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244 comments

hi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8406933)

watt!

u r teh sux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8407015)

BREAKING NEWS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8407030)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio--Master Distiller Booker T. Noe [webcorp.com] was found dead [courier-journal.com] in his Bardstown, KY home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to the Art of Distilling Bourbon [jimbeam.com] . Truly an American icon.

Re:hi (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8407035)

congrats on your first post, superfaggot.

No sir, I don't like it. (5, Interesting)

Liselle (684663) | more than 10 years ago | (#8406935)

The EFF write-up is pretty solid, and seemed to address all of the questions that came to me as I was reading it. However, I have a few problems with it, and this is only on the first pass:

1) In regards to getting artists on board, their solution for people who don't want to participate says to me: don't join, and don't get money while people take your music, and fellow artists get paid for your work. That's harsh. What if the artist has an issue with the collection agency?

2) The payment system: how is this any different than Napster's subscription? It's somehow less expensive (only 5 bucks, estimated), and has access to more songs (everything instead of 500,000 tracks)? How does that work? I understand that most of the costs of distribution will be absorbed by the fact that P2P puts the loads on peers, not a central server, but is this even realistic? I am skeptical.
The concept is simple: the music industry forms a collecting society, which then offers file-sharing music fans the opportunity to "get legit" in exchange for a reasonable regular payment, say $5 per month. So long as they pay, the fans are free to keep doing what they are going to do anyway...
3) Wait a minute...If you stop paying, do you lose the rights to the music you downloaded? I scanned the document twice, and please correct me if I missed something, but it seems you can only legally use your music if you're still paying out to the industry. That's my primary reason for disliking Napster 2.0, and it's enough to sink this idea, in my mind.

I love the EFF more than butterscotch and jellybeans, but this proposal gives me the creeps.

Re:No sir, I don't like it. (2)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8406978)

"If you stop paying, do you lose the rights to the music you downloaded?"

From what I read of the article there was no talk of DRM so you could keep the music. Just depends on the format the music is in that you downloaded.

Re:No sir, I don't like it. (5, Interesting)

Liselle (684663) | more than 10 years ago | (#8406986)

From what I read of the article there was no talk of DRM so you could keep the music. Just depends on the format the music is in that you downloaded.
I wasn't worried about DRM so much as I was RIAA stormtroopers knocking down your door and bagging you for copyright infringment. I am concerned that if you stop paying, you lose legal protection. It's almost like a government-mandated Mafia.

Re:No sir, I don't like it. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8406981)

Well, then write 'em an email that you don't like/understand their proposal. Chances, that you'll get an answer, are higher than not being sued by the RIAA.

Two- word summary of your post for the lazy (5, Funny)

apparently (756613) | more than 10 years ago | (#8406991)

EFF, that.

Well, the RIAA has already responded... (5, Informative)

robslimo (587196) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407191)

[the RIAA]summarily dismissed the EFF's proposal as too "drastic"

Article here [siliconvalley.com]

Re:No sir, I don't like it. (4, Insightful)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407029)

"If you stop paying, do you lose the rights to the music you downloaded?"

Well if you canceled your service then they wouldn't know wether you had the music still or not. If they came after you and said you still had it then there would be an invasion of privacy if they knew for a fact. If they just came after figureing you would have kept it then that would not only deter anyone from using the service but also would have legal ramifications for going after someone like that.

Re:No sir, I don't like it. (3, Insightful)

Endive4Ever (742304) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407126)

"Is it Fred's turn to pay this month, or are you the one who is downloading this month? I have a few songs I'd like to get, if you've got time right now."

The EFF is treading on thin ice. What have they produced to qualify them as participants in the discussion?

Re:No sir, I don't like it. (4, Insightful)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407212)

The numbers they toss around in the article are the stuff of high-school freshman fantasy. They figure that 60 million Americans use file-sharing software (yeah, right), and that all of them would sign up for $5 a month (yeah, right), and that it would cost nothing for the music industry to set this scheme up, run it, and market it (yeah, right), netting $3 billion in annual profit to the music biz.

I hope these guys don't do their own taxes!

Re:No sir, I don't like it. (5, Interesting)

ZackSchil (560462) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407224)

I don't think you understand. This proposal involves no DRM, no centralized corporation, no hybrid collection-agency and Peer to Peer network or anything. This suggestion is to simply kindly ask music sharers to pay $5 a month ($60 a year). If written into law, I'm sure most mainstream filesharing programs wouldn't mind integrating with a collection agency's servers to manage payment.

