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Don't Sever A High-Tech Lifeline for Musicians

Hemos posted more than 11 years ago | from the leaning-on-things dept.

The Courts 485

Licensed2Hack writes "Janis Ian, who provided this slashdot interview last September, has written this editorial in the Los Angeles Times. Janis says, "After I first posted downloadable music, my merchandise sales went up 300%. They're still double what they were before the MP3s went online." And the RIAA's stated goal in preventing this type of activity with their lawsuit against Verizon is to increase sales..."

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first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213058)

fp motherfuckers!

first POST! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213059)

damn i am good

Re:first POST! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213072)

umm... no... that would be second post... stupid fucker... can't even count.

you make me sick (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213061)

The worst spacial incident in recorded history just occurred and you people are talking about high-tech lifelines for musicians?!?! My GOD, people, GET SOME BLOODY PRIORITIES!

Re:you make me sick (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213069)

spacial incident?

someone bought a desk thats too big for their room?

Re:you make me sick (0, Offtopic)

Scud_the_disposable_ (639695) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213083)

recorded history? what about the challenger? how is this worse?

Re:you make me sick (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213088)

No, no. It's a "special" incident. The person saying it just has such a bad accent that they even type that way...

I'll leave it up to you as to what "special" means..

To be fair (5, Insightful)

martyn s (444964) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213067)

I'm all in favor of free downloads (not only do I believe in it, I practice it!). But to be fair, her sales probably don't reflect the average struggling not-so-famous musician since she's in the spotlight because of the whole mp3 controversy. I bet if she hadn't come out about mp3s her sales wouldn't be doing any better.

Of course, I just realized, her sales probably went up before she even made any public statements about it. Hmm, interesting.

Re:To be fair (1, Redundant)

Gortbusters.org (637314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213122)

Nothing that is so, is so.... The corporations would lead you to believe that the music downloads are crippling their industry. Examples like this show that to be more false than true. This artist has enjoyed a spot light, and some of her success might be atributed to the marketing through the MP3 controversy. So, where is the truth? One theory I might suggest is that the business model is flawed. Perhaps the technology is also outdated. Why aren't they selling DVDs filled with music videos, interviews, lyrics, kareokee(sp?) and what not rather than simple music CDs for so much?

Is Janis the only one who knows how to rip MP3s? (2, Insightful)

GGardner (97375) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213166)

I don't get the logic here. Artist posts MP3s on a website, and sales go up. At any time before that, anyone could have ripped her CDs, and distributed it on napster, kazaa, gnutella, etc. etc. Why didn't sales go up then?

Re:Is Janis the only one who knows how to rip MP3s (2)

Klowner (145731) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213221)

Sales were up, then napster got shut down and they started dropping, so of course they blamed the drop on all the other P2P networks.

Re:To be fair (3, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213224)

Sure, if you're not that well-known distributing your music as MP3s can increase sales. But large RIAA acts don't have the problem; they rely on radio and music videos to let people listen to their music. If you'd downloading Britney Spears latest mp3, it's probably not because you're curious as to what it sounds like. You're most likely doing it because you don't want to pay for the album.

Re:To be fair (-1, Offtopic)

Cheesemeister (576080) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213247)

http://www.hardocp.com

no shit (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213068)

1) people sample music
2) they like it and buy the cd
3) profit

Re:no shit (5, Insightful)

quintessent (197518) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213147)

The problem the RIAA has with this:

Being able to hear the music means you'll buy music that you really like, rather than what has the sexiest photographer putting the CD together or the most advertising behind it.

It means people will begin to use their own judgement and initiative to choose what they really like.

And that means you might buy something from a non-RIAA distributor.

Nice... (1)

PetWolverine (638111) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213150)

I just posted a rather lengthy reply to the article below, then read yours and realized something: Brevity can be a virtue.

Well put, sir (or madam).

Re:no shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213179)

You mean:

1) people sample music
2) they like it and do a kazaa search for the rest of the mp3s from the album
3) they burn them to a CD
4) they put them on an mp3 player
5) they play them in their home stereo
6) they go out and buy something else with *recording industry and/or artist here"'s lost profit

but in a perfect world (1)

SHEENmaster (581283) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213185)

1) people buy the cd
2) people are pissed off and return it
3) ???
4) profit!

Re:no shit (1)

littlerubberfeet (453565) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213191)

Brevity is good. No Shit, thats what I do. If I like a person's songs that I downloaded, I go buy the CD so I can enjoy the 44.1 CD fidelity.

OK, so now that we all agree the RIAA is flawed, what are we going to do about it? OK, the slashdot crowd more or less agrees. What about the other 300 million people who listen to pop music? We can bitch in our sheltered world of /. but that wont help in the long run. I pose a question: What will we do to change the RIAA and the public that unwittingly supports them?

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213071)

Fifth Post!

Re:FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213075)

actually, yours is the sixth post.

you fail.

Re:FP (0, Offtopic)

Dr_Banzai (111657) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213078)

Thank you for this insightful commentary.

