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Fallout from the Internet Debacle

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the stay-under-cover-until-the-debris-stops-falling dept.

Music 292

gatesh8r writes "This article off of Janis Ian's site lashes out at the RIAA for "wanting to control everything that the consumer will purchase" and then proposes some mild and thoughtful solutions to the problem. Nice to see an artist write up something like this." This is her follow-up to her earlier piece.

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I claim this for uiuc.test! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018322)

This is one small step for uiuc, one giant leap for uiuc.test!

Re:I claim this for uiuc.test! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018361)

Excellent. Would you be interested in having sex?


Can't stop them completely (2, Insightful)

cdrj (556227) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018325)

I personally would rather trust the government (some think otherwise) than some high ranking executive, who would most likely be controlling things without the government.

Re:Can't stop them completely (2)

TibbonZero (571809) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018463)

I think this is a good point. The goverment needs to make some decisions on this matter, and not just retarded stuff like the DCMA. They need to listen to the people, not just the Record companies's lobbyists.
The executives don't have to listen to anyone but the government because they have money, and can sue people easily, and do what they want. They aren't voted into power, but the government officials, must answer to the public (the only probablem is that people deciede who they will vote in based on what the person will do about abortion, or drugs, not about their intellegence of other issues, just ones that WONT change...)

Re:Can't stop them completely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018591)

It's DMCA you clown


Sexual Asspussy (453406) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018326)

early post for * * * [] * * * is live. Come and get it. []


microsoft.CLIT (589336) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018400)

Dude, you are missing the whole point of the name
It sounds like goat sex.


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018444)

i can't tell if i'm being trolled here.

8==D( * )sexxxualasspussy

WARNING: the following link is worse than GOATSE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018539)

Want to see something totally offensive?

Click here [] !


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018662)

RIAA Bad... (0, Troll)

RebelTycoon (584591) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018331)

MPAA good... LotR is out today.

Its Tuesday... Where is my MS Security Alert?

Re:RIAA Bad... (1)

Zephy (539060) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018730)

appearing on the bugtraq archive in less than an hour i should think..Something to with cookies..

Why do Brits have disgusting teeth? (-1)

CreamOfWheat (593775) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018335)

Awful blackish yellow rotten teeth. Breath smells like dogshit. Even wealthy parasites like the Queen have filthy teeth. WHY IS THAT?

TROLLAXOR SIGHTING!!@!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018342)

Trollaxor has been spotted at an Arbys in Lenexa, KS, where I witnessed him partaking of a ROAST BEEF SANDWICH, CURLY FIRES AND A SPRITE! Unbelievably, he AVOIDED THE DRIVETHRU and OPTED TO COME INSIDE!

What does it all mean??!???!

Re:TROLLAXOR SIGHTING!!@!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018540)

He was hungry?

Please HELP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018343)

I am having trouble designing my website!!! It is at Can you guys (and gals) please help me out??!! The username is: 80s/ericisgay and the password is: 123456

My code, your music (2)

Jacer (574383) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018345)

When I write code, it's for the GPL, my code is is my hobby, and maybe others will get use/enjoyment out of it. It'd be grand indeed if more music was copy-lefted.

Janis Ian can make tons of money on the Internet.. (-1, Troll)

newestbob (589866) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018348)

..because she's a lesbian (and not that there's anything wrong with that.

All she has to do is put a LIVE WEBCAM in her bedroom and charge $7.99 a minute.

(I LEARNED THE TRUTH AT 17, that Love was meant for Lesbians--on the internet)

Theological thougts on RIAA licensing management (-1, Offtopic)

sbeast702 (447699) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018363)

Woman 1: If I'm not having sex by the end of this goat cheese casavia, I'm going to scream.
Woman 2: I also enjoy sex.
Woman 3: Since this morning I've had sex with a New York Knick, two subway cops, and a guy who works on Wall Street.
Woman 4: Broker?
Woman 3: Nah, she's just really sore! :all women laugh at her joke, a waiter joins in:
Patty: This is so like our lives!
Selma: Yeah! It's like they hid a camera in our apartment.

Too early in the morning to be this cynical (3, Insightful)

JUSTONEMORELATTE (584508) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018373)

But what the heck....

The basic plan sounds good on paper -- get all the tracks in all the major labels available in one place, and sell full-sample-rate tracks for 25centa a pop. Try it for a time and see how it goes.

Only problem is that P2P networks are still up. This idea would have been great pre-napster, but not today. What you'll have is a small percentage of the P2P users spend a small amount of cash to build up libraries, then those libraries are shared and the RIAA site doesn't rake in the fees like they thought they would.
how's that phrase go? "Bzzzt, but thanks for playing!"


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018392)

Go ahead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018639)

but I think you need to prepare for it by placing a running chainsaw in your ass. Tell us how it works out.

Re:Too early in the morning to be this cynical (3, Interesting)

arkanes (521690) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018443)

You wouldn't rake in bucks like they want and they'd use it's "failure" to push for more legislation, just like always. However, I for one would love a service where I can get a) well-labeled, properly named, high bitrate MP3s from fast, reliable servers. In fact, I've used just such a service, and although it was flat fee, I would be more than willing to pay per download, assuming that they actually had the music I wanted. I imagine alot of other people would too, and that it WOULD in fact be a viable model. It's just that simply being viable isn't enough.

Re:Too early in the morning to be this cynical (1)

Kakarat (595386) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018564), reliable servers

Ahh, but that is the problem. It would be quite expensive to run a server farm that could provide fast and reliable service to millions of users downloading mp3s at the same time (one reason P2P networks are a better model for file sharing). The overhead would be considerable and they would loose quite a bit of money just running the network that they would want to charge more per download (even if they are making a profit, they want to make a hefty profit!). They charge too much, no one downloads, and results in failure.