If an artist opts out of the collection agency, they'll continue to receive what they currently receive from online music trading: absolutely nothing. If a user stops paying his fees, he will still own all the music he downloaded while still paying because they'll just be MP3/M4P/FLAC or whatever format he used to download them. Whether it's moral to pay $5 one month, then go on a downloading spree to last several months is up to the user to decide. (Though I doubt it, seeing as the main cause for piracy is the sheer convenience) The whole system is voluntary,

In short: P2P networks stay as they are but optionally hook into a non-profit collection agency. Think of it as a filesharing tax to help artists.

I personally think the plan sounds awesome but leaving payment to the goodwill of music fans makes me think it hasn't a snowball's chance in hell as long as the RIAA maintains its vice grip over the artists' throats.

Re:No sir, I don't like it. (3, Insightful)

cwhicks (62623) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407249)


1) In regards to getting artists on board, their solution for people who don't want to participate says to me: don't join, and don't get money while people take your music, and fellow artists get paid for your work. That's harsh. What if the artist has an issue with the collection agency?


But the music/record/distribution world that we knew before, is gone. People are downloading their stuff for free anyway right now. For better or worse, the consumer has them over a barrel now for the first time, and they (artists, record companies) are no longer in a position to dictate. They don't really have a choice anymore, and that may not seem fair to them in comparison to what they were used to before.

The lawsuits are fleas on a dog. Temporary annoyance, but nothing more.

There will no longer be a "buy a CD, listen to a CD". There is never going to be, "Oh, I like one song on that CD but I have to spend my only $15 on it," which is what they liked. I can't predict have everything will shake out, but I know it is going to be very messy.

And about your number 2, isn't the difference with New Napster that with this there is no licensing agreement with only certain artists or record companies? I don't get just a choice of Britney and Eminem, I can download Minor Threat, Berlioz, or whatever.

About 3. That concerns me as well. It sounded to me like you got to keep it, but it sure didn't make that clear.

first post!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8406936)

brought to you by uofs

Am I the only one (2, Insightful)

Pan T. Hose (707794) | more than 10 years ago | (#8406937)

...who after reading the article thinks that it might not work with Freenet very well?

Re:Am I the only one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8406950)

Good point. I never thought about it that way. It seems to be better suited for Napster than Freenet.

No, you are not alone... (2, Insightful)

Poulpy (698167) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407160)

... but it's not limited to encrypted P2P networks.

It won't work with any P2P application that is not providing detailed downloads/uploads statistics to the music industry (or any other third party that is supposed to determine how much of the cake is each artist entitled to get): they can't possibly monitor every exchange on every P2P network.

Musician getting paid?? (5, Insightful)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8406938)

Will it really be the musicians getting paid or the Labels?? If it's like CDs than it will be mostly the labels making the money.

Orders of magnitude. (5, Interesting)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 10 years ago | (#8406940)

There are orders of magnitude diffence in what the artists and the **aas can realistically make under the current scheme compared to what they can make under the EFF scheme.

It's not enought to say "we have an alternative scheme." It's probably not even enough to say "we have an alternative scheme by which you can make equivalent money." Instead, you need to credibly be able to say "we have an alternative scheme by which you can make superior money." If you can't do that, you got nuttin.

Re:Orders of magnitude. (2, Insightful)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#8406984)

er, orders of magnitude difference in what direction?

seems like $5/month per person is a hell of a lot more than someone buying one or two $10 albums a year.

3 billion profit vs 11 billion turnover (3, Insightful)

nietsch (112711) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407119)

Please go read the artcile yourself.
The 3 billion is overstated through, as it does not include lost sales via other sales channels like cd's etc., nor does it include the investments that the record companies need to make to produce the music.

The other reason I think it will not work is because it is very disruptive for the established industry. It directly states that it aims to cut out the middle men like record companies and retailers. These people will not like to be pushed out of the way/job, and will defend the status quo with hand and tooth.

On the other hand: it would be cool, as plain cd's will fall out of the market, they will have to offer something tangible that can not be shared over p2p networks instead. Record stores will transform into clothesshops?

Re:Orders of magnitude. (3, Interesting)

3 am Eternal (754358) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407142)

You need to say: we're taking the music anyway, you can't stop us, this way you'll get some money. The rulings on blank video and audio tapes were a recognition that enforcement was impossible. Despite high profile busts etc there are millions of us sharing millions of tracks.