Re:FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213133)

thank you for thanking me for the insightful commentary.

IN SOVIET RUSSIA... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213073)

The MUSIC DOWNLOADS YOU!

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213084)

you cant afford music 'cause I have to pay off the corupt officals and ex-KGB turned ganster muthers that rape the country on the daily basis

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213092)

Well why not walk down to the corner store and get yourself some vodka you fucking lush. Fuck you and your shit hole country.

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213187)

and you are a waste of atoms!

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213091)

No, in Soviet Russia, MY LAUGHING makes THAT JOKE NO LONGER!

Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213243)

Oh, would you shut the fuck up already.

Janis Ian might have a few problems with this.. (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213076)

Dear Sir:

I'd like know what the red, pus-engorged streaks on my balls are. They rose up after I had sex with a plate of Thai food. Do you think the curry might be having a reaction with my equipment? I do have allergies to peanuts.

Thanks a bunch,
Red Stained in Rockford


Dear Red Stained in Rockford,

The red streaks on what we in the medical field call your "ballzack", are typical of allergic reactions to sex with food containing peanuts. However, the pus-engorgment is not. I suspect you probably let your dog or cat nibble the curry sauce off your equipment (as I usually do), and he or she probably accidently nipped you in the buds, as it were.

I suggest you take about 20 benadryls and soak your scrotum in hydrogen peroxide (use a 6% solution, not the usual pussy 3%). And since you do have allergies to peanuts, try to go with Mexican food instead of southeast Asian food, for future reference.

The Bottom Line (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213085)

nobody (under 60) knew who the fuck janis ian is, and now this bitch is making money by bitching to the slashbots.

only in america.

Re:The Bottom Line (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213102)

Who is Janis Ian?

Probably some old bitch I couldn't care less about.

I keep saying this, but nobody listens (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213087)

At the moment, most people only have dial up modems. A dial up user can download an individual song, but it is too difficult to download a whole album without alot of time and effort. A dial up user will download a single Mp3 from an album, and then go out and buy the album - it's kind of like free advertising. The RIAA knows this. But the RIAA is thinking ahead.
In a few years time when broadband is standard, that same user would instead download an individual song, like it, and then download the whole album in less time than it takes a dialup user to download a single mp3.
Song-swapping encourages album purchases because it's still too difficult for many people to download whole albums with their slow connection speeds. This will change with the arrival of broadband. And when downloading a whole album becomes dead easy, album sales will fall off, alot.

Re:I keep saying this, but nobody listens (5, Insightful)

Diamondback (111383) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213108)

one problem:

yeah, okay, 'most people' have modems.

but a lot of people in the 'young adult' (I mean recently adult, not teenager) category are in college, and most colleges have massive broadband penetration (almost everyone around here off campus has broadband, and EVERYONE in the dorms with a computer has it). That compounds the 'it's too hard to get a whole album' theory.

I can hop on windows networking and find giant massive piles of whole albums to listen to without even 'downloading' a thing in the classical sense.

Re:I keep saying this, but nobody listens (4, Interesting)

pyite (140350) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213125)

You make a very convincing argument. However, evidence proves you wrong. I mention in another post how many bands develop a huge fanbase while releasing few, if any, albums, and never being broadcasted on the radio. Why? They allow free recording and distribution of their live shows.

While pop today is liked by people because it's shoved down their throats, music like I mentioned only sticks around if people like it on its own merits, only then does it get "passed on." You can't put a price on viral marketing like that.

If you want free music, go here.

Re:I keep saying this, but nobody listens (0, Troll)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213130)

The "free advertising" argument is ridiculous, absolutely doesn't hold water, and is something I'm getting tired of hearing.

Whether you like it or not, stealing music is stealing music is stealing music. If the song is not owned by you, and you are not explicitly told that you can download it for free, you should not download it. If you don't know about the band, don't buy the album. It's really very simple. If everyone started playing by the rules and acting like conscious consumers instead of mindless pop-addled sheep people, the RIAA would hang itself. Everyone would hear the same crappy song on the radio again and again and think "gee - I wonder if the other songs on the album are good". Then they would think "Well, I can't justify $20 for a CD that I've only hear 1/12 of" and they wouldn't buy it. Record sales and piracy would drop like a rock simultaneously, and the RIAA would be forced to admit that they control shitty music, and unless they start making GOOD music at a REASONABLE price, they're going to be eating out of garbage cans for the rest of their lives.

No one is listening to what you keep saying because you're argument is ridiculous...

Re:I keep saying this, but nobody listens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213153)

Their argument is ridiculous?

You say "If you haven't heard of the band, don't buy the album". And then go on to say "Then they would think "Well, I can't justify $20 for a CD that I've only hear 1/12 of" and they wouldn't buy it."

How exactly will people be exposed to new music if they only way they can legally access it is via what the record companies choose to distribute? There will always be the mindless sheep, you can't simply remove them from the equation. So the record companies will keep urning a profit, we'll have less access to diffrent music, and teenie bopper junk will continue to be the norm (until whatever the next lot of execs decide will the "the thing").