Re:Too early in the morning to be this cynical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018567)

Nuke 'em from orbit, it's the only way to be sure!

Warning : highly offensive []

Perhaps, but... (2, Insightful)

Soulfader (527299) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018450) never know until you try. It's just possible that people really will pony up cash for their music if there is a credible and reliable micropayment system, and there's enough selection to be worthwhile.

I don't think that they buy their own arguments, else they would have done this already. What have they got to lose? To hear them tell it, they are already bleeding in the streets from Internet swapping. By their logic, the stuff is already out there, so they might as well provide a method for people to pay for it.

Re:Too early in the morning to be this cynical (2)

Wah (30840) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018452)

So what? The whole point here is that it wouldn't matter who else was offering the files. Removing the barriers and finding a price point that works. There is a value in convenience and even if the volume of music traded on P2P is 2, 5 or 10 times what they get on the sanctioned site, if they make enough money to cover costs and have a bit left over, it's a success. They have NO production costs, no marketing costs, nothing to pay for but bandwidth and minimum of design.

It's a very good first run at a proposal. There's definitely some room for improvement ($20/yr for all you can eat) but using it as a test has got to be cheaper than all the money they are paying the lawyers.

Re:Too early in the morning to be this cynical (5, Insightful)

Salsaman (141471) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018474)

I'd happily pay 25c a track rather than use a p2p client, if the following were met:

I could get the file instantly; it was guaranteed to be CD quality or better; and it was in an open format (mp3, or much better, ogg).

Even if the track were available for free elsewhere, it just wouldn't be worth the hassle of locating it, queueing it, and then hoping that it was the right track at a decent quality.

Re:Too early in the morning to be this cynical (1)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018613)

I'd add that the ID3 tags, or ogg equivalent would need to be already completed.

Re:Too early in the morning to be this cynical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018665)

Listen up you goddamn simpleton fucktard, MP3 is NOT an OPEN format. If you used the logic to claim MP3 is an open format because it is widely used you would have to claim that Microsoft Office file formats are open too. I really wish stupiod fucktards like yourself would drop dead and quit rehashing the same misinformed slashbot bullshit over and over, again and again.

Re:Too early in the morning to be this cynical (2)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018496)

"This idea would have been great pre-napster, but not today..."

This idea would have been great pre-calling-everybody-a-theif. I doubt I'm the only one who feels the RIAA doesn't deserve a second chance after that.

Frankly, I think any corporation that takes the stance that customers aren't basically honest should learn a humbling lesson. I certainly don't think the RIAA should recieve money from the people it tried to condemn with the SSSCA.

Re:Too early in the morning to be this cynical (2, Interesting)

Fuyu (107589) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018505)

Even with the P2P networks being up, not too computer savvy users still ask me, where can I get this song or that song because Napster is not around anymore. They just don't know how to use these other P2P networks. If the major labels came out with their own pay to download MP3 (or prefered audio format) service, I'm sure they could attract a lot of the not too computer savvy users into paying a quarter or maybe even up to a dollar per song (still cheaper then buying a single).

Re:Too early in the morning to be this cynical (5, Interesting)

daoine (123140) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018546)

I think the whole point was that the 'experiment' per say would be out-of-print catalogs only. So let's be a little realistic; these catalogs are making *NO* money right now. You can't buy 'em.

Personally, there's about 10 albums that I'm hunting down that are out of print. I couldn't find them in completion on Napster even at its best. Instead, my current attempts consist of the and used pre-orders in the hopes that someone shows up to sell it. I've gotten 1.

If I could grab the rest at .25 a song I wouldn't think twice. Hunting down a song on a P2P network is easy. Hunting down several albums worth is a pain in the ass, especially if you want them all at the same rate.

Of course, there will be people who set up P2P networks, just as people copied tapes. But the fact is, nobody has ever had cheap, searchable, and complete access to the catalogs - they'd get about $20 from me in 1 day. And that's just from what I know I'm missing...

Re:Too early in the morning to be this cynical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018588)

Check out It's a lot better than half/amazon/etc.


Re:Too early in the morning to be this cynical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018620)

The problem would be that artists would get virtually nothing from that 25 cents if they are forced to go through the record companies, they already make a tiny proportion of the CD retail price of an album.

The RIAA does n't want things like this happening because it would eventually mean artists bypassing them and the record companies. This is what they fear as they know that the Internet will end their control over music distribution that is why they want to control it via legislation.

The piracy issue is just a smoke screen, people who payed for music on CD will still pay for music from the net as long as the quality is good and they dont have stupid restrictions placed on use.

Another (unrelated) point is I (personally) hope freedom of Internet based distribution will be the death of the media company created mega star and that musicians will beable to make a living without havin to sell bucket loads of CD's since they would get a much much greater share of the pie.

This is all about freedom and monopolies, dont let them fool you with the piracy issue.

Re:Too early in the morning to be this cynical (1)

Chexsum (583832) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018711)

Only problem is that P2P networks are still up.

Consider that an ISP can easilly block/cap a port rendering PTP Services almost useless. How much persuasion would a consumer need to download from the main music site described in the article.

Make that sites - actually make that a service (a service would allow independant developers to write their own implementation of the client). ISPs would of course allow this traffic at full speed. Now we have a plan that is feasable. =)

please (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018377)

who gives a fuck what some obscure washed up 1970's folk singer thinks? hey guys, the local garage band down the street thinks the riaa sucks too...let's all circle jerk around them cuz they're so anti-riaa!

can we get a high profile artist next time?

Re:please (0, Offtopic)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018391)

Ah, you're one of those folks that won't follow somebody until millions of others have, huh? Does it hurt when they shear your wool off?

