracts...

I find this very interesting. What's the latest on Courtney Love's suit against the record companies?

Finally Caught Out (5, Interesting)

nellardo (68657) | about 13 years ago | (#2416040)

When I worked at Sony [sony.com] a few years back, pre-SDMI [sdmi.org] , one of the things I worked on was the technology for electronic content distribution. I was the tech liaison between Sony Corporation of America (SCA), Sony Music (SMEI), Warner Music Group (WMG), IBM (tech and business groups), and Sony research labs in Japan (aka "Tokyo").

Aside from the (questionable) joy of explaining cryptography to suits and explaining licensing requirements to geeks (Harry Fox [harryfox.com] helps throw a real monkey wrench in there, administering rights for song-writers), one of the things that came up time and time again was anti-trust issues.

SMEI and WMG were well-aware that together they represented about 30% of the market (they split that up, flip-flopping every year over who has the most based on who had bigger hits). Their expectation was that a joint venture between them would attract BMG, Universal, EMI and whoever was number six at the time. Then independents would simply have to fish or cut bait and join up as well.

Everyone was very careful to avoid using words and phrases like "controlling", "domination", etc. at least in written materials. People would verbally joke that they needed to make sure those words weren't written down, in case they ever got subpoena'ed for anti-trust, but everyone knew that the objective was making the HBO [hbo.com] of electronic music distribution. You see, they recognized that HBO had the movie companies by the short and curlies as far as cable distribution of films went, and didn't want the same to happen to them in a new media distribution - the film companies have been worrying about this for themselves for electronic distribution for a couple of years now.

Of course, Napster [napster.com] beat them to it, so they beat on Napster legally. One of the funniest things about the timing of these things for me was SDMI being announced just after MP3 hit the cover of Time Magazine, when I'd been working on it for years prior. And of course they got the DMCA passed in the meantime, making cracking even the stupidest of copy control schemes illegal. Of course, every crypto expert they talked to at the time (myself included) emphasized that no scheme was foolproof and you should be sure to design the system to minimize damage in the case of a crack. Being powerful executives with lobbyists on retainer, a legal solution was obvious.

So, all in all, I'm pleasantly amused that the music companies got just a bit too eager and slipped in one phrase too many.....

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