Re:I keep saying this, but nobody listens (1)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213199)

There will always be the mindless sheep, you can't simply remove them from the equation

And THAT is the root of most problems my friend. Regardless of whether you like or not, you are being fucked by the stupid people.

It is NOT your job to "expose people to new music". But let me clarify my actual position: I personally have nothing against someone downloading a compressed file for the purposes of sampling a group. Don't like it? Delete it. Like it? Go buy the album. I won't give dirty looks.

HOWEVER, the fact remains that it is still ILLEGAL to do that. Maybe you think it shouldn't be, maybe you think it should be - but it is. Don't like it? Too bad. By continuing to download illegal media, you're merely playing into the hands of the RIAA. They get to scream bloody murder about lost sales (and yes - I blame THEM and their shit-stinking "music" for their plummeting sales) and the courts will look more favorably on TIGHTER restrictions. As if it weren't bad enough that they have the money to buy new laws, pirates are giving them the "MORAL" ground in the eyes of the dumbass courts.

The point is: SHARING COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL IS ILLEGAL UNDER MOST CIRCUMSTANCES. If you don't like it, buy indie or support local, unsigned groups and fight the good fight against the RIAA in the meantime. You're not going to help anyone but Rosen and her cronies by downloading and sharing more media.

Re:I keep saying this, but nobody listens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213154)

The "free advertising" argument is ridiculous, absolutely doesn't hold water, and is something I'm getting tired of hearing.

Whether you like it or not, stealing music is stealing music is stealing music. If the song is not owned by you, and you are not explicitly told that you can download it for free, you should not download it. If you don't know about the band, don't buy the album. It's really very simple. If everyone started playing by the rules and acting like conscious consumers instead of mindless pop-addled sheep people, the RIAA would hang itself. Everyone would hear the same crappy song on the radio again and again and think "gee - I wonder if the other songs on the album are good". Then they would think "Well, I can't justify $20 for a CD that I've only hear 1/12 of" and they wouldn't buy it. Record sales and piracy would drop like a rock simultaneously, and the RIAA would be forced to admit that they control shitty music, and unless they start making GOOD music at a REASONABLE price, they're going to be eating out of garbage cans for the rest of their lives.

No one is listening to what you keep saying because you're argument is ridiculous...

Re:I keep saying this, but nobody listens (1)

jdkincad (576359) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213192)

If you don't know about the band, don't buy the album. It's really very simple.

But what if I want to know more about a band that doesn't get radio play. I can either ponetially waste money by buying their album, or download a couple of songs. If I don't like the songs they get deleted, if I do I buy the damn album.

P2P and mp3s are tremendous exposure for non-RIAA bands/labels. And probably why the RIAA wants to kill P2P the most.

Re:I keep saying this, but nobody listens (1)

PetWolverine (638111) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213201)

Sorry, but the free advertising argument holds water. I would not have bought the last 100 CDs I bought if I hadn't been able to sample the music online first. The original poster's argument about broadband is also flawed; I and most of my friends have broadband, and we all buy much more music than we otherwise would because we can sample it first via P2P systems.

That's anecdotal evidence, I know. But there's no hard evidence out there that disagrees with it, and until there is I take the evidence available to me as telling the story.

As far as "stealing music is stealing music is stealing music", I would say that if the supposed victim of my crime is actually benefiting by my actions, then no crime has been committed.

The RIAA's attempts to suppress P2P file-sharing are short-sighted attempts to preserve the status quo, without realizing that the situation threatening to replace it is much better, even for them.

Re:I keep saying this, but nobody listens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213233)

"stealing music is stealing music is stealing music"

besides, who is stealing from whom? the entertainment and publishing industries have and will continue to steal from the public commons by lobbying for legislation that benefits them, not most of the rest of society.

so when the CTEA is repealed, the DMCA softenend, and future entertainment/publishing industry sponsored legislation is shot down, maybe then i'll be able to tell when i'm *stealing* by downloading. as it is, we are merely taking back a piece of the pie that all consumers are owed.

Re:I keep saying this, but nobody listens (5, Insightful)

fobbman (131816) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213165)

First off, nobody's listening to you because you're posting AC. Anyway...

There has always been an element of people who never bought their music for as long as home-recordable media has been available. My dad used to borrow LP's and record them on reel-to-reel, and, later, I copied friends tapes on cassette. The important issue here is that the vast majority of people out there (you know, the non-Slashdot folks) who aren't going to copy music. Sure, some of them will, but you'd be surprised how important that pretty little book that's inside the CD is to people. They may download enough to make their own CD, but they won't have THE CD.

If the pretty CD booklet isn't enough, then do what groups like Audioslave do and make extra songs available for download to those who own the CD. Either way, the overwhelming majority of folks who buy music are still going to buy it. That is, as long as the product isn't crap and they don't feel like they're being ripped off due to overly-inflated prices.

Re:I keep saying this, but nobody listens (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213193)

First off, nobody's listening to you because you're posting AC. Anyway...
And yet you're replying, interesting.