Nice article... (1)

Scrab (573004) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018381)

But I think it makes too much sense for people like the RIAA to even contemplate it......

great article (2, Insightful)

tps12 (105590) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018393)

I have seen a lot of bitching about the RIAA and record companies, from music fans and "artists" alike. This is the first one I've seen that actually proposes what can be done about it, beyond the casual "fishing for ideas" phase in which most strident RIAA detractors seem mired.

For those who haven't read the article, she basically proposes that the big record companies, rather than waste their time competing with one another, should just cooperate and set up a single web site that offers all of their music for download. Meanwhile, they would stop selling compact discs entirely. They would sell these songs on a nickel-per-download basis (as she points out, if the record industry had a nickel for every time someone stole one of its songs, they'd have made $150 million a year!), and make tons more money than they do selling music the old fashioned way.

While she doesn't mention small labels, or people who lack broadband or computers, I'm sure there are simple ways of dealing with these problems. The gist in the end is that piracy-hungry consumers pose a bigger threat to the record industry as a whole than each record company does to one another. Just as the American colonies once banded together to expel their English masters, to the benefit of England and the United States alike, so must the record industry unite for the benefit of us all.

Re:great article (1)

ShdwStkr (454413) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018471)

Not quite. I don't believe she suggests that they (the record companies) stop selling CDs altogether.


Re:great article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018512)

From the article:

Since all the items are unavailable on CD, there's no need to invest time and money linking to sites (or building record company sites) where consumers can buy them on a CD. This will also ensure that the experiment stays pure, and deals with only downloading. It would also preclude artists like myself from offering downloads of material available on CD's, skewing the results.

Re:great article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018582)

"...set up a single web site that offers all of their music for download."

NO! Not all music just the back catalogues of music that currently aren't available.

Re:great article (1)

morgajel (568462) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018661)

please, call them 'performers'.

calling them artists offends those of use who create unique things. the difference:

Performers perform prewritten pieces, often without feeling or soul.

artists create new pieces.

obviously there's quite a few instances of great performers (pavarotti[sp] comes to mind.) where they perform it so well, it becomes an art.

However, I doubt this is who you made reference to.

More strong artists (4, Informative)

TibbonZero (571809) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018403)

Artists like Janis (who I happen to have ran into in Maryland), are just what the industry needs. If more artists weren't as concerned with making 11 million that year instead of 10 million, then we would be in alot better shape. You know what artists used to make their money off of? Touring, and making music compelling enough to buy.
I am not for stealing of music, I am the industry as a Producer/Engineer, and realize that people need to make money, but the RIAA, and MPAA are just getting out of hand. The only way that this will be solved is either
a) a Boycott on buying music, buying movies (or renting them), for a period of time (The NoBuy Winter?) or
b) The artists AND record companies and film companies (often the same thing), going against the MPAA and RIAA (most likely only the Arists would do this, as the record companies support the MPAA and RIAA most of the time)...

Newer artists already promote (3, Interesting)

GlobalEcho (26240) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018493)

I think newer artists already realize the promotional value of music online. I read a complementary review of a performance by Norah Jones in the Chicago Reader. I looked on the internet for more info, found out she had samples on her website [] , and, liking what I heard, bought the CD.

Of course, as an artist, that only works for you of you are good. Maybe that's the problem the RIAA'll never work for promoting manufactured dreck.

Sell CDs with tons of MP3s (4, Insightful)

cyber_rigger (527103) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018413)

I say the recording industry should just go with the flow and sell CDs full of MP3s already pre-ripped. Sell the convenience of not having to do it yourself.

Re:Sell CDs with tons of MP3s (4, Interesting)

goldspider (445116) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018644)

I really don't see what they'd have to gain by this. First of all, the recording industry by default sees mp3s as a Bad Thing (TM). They wouldn't want to conveniently sell their product in a format that makes it easier to copy/share/pirate/etc. Secondly, why would they sell 150 tracks on a single CD for $20 when they can get away with selling only 15 tracks on a single CD for $20?

From our point of view it would be really nice, for sure. Bur from a business perspective, the industry would be shooting itself in the foot.

The People vs. The Music Industry (5, Insightful)

Carnage4Life (106069) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018417)

Like many people on here there was a time I grew used to paying $15 - $20 for a CD only to end up listening to only 2 or 3 good songs on the album. In fact, I had mentally begun to consider a CD a good buy if it had 3 good songs and anything above that an excellent buy. This was helped by treating each CD purchase as the equivalent of buying 3 singles from the same artist.

Then came the advent of large scale P2P software based, copyright infringement while I was in college. I began being able to avoid what I used to consider "bad" CD purchases by only obtaining the one good song without having to deal with the dreck on the rest of the album or paying for it.

Now in many cases I would love to pay for the one or two album tracks or single remixes that I like but the music industry has steadfastly refused to provide me a mechanism to do this. However, there is really nothing technologically preventing record labels from either a.) providing customized CDs for their target audience (in the same vein as the NOW compilation albums) or b.) providing digital music at a fraction of the current price of singles and CDs.

Unfortunately they don't seem remotely interested in satisfying their customers in this demand. Legislating against technology can only last for so long.

Re:The People vs. The Music Industry (2, Flamebait)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018473)

If the artists you listen to are content to put only 1 or 2 good songs on an album, then I suggest you start listening to better artists, ones who care about music more than profit.

Re:The People vs. The Music Industry (1)

cptgrudge (177113) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018664)

You know, it isn't the artist that creates the CD compilation. The recording studios can release the CDs with whatever songs they want, even if they do have filler songs just so they can "save some good ones for later".

Re:The People vs. The Music Industry (1)

ferat (971) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018672)

You know? I have never, and I mean *never*, encountered an album or a band where I can say I like (or, in most cases, can even stand to listen to) every song on the album/from the band.

I think the best I've ever encountered was about 2/3 of the album.