Many people I know buy an album rip it and share it with total strangers without even thinking about it. You can't fight that, it's how we use our music now, the labels that adjust and reposition will survive and prosper, those that persist in seeking legal redress and banging dubious moral drums will dwindle and diminish.

Re:Orders of magnitude. (2, Insightful)

EarwigTC (579471) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407155)

Collectively charge for filesharing, and the labels will have to spend much less on marketing. Let things go unchanged, and the labels will have to spend much less on marketing.

The reality is, they will make less money either way, and will need to reprioritize their spending either way. A collective plan, or charging a penny or less a track, are the only ways I see them adjusting to what the populace wants (and now knows is possible).

Re:Orders of magnitude. (4, Insightful)

Tomcat666 (210775) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407332)

It's not enought to say "we have an alternative scheme." It's probably not even enough to say "we have an alternative scheme by which you can make equivalent money." Instead, you need to credibly be able to say "we have an alternative scheme by which you can make superior money." If you can't do that, you got nuttin.

I doubt it's about the money, it's about control for the RIAA and its members.

So the only way to get them to use this scheme is to say "we have an alternative scheme by which you can make superior money and have more control over the music distribution than for CDs."

And that isn't going to happen with free (as in beer and as in freedom) file formats that the EFF is proposing.

ASCAP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8406941)

All Suckas Can't 'Ave (First) Post!

Someone's going to be mad.. (5, Funny)

nadavspi (631105) | more than 10 years ago | (#8406945)

"If everyone is paying $5 a month, that means that 'Ice Ice Baby' has as much value as the Beatles catalog does. And I just don't think that is a wise or logical thing to do." -David Sutphen, RIAA vice-president Up Next: Vanilla Ice has released his new title: "Fuck you too RIAA" on the web

Re:Someone's going to be mad.. (1)

jpr1nd (678149) | more than 10 years ago | (#8406996)

David Sutphen need to RTFA:

"The money collected gets divided among rights-holders based on the popularity of their music."

Re:Someone's going to be mad.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8407110)

Vanilla Ice (aka rob van winkle) is actually still making music. He hates his old pseduonym and, well, hes a really good rapper.

Its creepy.

Re:Someone's going to be mad.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8407315)

A cd's list price is the same if it's vanilla ice or the beatles. Grasp at some more straws, RIAA!

Fair is good (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8406953)


Artists need to be compensated for their work

(except the ones that show you how hard they live on cribs , the show that rubs the consumers face in how much they fleeced you for)

Re:Fair is good (1, Informative)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#8406988)

Do the artists own the rights to their music??? Many times not. So, the person getting paid is the owner of the rights being the Label.

Re:Fair is good (0)

Endive4Ever (742304) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407144)

So what do you propose? That artists not be allowed to sell the rights to their music?

Re:Fair is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8407302)

Yes. I suggest the copyright be declared non-negotiable. Let the artist sell the record labels a licence to copy and distribute the work, but all the while retaining the copyright in tbe work.

Re:Fair is good (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407147)

I could see this becomming a flat tax that ISP's would charge regardless of if you actually download music. I havn't heard a song I would buy in the last 4 years, and all the songs I bought from iTunes were old favorites I couldnt find CD's to. Its been at least 5 months sense my last purchase from itunes. That would of ben 25 songs!!. I really dont see this as being any kind of solution better then napster and itunes.

Re:Fair is good (1)

Angstroem (692547) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407247)

Artists need to be compensated for their work
True. But how much of those $5 do you think will reach the artists?

Those TV-show casted Xgroups get paid monthly like any ordinary employee. The composer, who did the songs for them, got paid per job. If they got a good contract, they may also get revenues like 10 cents per sold CD.

In the end, from those $5 only the meta-collector and the big labels will benefit -- no matter, if I dowload their crap or not.

I get the creeps when I hear another "star" or "idol" torturing an 80s song to death. I'm after the original. Those, in term, you hardly get anymore because only the big sellers from back then are still in production. And those are the ones I search for on P2P networks.

So with the proposed scheme I pay the music industry for not bringing old stuff back to market and making me search for that stuff on P2P networks where private people spent time and work to convert their old LPs and tapes?

Weird concept.

Hrmm (4, Interesting)

acehole (174372) | more than 10 years ago | (#8406954)

Just wondering, if an artist didnt have a record company to promote their music, just how well would they really do?