So on dumb stories (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213089)

... are we just going to go nuts and write random shit in the message boards?

I think its kinda funny what some of you post.

Cheers!
Anon

Re:So on dumb stories (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213161)

you're new here, aren't you?

On the mark... (4, Insightful)

mat catastrophe (105256) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213090)

This piece really hits the mark in a very roundabout sort of way. The RIAA is not, by any means, interested in "sales" or "artist's livelihood." What the RIAA is interested in is keeping a very tight rein on what is seen as cool, what is heard on the radio, and what makes their profit margins exceed their own expectations.

RIAA wants to stop peer-to-peer through actions like its lawsuit against Verizon because those actions threaten their stranglehold on commercial music. As I've often said before, plenty of people think that radio and music in general truly suck in these days and times (how many people do you know that haven't bought a "new artist" cd in the last five years, perferring to spend $11.98 on "Skynard's Greatest Hits" or what ever?)

Re:On the mark... (2, Insightful)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213124)

As I've often said before, plenty of people think that radio and music in general truly suck in these days and times (how many people do you know that haven't bought a "new artist" cd in the last five years, perferring to spend $11.98 on "Skynard's Greatest Hits" or what ever?)

The demands that the labels place on their artists to re-create the success of a smash debut have a lot to do with this. Rather than build a legacy of quality, the labels rush the artist to reproduce whatever the artist did in their first album and then slam it out on the streets to while the artist is "hot". How many acts that danced to this tune have had a followup album worth the plastic it's pressed on?
Not everyone has drunk the Koolaid. Bands like Pearl Jam, Phish and P.E., and performers like Prince, have the balls and knowledge to flip off the suits and build long, profitable careers. It seems these days that such things happen despite of, and not because of, the management of the major record labels.

Re:On the mark... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213213)

Pearl Jam had ONE good album.
-The rest is crap.

Phish had 0 good albums.
-The whole lot is crap.

Prince is an amazing songwriter.
-He should stick to writing.

Re:On the mark... (1)

wayward_son (146338) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213135)

Amen, brother. I think I have bought only 3 new major label CD's in the past few years, all from bands I already knew and liked.

I have, however bought plenty of local and indy stuff.

Re:On the mark... (3, Interesting)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213239)

As I've often said before, plenty of people think that radio and music in general truly suck in these days and times (how many people do you know that haven't bought a "new artist" cd in the last five years, perferring to spend $11.98 on "Skynard's Greatest Hits" or what ever?)

You do, of course, realize that this is pure, unadulterated nonsense, don't you? Throughout the history of time people have frozen their tastes at a certain period of time, and from thenceforth assured anyone and everyone that music had gone to hell in a handbasket. This sort of personal time lock gets justified by claims that everything just isn't as good as it used to be. If you don't think it's happened for decades, if not centuries, then you are deluding himself. When Beethoven first started his piano concertos the elites assured themselves that this newfangled contraption was but a lowly passing fancy...it just didn't measure up to the harpsichord. Rinse, repeat.

I agree completely. (5, Informative)

DarkHand (608301) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213095)

I agree! If it weren't for sites like MP3.com, my band Flailing Kitten would have never gotten off the ground; the 'industry' would never accept it. :) The RIAA is afraid of losing control of music in general and the profits that follow; that's what's got them so scared.

Re:I agree completely. (5, Funny)

yuckf00 (644870) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213137)

Nice plug.

Idea to help indie artists... (5, Interesting)

anthonyrcalgary (622205) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213097)

Couldn't artists who use online file sharing as a form of advertisement sue the RIAA for curtailing their activities?

I know the law in the US allows them to disable file sharing computers without worrying about damages, but would it protect them from damage it causes other people with secondary effects such as that?

so wait... You're telling me that all I have to do (4, Funny)

einer (459199) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213098)

Is accuse someone of pirating music, and the "machinery is set in motion."?

Well, I have a short list of people who I believe have been pirating music:

Hillary Rosen
George W. Bush
William Jefferson Clinton
Gandhi
Carrot Top
Ann Coulter
Jesse Jackson
The Dell Dude
mathew lesko (The question mark guy selling the book on how to get free government money)
Rick Fox (from the Lakers...)

Re:so wait... You're telling me that all I have to (2, Funny)

jdkincad (576359) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213143)

What did Gandhi ever do to you?

Re:so wait... You're telling me that all I have to (1)

Jardine (398197) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213171)

Listened to music with his non-copy-protected ears. He heard music for free!

Re:so wait... You're telling me that all I have to (2, Funny)

einer (459199) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213196)

Oh dear. :) Gandhi wasn't actually sposed to be in that list. I stole that list from my a thread on my website [einer.org] (it's a list of the top five people you'd like to punch in the face if you saw them on the street. Gandhi doesn't actually belong in THAT list either...)

Re:so wait... You're telling me that all I have to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213214)

That list of 10 names is from the list of the top 5 people you would like to punch?

Man, U dumb.