So, all told, its a valid argument (the wanting custom cd mixes). I only want those 12 songs I like from their last two albums, and have no great desire to get the rest. Its not really a matter of needing to find better bands, its just what they think is great music, I think is ass. It's just the way it is.

Re:The People vs. The Music Industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018705)

If you can even call Eminem and Limp Bizkit "artists".

I agree, though. I rarely buy an album that has more than 1 or 2 poor quality tracks. If you find artists that actually write their own music and play their own instruments and aren't whores of pop culture, you'll rarely be disappointed.

Re:The People vs. The Music Industry (2)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018477)

Are people aware that the music industry was dragged through court a few years ago for paying for retailers' advertising if they promised not to sell CDs under a certain price?

CDs could be way cheaper, but the industry has been caught a few times trying to make sure you dont remember what it was like to buy an album and get 7 good songs. 3 songs and 17 filler tracks is a much more profitable and easily 'constructed' model for them.

Re:The People vs. The Music Industry (2, Informative)

msimm (580077) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018576)

I had the same problem: $17 avg. cd with maybe 1 or 2 really good songs 1 or 2 so-so and 10 songs I didn't care for (back in my electronica days). Then it hit me...I didn't really like the music I was listening to..

I dumped my music selection down to just what I knew I liked and started searching for new stuff/styles.

I rediscovered 4ad Records, but now mostly I listen to indie ( [] [http] ) case your curious.

And not to plug them, but is all you can download for $9.99 a month and they actually have some good music... []

Re:The People vs. The Music Industry (1)

joweht (128960) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018674)

PS (Pre Script) How DID you know I was looking for a SQL for XML solution!

I remember writing a business plan for an online music catalog where you could create your own compilation CD back in 1992, and I am sure that I was not the only one. I even approached a few record companies with the idea, zero interest. They have treated their customers like shit for so long why should they be surprised when we hit the fan (to truly mangle some metaphors).

Well they have missed the boat on straight audio, but they could still do it with DVD compilations of Music Videos, (another business plan I have floating around that those dumb f***ks won't look at).

For straight audio sales the only model I can see working is a subscription based service , and even that would need a lot of addons to make it compelling against the P2P alternative.

A couple to start:

  • The ability to locate a song/track without knowing the artist or title but by the rough time that you heard it on the radio, and a quick RA preview to verify that that is the one.
  • MP3 Karaoke: Lyrics of every song that scroll in time to that song, sure that this needs a xml solution :)

The big question would be how to divvy up the loot, or more to the point who would do the Divvying , personally I would like to see it handled by a complete 3rd party, giving it direct to artists and producers, I have always thought the record companies claims about the cost of marketing talent are total BS, they must be the only industry where the people who do most of the advertising for their ware (the radio stations) actually pay THEM!

They'll never agree to it (2, Interesting)

Gorm the DBA (581373) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018424)

Although the article has what would seem to be a darned fine idea for how to handle the desires and do a test, the record labels will never agree to it.

Basic macroeconomics tells us that when supply goes up, price comes down (assuming demand stays constant...I'll discuss this in a moment), so if they suddenly released the X number of tracks currently locked away in their archives to be sold, the number of tracks available to be purchased would increase, and therefore the price per track would decrease.

Although this would seem to be a good thing, and in tune with economic theory, the Record Labels work as a cartel, wherein they receive artifically high profit margins by sharply restricting output (in this case, not so much raw numbers of CD's available as the number of different tracks available in the universe of CD's). So it is in their best interests to keep the "old" music locked away and unavailable/unpurchaseable, so people will spend $14.99 on the latest CD of the new hit group.

The other option would be to increase demand so that the increase in supply keeps pace. Unfortunately, that's much more difficult to do (Market theorists have worked for many years on demand side economic theories, and haven't managed to get it right yet), and therefore experiments are dangerous to the cartel.

so, in short...great idea that will never see the light of day...and the world is much the poorer for it.

Re:They'll never agree to it-subsets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018601)

" Basic macroeconomics tells us that when supply goes up, price comes down (assuming demand stays constant..."

Of course demand will not be constant, because there will be subsets that will not be interested in the larger "supply" available. Country music fans will not be interested in the rock, or classical part of the "supply". The same applies to all the other subsets you'll see. The aggragate price will be higher than if it was a straight, even dispersal of "demand" across the whole "supply"

Re:They'll never agree to it (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018675)

You forget that this argument only works when the tracks are homogenous goods. How does releasing tracks for artist X effect the supply of tracks from artist Y? Or does releasing really old tracks from artist X really compete with new tracks from artist X? I think you discount novelty and popular trends too mush. It is true that they are inconvenient economically speaking but they do factor into many people's utility curves. How many people really want to listen to music but don't care who it is by? (Not counting all those boy band crazed girls... )

If the tracks are not homogenous across artists (or time) then it is possible for the record companies to proceed with this plan and still make positive economic profits. They can do this by exploiting peoples preference for particular artists.

However I still don't see this happening with the prevalence of P2P networks. Effectively forcing the recording companies to compete with a competitor with zero Marginal Cost (there are still costs, but they are associated with individual decisions to use P2P and stray from traditional Industrial Organization's concepts or market size, entry, exit......) What the Recording companies need is to offer more then what P2P can. all the Bonus materials that are bundled with DVDs come to mind. (I realize that the solution is not so simple when your medium is plain old CDs)

Just my thoughts.

Garfunkle (too lazy to create an account)

misunderstanding (1)

imta11 (129979) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018427)

In her 5 point plan, where is the limitation to prevent a group purchace and share? She assumes the existence of secure media, with a single pay to play distribution point. The media will become free after the inital investor gives shares the media with only one who made no payment.

Maybe we don't need digital protection, we just need a scarcity mechanism. That is why people buy things in the first place...