Swaying Indecisively (5, Interesting)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213101)

She keeps talking about "infringing files" that can get you in hot water and the courtroom. However, consider this: you can be sued for anything, at any time, and no one needs present any proof that their allegations, no matter how ludicrous, are true until the case actually comes to court. How do you think fat hogs with no self control get lawsuits against (admittedly disgusting) restaraunts into the courtroom?

The RIAA can't stop you from sending your own music careening across the Internet. BUT, I'm concerned that the RIAA CAN put you in the courtroom long enough or often enough to drain your coffers and shut you down permanently via the tried and true method of bluedgeoning a less financially healthy victim with constant lawsuits. This could be an effective new marketing technique, in fact. Just drag indies and single artists/bands into the courtroom who might be "stealing sales" by offering their music for free, then beat them into submission by outlasting their bank accounts.

I don't know yet what to make of this. However, I've learned both through harsh personal experience and by watching other cases play out, that the courts in this country are rarely inclined to do the right thing. Justice is blind... blinded by money that is, and the RIAA has enough of it to make sure that they can make more of it.

Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213103)

im glad to hear a success story about increasing sales. sucks that he might not be able to in the future.

works great for small artists.. (2, Insightful)

dogas (312359) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213104)

What she's talking about works great with small-time musicians. When I was in a band, we tried to distribute our mp3s to anyone who would want to listen. Then we got a hot designer to make our merch, and that's how we made the mainstay of our cash.

However, I don't think her example is valid on a multi-platinum level. We get enough exposure to bigger bands through mtv and radio where we already know if we're gonna buy their shirt and concert tickets.

Built-in players (5, Interesting)

Autonymous Toaster (646656) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213105)

Since the article obliquely discusses the death of radio and the rise of the MP3 (or other music file format) as a distribution method, it seems another progression might emerge.

At one point it seemed everything had an AM radio built into it - lamps, planters, kitchen appliances. You can find these kitschy, unenlightened objects in thrift stores nowadays, or tucked embarrassedly in people's basements. A while before that everything had a lamp built into it (culminating in that grass-skirted hula girl lamp you just can't get rid of), and before that it was a clock (you know you've got one of those elephants too). Whatever technology is just past the cusp seems to get built into everything as a cheap add-on (as long as it's simple enough, anyway - making toast, for instance, is a dedicated task).

Now people are asking for MP3 players in cellphones and PDAs - is this the kitschy inclusion of the future? Will alarm clocks and stoves and fridges and (dare I hope) toasters of the future all include a de rigeur network interface with an IPv6 address and an MP3 codec? It seems likely they will.

Built-in players already happening... (1)

Brian_Ellenberger (308720) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213180)

Pretty much any new consumer electronic device that can read a DVD or CD can play MP3s. This includes my new DVD player and my new stereo. Of course this isn't lamps and planters, but it does signal a shift as you have noted.

MP3s are popular and MP3 support is so easy to add, why not add it? And this is a good thing because the more people who are exposed, the harder it is to stop the whole thing.

Brian Ellenberger

the difference is WHO is posting the music (1, Funny)

George Walker Bush (306766) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213106)

If the musician posts, he/she has control over what songs, and the distribution. If the users post the music, the control is lost.

My fellow Americans, we must not let the soverignity of hard-working American musicians be blatantly and wantonly violated by hooligans and rebellious thieves who commit theft in the name of technology.

Thank you and God bless America.

This is a logical cause and effect (5, Insightful)

pyite (140350) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213107)

Bands like The Grateful Dead [dead.net] and Phish [phish.com] have realized the ridiculous marketing power giving away free music has. Both bands were/are extremely successful (in terms of the amount of concert tickets sold) and this can be directly linked to the free exchange of audience recordings made by fans. I still find out about new bands largely based on this technique. A band allows taping at their shows and people do it. They then offer the shows for free download. People like me listen and then go to the shows, paying the artists. Everyone, except the RIAA, wins. I'd be scared and panicking too if I was the RIAA.

If you're interested in free music, go here [etree.org] .

Sabrina (2, Funny)

MrWa (144753) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213109)

Janis's stance on MP3's is admirable, but it was probably the reference on "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" that had the largest impact on sales...

The RIAA I'm sure sees this increase in sales (2, Interesting)

gatesh8r (182908) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213111)

However, like most companies that love controlling things, they don't want a middle man to deal with. The current model of their sales deals in a middleman which in turn does mark up CD sales. Having both the retail end (along with the wholesale end) and you cut out the middle man. For the "middle man" on the net so far has been the various P2P programs (Napster, Gnutella, Kazaa, etc). The RIAA would love to seize this chance of a new medium I'm sure -- just they want to be the only distributers out there. Having someone like a P2P (even if it's a legal download!) would not only cut off their chances of monopolizing the net model of sales, but also make it so that artists don't have to scramble to the whim of the RIAA looking for the star of the month.


They took radio along with Clear Channel -- let's not let them take the net.

mp3's do make you buy more music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213112)

mp3's are wonderful for the lesser known musicians out there for two reasons.

First of all, keep in mind that lesser known musician's mp3's are much harder to find than better known musicians. While it may be easy to download a few songs, downloading a whole album is almost impossible. You download a few songs, and if you like them, you buy the whole album. Good for the musicians.

Also, they are good for lesser known musicians because we don't have to spend our money on bigger name bands. For example, say I got the new DMB album on Kazaa. I can now spend the $15-20 I would have spent on the album on something a little more obscure. Or perhaps I could spend it on tickets to the DMB show. The point is that there is a good chance that I will spend it on music.

mp3's are great for the music industry. CD sales went down after Napster was shut down, not before. By obsessively trying to control digital media, they are only killing the goose that layed the golden egg.

Legacy of Greed (4, Informative)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213113)

"After I first posted downloadable music, my merchandise sales went up 300%"

The entertainment industries are controlled by people so blinded by greed that they are completely incapable of comprehending any business model that does not revolve around iron-fisted totalitarian control of their product. The list is lengthy and has been repeated many times:

Jack Valenti wanted to outlaw VCRs, saying they would destroy the movie industry. Instead, they have produced billions in profits.

The MPAA claims that they are currently suffering enormous harm from the trading of movies on the Interent. In reality, box office receipts in 2002 were up 11% from the previous year and the number of movie tickets sold was the highest in 50 years.

In 1981 the RIAA was making the same claims that they are today about lost profits due to "piracy". Back in those days, CDs, Personal Computers and the Internet didn't exist. The villian, according to the RIAA, was cassette tape recorders. People were allegedly taping their friends records instead of buying them. But studies showed that people who owned sophisticated home recording requipment spend 75% MORE money buying records than people who didn't.

The list goes on.......

The greed and stupidity of the enterntainment industry goes on....

The irony here is that time and time again the entertainment industry has had to be saved from itself.

Re:Legacy of Greed (1)

gmajor (514414) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213205)

It would have been better if VCRs had been outlawed. Then these entertainment companies would have lost out on a significant source of revenue. Maybe they might have gone bankrupt in the process, and would have been replaced by more tech-friendly companies.

If the --IA's want to shoot themselves in the collective foot, let them! Better that they destroy themselves, and be replaced by worthier companies.

RIAA wants to increase sales.....OR....... (5, Insightful)

Phantom_24 (416231) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213115)

They want to make sure independent artists don't start getting too big for their britches and therefor don't need the help of the RIAA or the big 5 recording labels??

Case in point....Ani Difranco has sold nearly, if not MORE than 1 million albums....ALL ON HER OWN!! And that's just ONE WOMAN from that musical hotbed of Buffalo, NY *sarcasm*!!
Imagine that, if you multiplied that more than 100x with talent from around the world! The labels would not be able to compete......

Mod UP (2, Insightful)

That_Dan_Guy (589967) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213232)

This was the whole point of why IUMA.COM got started so many years ago. Cut out the record companies, and let the artists go direct to the customers.

I remember discussing this over and over again at the time and how everyone was sure the companies wanted to destroy IUMA. Then Napster came along and made them forget about it.

Whoever modded this down either didn't read it or didn't understand the point he was trying to make. The Record companies DO want control over the music and how it is distributed. File Swapping takes that away from them. They don't want a bunch of small tiny artists selling directly to people who take away sales of their mega-bands. They just want Mega Bands, and a cut of the profits these mega bands make.

Digital Music Distribution HOW-TO (4, Interesting)

bfree (113420) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213120)

Anyone care to put forward some suggestions on how a musician can distribute their work, receive payment, hold copyright and get people to license their work? I have a close friend who has recently put some of his work closer into the spotlight online (but still very far from it, in a very targeted place) and his bandwisth limits loom if he were to actually promote his music whatsoever. He's considered dumping lower quality versions (the present audio is 256kbs mp3) into p2p apps but is unconvinced that it is a good thing to do. He's had a number of offers in the past few weeks for deals for 1 or 2 tracks (people haven't seen or heard much of his music but he's been writing for over a dozen years). I'm think he should charge a minimal worthwhile credit card charge for his work, allowing people who buy return for up to a year to download new audio he writes, offer standard deals for record labels where they can download lossless files and run with them. Of course I want him to use free codecs, and I think he might be convinced (on the possibility of hearing from fraunhoffer et al demanding cash). Any ideas the best way to go about price, bandwidth and the artists interests? What about "simpler" things like hooking up a shop to downloads securely (and simply for the end user) without having to go to your bank to setup a merchant account and without having to loose nearly all of a reasonable sized transaction in costs?

repeat after me - The RIAA doesn't represent Me. (2, Insightful)

acomj (20611) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213121)

The RIAA represents the recording industry..

Not Artists.. Not music consumers..

doesn't that feel better?

There actions may drive you nuts , but what can you do. Your not paying them. They're defending the "Recording Industry" The fact they have the influence they do isn't there own fault. If you don't like it don't buy the music they produce..(I'm not advocating stealing it either by obtaining it and not paying for it..)

Slashdot shouldn't jump every time the RIAA does something..