Re:misunderstanding (5, Insightful)

Wah (30840) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018481)

Maybe we don't need digital protection, we just need a scarcity mechanism. That is why people buy things in the first place...

There is a scarcity mechanism. When media moves to an infinite product (there's more music out there than one could hear in a lifetime) the scarce object becomes the consumer's time. Saving the consumer time by building an efficient and convenient product produces the value.

Re:misunderstanding (2)

Kefaa (76147) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018544)

The media will become free after the inital investor gives shares the media with only one who made no payment.

Perhaps. However, it will also be far more difficult to claim the "unfairness of the RIAA" was the motivation.

Should you be found with illegal copies, it would be the same as being found with illegal copies of software. Should your machine be used as a repository, you would be designated a "dealer". Like drugs, a far worse crime.
In this way, the p2p network could be used to police itself. Not hacking your machine, merely locating it and reporting it to local authorities. While this may smack of "big brother" that fact that the system was open for consumption would appear (IANAL) to limit the claim to privacy.

Is it a perfect solution? No, however it is workable and a good start. One that could be refined as we went along.

Re:misunderstanding (3, Interesting)

evbergen (31483) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018607)

Sharing doesn't have to be prevented. Why would you think so? Only too much sharing should be prevented, and the way to do that is to make the value and cost balanced well enough so as not to force people to share -- simply because the price is way too high.

I don't understand your remark that we need a scarcity mechanism. The only way you can have artificial scarcity in a digital environment is by monstrosities like Hollings' SSSCA/TCPA.

Tke key here is that purchasing a download from the record companies should be more convenient than p2p sharing, because of more complete catalogues, earlier availability, and so on. The value provided for your money is the convenience, just that.

CDs can add more value in the non-digital domain, such as beautifully printed booklets with photographs and lyrics. Again, make it more convenient for the biggest part of the public to buy the CD than to reproduce the contents of the package by burning and printing.

It remains to be seen though wether content companies will want to remove their intellectual property from their balance sheets and keep their distribution network and recording and marketing experience as their only remaining assets. It doesn't seem very likely, but I still think it's the only solution that can be implemented without great harm to the general public (by taking away general purpose digital equipment from it and putting a monopoly over it in the hands of the content- and software industry).

However, it will probably take a while before the US government remembers it should act in the best long term interests of the overall public instead of some short term interests as presented to them by corporate lobbyists.

They will never get it... (0, Redundant)

D-Cypell (446534) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018428)

  • You can put protections on CDs...
  • You can threaten P2P client development companies with legal action...
  • You can pass laws allowing intrusion into PC's and removal of copyrighted material
But it is simple as this... If something exists in digital form, it will be cracked and copied across the internet... there is NO way to prevent it (and copyright holders and software companies have been trying for many many years). All you can do is find a new business model to make money from music and other digital media without relying directly on records sales.... so stop whining and get on with it!!

Re:They will never get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018650)

actually they just need to be nice to their customers, they dont have to stop piracy or even attack it much. people producing cds illegally for sale should still be nailed obvisousely. but forget about the napster kids/adults. the reason they use p2p is that its the only option. their service could work, if they leave off the restrictions. if i download a song because i purchased it, i should have it forever.

if its reliable, easy, cheap and allows for freedom, people will use it. if not, then free is going to beat them.

they also have this misunderstanding that people wiill spend more money on entertainment if they cannot get free music. nooooo, most people have a budget for that, because they cannot download that song, they are not going to go out and buy it everytime. they need make their end more efficient, not expect me to spend more money

It is the Jew, plain and simple (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018435)

Have you ever noticed how the Jews are at the forefront of those trying to restrict our rights. Know your enemy. Study this list of Jews trying to destroy your freedom:
  • Rosen
  • Coble
  • Berman
  • Eisner
  • Redstone
The Jews never create anything. They are the parasites who wedge themselves between the the producer and the consumer. The Jew takes a slice of every pie that passes by. What the Jew hates is that the Internet is cutting him off from his host. The artists can now distribute directly to their fans. The Internet has made the Jew irrelevant. So the Jew tries to buy the politician to do his bidding. The Jew tries to get bought politicians to pass bogus regulations in order to maintain Jew hegemony over the consumer.

Listen and learn about the Jew in this mp3 [] .

Re:It is the Jew, plain and simple (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018731)

Ralph ? Is that you ?

Bold, but false statement... (1)

prisen (578061) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018439)

And of everything we are taught, one issue is always paramount - in America, it is the people who rule.

This couldn't be more false, in my opinion. I have written, called, e-mailed, and written, called, and e-mailed again, my congresspeople and senators, and I have a stack of e-mails and letters all stating the same generic thing: "I agree with you, but here's how I feel, and why." What does it take to get results from the people that we voted into power? The efforts of people like myself seem to only hold back extreme pieces of legislature that would completely abolish any control of power by the people. I guess that I am just disappointed by the people we "hired" to be in our government. Even one of my reps stated over and over again that he would support Internet Radio and MP3. Now he firmly denies any claim. How similar are your representatives?

Re:Bold, but false statement... (2)

Mr.Intel (165870) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018719)

What does it take to get results from the people that we voted into power?

One of the hardest questions to answer in the American Republic. Perhaps it would help if we realized how difficult it is for the people to understand the perspective of their elected representatives. Most reps were elected because the majority of their district agreed with their veiws enough to vote for them. Or conversely, they disagreed with their rival(s) enough to want to vote for any one else. This causes the electee to take a very 'don't rock the boat' way of doing business on the hill. They don't want to make very many waves with their constituents or at least compared to their apparent rivals. Add that to the fact that most American's have a very short attention span when it comes to politics, they only have to be really careful around election time. During an off year, like this one, they tend to be more controversial because the people by and large will forget when their time to re-run is up. This is what the reps see (mostly).