This is all fine and well... (0, Redundant)

stubear (130454) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213123)

...but the decision to publish music on the web must be made by the copyright holder, not the public. Many cry that fair use rights are being taken away but by the same token, p2p services are taking away the rights of ALL artists, whether they are backed by large corporations and organizations or are struggling to make it on their own.

Re:This is all fine and well... (1)

llamaluvr (575102) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213169)

Exactly. If this artist wants to publish music and make it available for download, then that's her right. The proposed crackdown on illegal distribution of copyrighted works is designed to stop the distribution where it is not desired. If artists want to distribute over the web, they still can- they own the copyrights, and they can distribute as they please.

But just because one person benefits from something that a lot of people feel hurts them doesn't mean that the claim of most everybody else is invalid. This is a situation where both the MPAA/RIAA and download-friendly artists can have it their way.

Well, obviously... (4, Interesting)

PetWolverine (638111) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213138)

This should come as no surprise to those of us who actually pirate MP3s. Yes, I have 60 gigs of music on one of my hard drives. No, I did not pay for most of that music. However, if it hadn't been for Napster and its successors, I wouldn't have bought most of the 150 or so CDs I own. Most of my friends download music from the Internet, yet I know of no one who has stopped buying CDs just because they can get everything online. Instead, the Internet serves, as it does in all aspects of its use, to expose people to new things--and then, predictably for denizens of a consumer society, we buy those new things.

For that matter, it should come as no surprise to people who know the history of VHS. The movie industry was up in arms when tape recorders came out, saying people would no longer go to movies because they could just pirate a friend's copy. Today, most of the movie industry's revenue comes from sales and rentals of video tapes and DVDs. The VCR caused a boom in the movie industry, and if it weren't for a) the current economic slump and b) the RIAA's stubborn opposition of new technology, P2P would be causing a boom in the music industry.

Re:Well, obviously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213211)

Consider yourself reported.

Re:Well, obviously... (2, Funny)

wadetemp (217315) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213225)

I have 60 GB or so of MP3s [dhs.org] that you need.

Ballsy. Stupid, but ballsy.

System of a Down (5, Insightful)

imhotep (83351) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213141)

I believe CD sales have to be maintained by offering added-value. For example, the latest System of a Down CD did not have a cover booklet, but rather had embedded the pictures, lyrics and credits on the CD itself, only to be unlocked by an application downloadable from their website.

That's added value. The CD itself has more information and value than the collection of the same songs on mp3.

An album is not just the music that it has; it's a whole piece of art, expressed in the music, in the cover art, in the packaging, in the booklet, etc ...

Such albums would make me want to buy the CD instead of just having the mp3s ....

Re:System of a Down (4, Interesting)

wadetemp (217315) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213155)

I don't consider liner notes "added value." It's not information you can't get from some other source, and by requiring an application to get at information you would "normally" get with your CD purchase they've actually put a squeeze on how many people can view the information they purchased. What if you don't have a computer capable of running the liner-notes app?

Re:System of a Down (1)

Soulfarmer (607565) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213186)

Anybody think of possibility of NOT having access to internet anymore? How would you get the booklet and other stuff of the SoD CD then?

i got a better idea (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213152)

i have a feeling posting porno and offering free beer will increase your sales by 400%

Re:i got a better idea (-1, Offtopic)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213215)

Not if it's her own homemade porno! Have you seen a picture of her?

She'd have to give out a LOT of free beer for me to watch any of that.

The "stated goal" (2, Insightful)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213168)

RIAA's stated goal in preventing this type of activity with their lawsuit against Verizon is to increase sales

The suit against Verizon involves someone who made music illegally available, i.e. the copyright was held by a RIAA member. It does not involve someone making available music that no RIAA member held the copyright to. (damn, what a messy sentence). RIAA didn't go after the biggest file sharer - they went after someone they could win against. Garage bands are safe.

Focus of interests (5, Insightful)

phurley (65499) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213174)

Assuming that the RIAA has anything other than the RIAA's best interests at heart is exactly like assuming a union has anything other than the union's best interest at heart. There is significant overlap, but they are not perfectly aligned.

If I work for a union and the union is offered a contract that will significantly increase my salary, but also reduce the number of union employees, it is very unlikely that the proposal will be accepted (even when the staff reduction is done via attrition).

Similarly the RIAA's interests have nothing to do with artist's best interests, so why the surprise? Artists (like misreprested union employees) need to realize when the people they pay (very well), are no longer working in their best interests and move to find new representation.

Heads in the sand... (2)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213177)

If they'd just make everything (Everything, not just a small selection of stuff) available with some huge amounts of bandwidth for a small fee per song, I'd find it much more convenient than trolling through a bunch of lame slow connection via Limewire. But no, they are just pulling the ostrich routine...

Tell it to the artists themselves (4, Insightful)

sirket (60694) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213182)

The only way we are going to get things to change is to tell the artists directly what we think.

We should take the time to contact our favorite artists and let them know that we are not going to buy their music until we can purchase it in a format that we want. Let the artists themselves put some serious pressure on the recording companies.