Assuming that all the people are voting their conscience and putting aside all consipiracy theories about how the system is broken, we would see that the people are just getting what they asked for. If we elect corrupt representatives, we will get corrupt laws. Too bad it's not that simple.

IP laws have come into fruition only since the widespread use of digital technology has increased. The same technology that makes it easier for producers to author their works, makes it easier to transport, copy and store them. As was pointed out in Ms. Ian's article, the industry response has been to attempt control through legislation. That has proven to only infuriate the people as is evidenced by a decrease in their sales and an increase in their use of P2P software to obtain music. While I don't mean to directly coorespond the two, it is an interesting coincidence nontheless.

Janis Speaks well... (4, Insightful)

TibbonZero (571809) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018440)

"And of everything we are taught, one issue is always paramount - in America, it is the people who rule"

This is a good point, it's about the majority in this country (or it's "supposed" to be). The Artists and record companies are the minority, the people should have some say. The Artists themselves should definately have some say. I am in the industry, so my livelyhood depends on the record sales and stuff as well, an I am not for stealing, but I am definately sgainst he MPAA/RIAA types.

The industry is still operating under laws and concepts developed during the 1930's and 1940's, before cassettes, before boom boxes, before MP3 and file-sharing and the Internet. It's far easier to insist that all new technologies be judged under old laws, than to craft new laws that embrace all existing technologies. It's much easier to find a scapegoat, than to examine your own practices. As they say, "You can't get fired for saying no."

Janis is also very right in saying that the way that the industry is set up is old, based off a model from the 30's and 40's. We don't use any other markets in the same way that we did in the 30's and 40's, so why should we for music and entertainment.

Re:Janis Speaks well... (1)

haa...jesus christ (576980) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018490)

The Artists and record companies are the minority, the people should have some say.

We do have some say.

Don't buy their records.

This is a market economy- if you want something (or a system surrounding something) to go away, don't support it and it usually will. or am i just being hopelessly naive?

Re:Janis Speaks well... (2)

TibbonZero (571809) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018503)

that's what I am saying.. :)

Bravo, Janis. (5, Interesting)

wirefarm (18470) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018458)

Those of us over 30 certainly know her stuff, the old stuff anyway, but I wonder how well-known she was to younger people before this.
She's got downloads of her stuff on the site, without any DRM nonsense attached. Bravo.
She's been on Daypop's blogging top 40 for weeks - by sheer cluefulness, she's probably expanded her audience considerably. She's honest and open and candid. She speaks as one who's seen every aspect of the business since starting as a 15 year old with a controvercial song, way back when.
I would guess that I won't be the only one paying a lot more attention to what she says.

Any chance we can get her to run for Senator?

Jim in Tokyo

Re:Bravo, Janis. (2)

Maran (151221) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018668)

"Any chance we can get her to run for Senator?"

Well, we've already got the senators for Disney et al, so I don't see why we can't try and bribe^H^H^H^H^H pursuade her to be the senator for Slashdot.


Berman wants r00t...not while I'm around! (4, Informative)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018462)

Ms. Ian strikes again with a great idea. Put all the out-of-print music on an industry-built website and use micropayments for downloading! Great freakin' idea. Considering that a lot of people search P2P sites for music that is out of print or otherwise unavailable, this is great.

I found out something interesting this weekend: Representative Howard Berman is indeed my representative. (He doesn't represent me or my views but that's just my dumb luck for living in this part of the San Fernando Valley...) Anyway, he will be holding a Town Hall meeting HERE:

Thursday, August 8th, at 6pm

At Sepulveda Middle School Auditorium
At the corner of Plummer and Sepulveda.
Anyway, if anybody lives in the East San Fernando Valley, this would be the opportunity to confront Berman over his MPAA/RIAA hax0r bill.

Re:Berman wants r00t...not while I'm around! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018752)

It would also be a good day to bring a cannon that shoots band boy cds melted into a a bust of hillary rosen at him, fnord!

In not so distant future (4, Funny)

af_robot (553885) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018468)

This article off of Janis Ian's site lashes out at the RIAA for "wanting to control everything that the consumer will purchase"

RIAA pre-crime cop:
- We've got a signal that you was downloading banned so-called P2P software. You're under arrest for future illegal download. Your're supposed to download unlicensed Britney Spears song in less than four hours. The fact that we prevented it from happening doesn't change the fact that it was going to happen.

Who is Janis Ian again? (2, Interesting)

sielwolf (246764) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018478)

I really gotta ask because she has about as much push in the industry as I do (read: none). Now you might say that she is an influential founder of the sound of blah-blah-blah in the era of the 70's/60's/whenever folk/blues but the current problem is this:

None of the large, influential artists of today are making statements like this. Courtney Love? What, between her "acting" and holding back Nirvana material? Yeah, she is a great advocate to have for P2P... Even the loudest voices are a) still on the industry teat and b) not making any waves other than a post to their website.

And then there is the problem of the Metallicas and Dr Dre's of the world (read: the bands people would listen to if they spoke out) are on the side of the RIAA.

Don't just blame them. A lot of more "with it" artists aren't on the free and open bandwagon. Missy Elliot, the Beastie Boys, and the Chemical Brothers are all notorious for not licensing their material for sampling and willing to fight to protect it. Do you expect any of them to jump for a reasonable P2P system?

They might all be for a free Tibet but as long as it doesn't mess with them getting paid.

So what will happen:
1. RIAA will push out their P2P solution.
2. It will fail.
3. Free P2P will continue to thrive, above the levels of old ratio MP3 ftp sites (remember those days?) but below the heyday of Napster.
4. The industry and its top 100 artists will pat each other on the back and present gifts of ivory backscratchers to each other for a job well done.

Re:Who is Janis Ian again? (1)

csnydermvpsoft (596111) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018721)

The problem is, any artist that has clout in the indrustry is also the artist that would benefit the most from DRM.

The only way I can think that we can get anything going is a grassroots campaign. Unfortunately, with soft money not going away any time soon (the campaign finance "reform" bill was watered down with loopholes), politicians are only listening to the pocketbooks.

First mover advantage to Janis (1)

Aliks (530618) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018484)

Well I checked Janis Ian's site and the Heart of the City track is playing as I type this.

Its not /.ed !

Which makes me think that they knew a deluge of activity was heading their way and got ready for it. Way to go!!

It seems to me Janis will get massive goodwill out of this and massive exposure, and hopefully a reasonable profit.

The first artists to promote their work and beliefs in the same way can expect similar. Lets hope there is a rush of converts!

If the commons like what you are doing, the benefits will follow.

One problem with the music industry: (1)

Boss, Pointy Haired (537010) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018508)

Crap songs.

The reason I've given up buying CDs is because most of the songs are crap. This seems to be what happens:

New band makes really good couple of records. Get noticed, get sucked in by record company.

Record company thinks "$$$$" so need album. Lock new band in recording studio for 2 days whilst they come up with 10 really crap filler tracks.

Release album with 2 decent tracks and 10 really crap filler tracks.

And then, stone me, people start P2P the two decent tracks because they don't want to pay $15 for a CD full of crap filler tracks.

I think (could be wrong).

winds of change (3, Insightful)

jo-do-cus (597235) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018519)

Movie companies sued over VCR manufacturing and blank video sales, with Jack Valenti (Motion Picture Association of America chairman) testifying to Congress that the VCR is to the movie industry what the Boston Strangler is to a woman alone at night - and yet, video sales now account for more industry profit than movies themselves.

Like the movie industry did with VCR, I think the music business will have to try and live with things like files sharing and the internet. Copyright laws should change to incorporate it too. At the moment money-hungry companies and lobby-controlled governments are trying very very hard to stop/control/forbid these new kinds of information exchange, while (IMHO) it is embarrasingly obvious that the current structures for enforcing and earning money from copyrights will break down. You just cannot stop these changes from happening.

It might not be entirely clear yet how to make money with open source software, or how to use p2p file sharing in the music industry, but i think it will become clear. If not, the industry will break down and something new will appear. This has occurred in history many times, and it will occur again.

For now, i (want to) believe in open source. As for the music industry: i'm not sure yet...

Impulse Buys (3, Insightful)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018521)

I recentlyheard a song on the radio and thought I'd like to have a copy on CD. It was only available on single CD, not on an album. Cost of the CD for the one song I wanted - 5.99 euros (thta's pretty much equal to $5.99 at the moment). Did I buy it? Hell no! I wasn't going to pay 6 euros just for one song i wanted to listen to. Did I burn it? Nope. I just reasoned that after a while I'd be bored with the song anyway so why waste the money on it. However, when buying cheap second-hand CDs, I've often made lots of impulse buys - $5 - $7 for a Cd of songs wasn't too bad and I've often found new bands that way. If CD singles were closer to the $1 or $2 price, I'd probably buy a lot as impulse buys. For $6, I wouldn't waste the money.

Similarly, give me cheap downloads and I'll rpobably end up spending a whole lot more in the long run for no extra cost to the company supplying the products as I'll download 50 cheap songs before I'll download one expensive one!

Very nice (2, Interesting)

paranoidia (472028) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018545)

I really think that the idea of songs for a quarter or a nickel really could work for the RIAA. Sure people are posting that there are still P2P networks and that idea would have worked pre-napster, but I think it still could. The problem with most P2P networks is that you really have no promisses about what you get, or how fast you get it. Usually with songs they are fair rips and are titled correctly. But imagine a site where you had loads of bandwidth, and had every new song (and old) out there. I'd pay money to have access to that. They could have good rips in a variety of formats, and also track better what people are really listening to.

What would I pay? I'd probably pay upto around 5 bucks a month. That's 60 a year, and get enough subscribers, I don't see the problem. Bandwidth costs could be covered easily and you really don't lose a whole lot. That is except the enormous profits from CD sales, what this really is all about. But you could offer so much on a website like this, music videos, interviews, bands could keep websites up there. At least we have one coherant writter among our point of view, which I'm so pleased about. For people who don't RTFA, she got over 2200 emails, and responded to every one. Even got her account suspended twice for spamming while she was responding back. Insane.

weak analogy (0)

wuchang (524603) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018562)

you can't compare mp3 sharing with "bottled water" and "starbucks". when was the last time you made a free copy of your bottle of water or cup of coffee?

Re:weak analogy (1)

shepd (155729) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018641)

>when was the last time you made a free copy of your bottle of water or cup of coffee?

When I used the public water fountain to fill my water bottle. And when I made the free coffee by using the water from the company water fountain and my co-workers coffee mix. :-)

Re:weak analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018666)

When I was experimenting with my top secret cloning dev...

er, maybe I shouldn't have said that.

Re:weak analogy (1)

schon (31600) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018678)

when was the last time you made a free copy of your bottle of water or cup of coffee?

This morning, in the staff room. My employer pays for it, so it's free to me.

Which was kind of her point.

Not that weak. (2)

dmaxwell (43234) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018708)

She is proposing that the labels offer their out-of-print catalogue in a high quality, well organized and correctly labeled open format. I'd LOVE to be able to be able to find high quality obscure jazz tunes on the likes of Gnutella and FastTrack but it just doesn't happen. Even if you do find what you are looking for, it's probably an old 128kbit rip that was made the abominable Xing encoder. Pay a quarter to immediately download a correctly labeled, sanely encoded (HQ LAME VBR preset or 160 avg kbit vorbis) track that won't cut off half way through the download? Just where do I sign up? Something like that beats "free" by a long shot.