I personally have not bought a CD since 1996 despite wanting to buy a number of almbums. For me, CD's are simply not worth their current prices. The latest moves by RIAA have just hardened my resolve.

When I can buy high quality MP3's or FLAC encodings online, for a reasonable price, I can easily see myself spending a couple thousand dollars buying the music I want. Until then, I simply don't listen to music. I won't download it because I don't believe that is fair. I will, however, exercise my rights as a consumer not to purchase their music.

-sirket

Re:Tell it to the artists themselves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213249)

I personally have not bought a CD since 1996

Ha Ha! Now you can't get your $20 from the RIAA price fixing lawsuit! Who has the last laugh now!

Profit lost... (3, Funny)

BytePusher (209961) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213183)

I'm not quite sure it's so difficult for the folks on /. to see why the RIAA is against MP3s, file sharing, etc... The whole reason record companies exist is to burn CDs and advertise. It's actually quite easy and inexpensive(Meaning not M$, but K$) to setup a nice recording studio and then burn A CD. File sharing takes care of distribution and the relitively cheap cost of advertising on a website takes care of well.. advertisement.
The problem is that the recording companies can see a "free market" in the future, which means their relitive profit will probably come close to zero.
In Ellen Fiess-ese here's the senario:
"So the RIAA guy was like, 'Ah, like, I was doing my homework, and like,,, if these, like people start using mp3s, they will, like, stop buying CDs from us
So I was like Nooo Waaay!, so I made the switch from opressing music artists to suing and getting court orders to ransack small buisinesses trying to establish file-sharing on the internet.
I'm so totally pleased in my desision to broaden my circle oppression, cause, like, I feel so much more totally secure.'"

-- All your sig. are belong to us

The RIAA acts in the interests if its constituants (4, Interesting)

hillct (230132) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213188)

In his editorial, Janis Ian says of the ruling the RIAA sought on behalf of it's membership:
f this ruling stands, many smaller musicians will be hurt financially, and many will be pushed out of the music business altogether.
This shouldn't suprise anyone. The RIAA doesn't care about small artists. It generates revenue for it's board of directors (elected by the artists that generate revenue for the RIAA) based on licenses paid for broadcast of the musig of the music of it's most popular member artists, who are the only ones who ever see any of the money collected by the cartel. This process is detailed in a fascinating if somewhat dated article [twisted-helices.com] by Harvey Reid. Definately worth a read.

--CTH

One thing about this whole MP3 thing (-1)

perthstyle (567666) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213197)

MP3's = piracy Don't even try to disagree, the evidence is overwhelming. Death to major labels, if a few independent artists don't get paid along the way, its a small price to pay. To recap - pirate everything, don't pay for anything.

Am I the only one ... (3, Funny)

DogIsMyCoprocessor (642655) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213212)

who thinks the Janis Ian quote sounds like the body of a spam?

To: spamvictim@aol.com
Subject: MAKE EASY MONEY AT HOME

After I first posted downloadable music, my merchandise sales went up 300%. They're still double what they were before the MP3s went online.

The Cost of Stupidity (1, Insightful)

Tomy (34647) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213219)

My downloading of MP3's has NEVER cost the recording industry a single penny. I only download two things; music that is no longer in print, and new stuff to see if I like it.

For the stuff out of print, I can't buy it, so no loss to the industry.

For the new stuff, if I like it I buy the CD, if I don't I delete it and would have never gambled the price of a CD anyway.

And I'm especially pissed about the stuff out of print. They are screwing both the artist and listener by having a business structure that can't be profitable with small run/demand items. Rhino did a lot to rescue some catalogues, but there are many others languishing out there that a smaller and smarter business could profit from.

The music industry wasn't destroyed by the MP3, it was destroyed by the bean counter and the corporation. They will die, and I hope it will happen soon, because then new business will spring up in it's place, dedicated to the music, and serving both artist and listener.

What's good for Janis Ian (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213223)

may not be good for Punky McGarageRock.

I appreciate her point, but you cant generalize about every artist and the entire entertainment industry based on one or two anecdotes.

Re:What's good for Janis Ian (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213244)

EXACTLY!

Maybe the Janis Ian method works for LESBIANS, (she's an ADMITTED LESBIAN), but probably won't work for NON-LESBIANS, like NELLY and Snoop-Doggie-Dog.

BTW: How many hours a day does SNOOP-DOGGIE-DOG practice?

I agree (4, Insightful)

neo8750 (566137) | more than 11 years ago | (#5213231)

by cutting people off from downloading songs artists and the RIAA are cutting out new listeners. I personal like to get a few of the songs off a cd before I buy because I hate buy a cd and finding out i only like 1 of the songs on the cd.

www.machinaesupremacy.com [machinaesupremacy.com] allow people to download their music for free. although they have no cd's out atm I know if they did I would gladyl buy it and support them. but thats just me I find by sampleing the music I am more apt to buy it.

In soviet russia... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5213252)

In soviet russia, high-tech lifelines sever you!!!!
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