It's all about control (4, Insightful)

swm (171547) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018584)

Ian gets this part right
  1. Control. The music industry is no different from any other huge corporation...When faced with a new technology...that will revolutionize their business, their response is...

    a. Destroy it. And if they cannot,
    b. Control it. And if they cannot,
    c. Control the consumer...

and control is why the music industry will never implement her "modest proposal": if it succeeds, then they lose control of the market, and with it their monoploy profits.

For further analysis along these lines, see
How The Internet Will Make The Record Labels Evaporate [] .

Now all we need... (2)

altgrr (593057) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018599) a few more artists to rally behind Janis Ian. Remember when artists were split pro/anti Napster? Well, it'd be good to see the same kind of thing happening over the RIAA in general. However, I can't help thinking that the pro-Napster bands were, at least partly, doing it for the image.

Re:Now all we need... (0)

EMDischarge (589758) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018744)

Two bands, two different stances:

Pro-Napster: Limp Bizkit
Anti-Napster: Metallica

What else did you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018614)

After all, she learned the truth at seventeen!

hmmm.... (1)

natefaerber (143261) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018615)

Offers to help me convert to Linux: 16

Damn /.'ers

How times change (1)

yatest5 (455123) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018673)

Wow, last time it was "Janis Ian, famous songwriter and artist", sad how times change

Might As Well Mod Myself Redundant.... (1)

Vengie (533896) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018686)

Cost of Optimum Online: ~$50.00/month
Cost of Downloading MP3/Ogg Vorbis/WMA(ack) From proposed Site: ~$0.25
Not Having to Wait for someone's queue to free up on the Fast Track Network, and actually being able to use the 400k/sec or so I can reliably get downstream: Priceless

A Better Revenue Model (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4018690)

A Better Revenue Model is an "all-you-can-eat" supscription, much like cable TV or internet access. This will generate much more revenue for the industry - people will get used to paying $19.95 or $29.95 each month for all the music they want to download or stream. The industry will have steady, manageable revenue and their grosses will be higher than they ever have been. And people will have no reason whatsoever to go to P2P unless they absolutely refuse to pay for anything.

How many of you pay-per-viewed a movie this week? But I bet most of you watched something on cable; and probably stuff you wouldn't have watched if you had to pay .99 cents. (please don't let this be a debate about shitty TV - but last night it was me and Playmate Dog Eat Dog.)

If your broadband access was metered at $1/hr, would you use it as much as you do or would you be very careful, and some days not use it at all? I remember the days of CompuServe at $8/hr. You got on and off as rapidly as possible. The fact that they didn't change that in time is why it's not called CompuServe Time Warner now.

Just my .99 cents.

My Favorite Part... (2)

Ivan Raikov (521143) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018706)

...Glad someone has the guts to say it.

3. The American Dream. The promises all of us are made, tacitly or otherwise, throughout our lives as Americans. The dream we inherit as each successive generation enters grade school - that we will be freer than our grandparents, more successful than our parents, and build a better world for our own children. The promises made by our textbooks, our presidents, and our culture, throughout the course of our childhoods: Fair pay for a day's work, and the right to strike. The right to leave a job that doesn't satisfy, or is abusive. Freedom from indentured servitude. The premise that every citizen is allowed a vote, and no one will ever be called "slave" again. The promise that libraries and basic education in this country are free, and will stay so. These are not ideas I came up with on the spur of the moment; this is what we're taught, by the culture we grow up in. And of everything we are taught, one issue is always paramount - in America, it is the people who rule. It is the people who determine our government. We elect our legislators, so they will pass laws designed for us. We elect and pay the thousands of judges, policemen, civil servants who implement the laws we elect our officials to pass. It is the promise that our government supports the will of the people, and not the will of big business, that makes this issue so damning - and at the same time, so hope-inspiring. When Disney are permitted to threaten suit against two clowns who dare to make mice out of three balloons and call them "Mickey", the people are not a part of it. When Senator Hollings accepts hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from entertainment conglomerates, then pretends money has nothing to do with his stance on downloading as he calls his own constituents "thieves", the people are not involved. When Representatives Berman and Coble introduce a bill allowing film studios and record companies to "disable, block or otherwise impair" your computer if they merely suspect you of file-trading, by inserting viruses and worms into your hard drive, it is the people who are imperiled. And when the CEO of RIAA commends this bill [] as an "innovative approach to combating the serious problem of Internet piracy," rather than admitting that it signifies a giant corporate step into a wasteland even our government security agencies dare not enter unscathed, the people are not represented. (Hilary Rosen, in a statement quoted by Farhad Manjoo, June 2002)

Perfect (2)

Mansing (42708) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018714)

No one could have stated the issues better, and with more credibility.

And no one could present the statistics that torpedos the RIAA faster.

I bought CDs until... (5, Funny)

MarvinMouse (323641) | more than 12 years ago | (#4018748)

The day I went into a music store and it was cheaper to purchase a DVD Movie by $5 then a CD.

You can purchase DVDs now for approx $14.99CAN (approx $8.00US), while CDs still average approx $19.99CAN (approx $11.00US). (This is an average I calculated by going to Walmarts, HMVs, Music Citys, and a few other shops that sell both, and adding up and working out the average. Just so you are aware, music stores get really suspicious of people with graphical calculators. I had to explain to far too many clerks that I am just a mathematician and sometimes even show them my university ID so they would believe me.)

Now, is it just me, or is this absurd? I can buy a DVD that has sound, video, and usually lasts about twice as long (with all the special features) then a CD for less then the CD costs me...

For some reason I don't think the RIAA is hiring mathematicians or economists, just more lawyers.
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