As things stand at the moment, artists without a record contract don't seem to do as well, but in what ways will this change? who will promote them? the artist themselves? or the filesharing system?

Re:Hrmm (5, Interesting)

nordicfrost (118437) | more than 10 years ago | (#8406998)

Well, I can name two artists from Norway doing reasonbly well before getting a record company involved. Ephemera [ephemera.no] started their own company, did their own promotion, recording and tour arrangement. Huge success, big in Japan even.


Ugress [ugress.com] tried to contact the big record companies without success for a long time. Finally, they said "fuck this" and released the music via Audiogalaxy. Soon a burned CD ended up on the office desk of the Norwegian State Broadcasting company youth music director who gave it the heavies rotation on the Petre A-list. Sony contacted them, and they said piss off, you didn't want us before now we're a hit and can do our own promotion.

I'm sure there are hundres mor of these examples. These two are just for Norway, the last year or so.

Re:Hrmm (0)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407136)

Sony contacted them, and they said piss off, you didn't want us before now we're a hit and can do our own promotion.

Wow, it's just like the old hit by Sugarloaf:

I got your name from a friend of a friend
who said he used to work with you
Remember the all night creature from stereo ninety two
Yeah I said could you relate to our quarter track tape
You know the band performs in the nude
He said uh huh don't call us child we'll call you.

Listen kid you paid for the call
You ain't bad but we've heard it all before
Yeah it sounds like John, Paul and George

Any way we cut a hit and we toured a bit
with a song he said he couldn't use.
And now he calls and begs and crawls
It's telephone deja vu
We got percentage points and lousy joints
and all the glitter we can use
Mama so uh huh don't call us, now we'll call you.

Re:Hrmm (1)

EinarH (583836) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407141)

True, but those bands are AFAIK producing quality music. Many of those artists/bands that make big money today are dependant on advertising and their record company/label to sell.
Personally I think it would be a good thing if the major (RIAA) comapnies died and took all the boybands with them in the grave. But many of the artists that are big today would not survive without all the advertising and hype. Not that that should stop evolution though.

So maybe, just maybe, P2P and smaller independant labels could lead to some "high quality" music.

And BTW. I think Ephemera makes a lot of money by licensing their music to commercials.

Re:Hrmm (4, Insightful)

e6003 (552415) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407006)

That is the $64,000 question. Right now it can't be answered and the RIAA is determined it won't be, since of course loss of control over distribution is their real problem with P2P, not the potential monetary losees. If P2P were completely legal and say industry-sponsored download sites emerged, we'd probably see swapping not so much of the music itself but playlists. A lot more effective than admittedly useful practice of linking to independent/unsigned artists' web sites? This IMO is where the RIAA companies COULD go if they chose - there's the problem you touch on of of too much music available for everyone to plough through. There's a golden opportunity for a Google-like service to index all this music - whilst the function of the record companies that truly is obsolete is distribution, the function they might still usefully perform is filtering the vast array of music sources down to a user's persoanl preferences.

Re:Hrmm (1, Flamebait)

Endive4Ever (742304) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407162)

since of course loss of control over distribution is their real problem with P2P, not the potential monetary losees.

Ummm, if you lose control over distribution of your IP, you lose the ability to make money with it.

The RIAA is an umbrulla organization, not a big octopus that controls everything.

However, this isn't the place for common sense or reasoning. Carry on.

Re:Hrmm (2, Insightful)

e6003 (552415) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407263)

Ummm, if you lose control over distribution of your IP, you lose the ability to make money with it.

The various profitable Linux distributors would seem to disprove your simplistic assertion.

Re:Hrmm (1)

Endive4Ever (742304) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407327)

The majority of the people contributing to Linux development are volunteers. Plus the fact that Linux is basically a hobbyist venture at this point. Every 'provitable Linux distributor' at this point is only profitable because of a sideline or some 'fluke' in how they run their operation.

You're the one with a simplistic assertion.

Re:Hrmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8407127)

Well, ask the Grey Album author about it.
In any case, at 0.99 usd per song you can get a typical cd for let's say 10 usd? so the music industry already has a much more profitable business selling online music than selling normal CD as they charge it THAT expensive (considering you don't have the box, you cannot freely copy it with the DRM stuff and so)
Paying for a radio-like service with the option play that tune?
Why on heart they'll change a more profitable business model for a less profitable one?
The only thing it worked on those kind of monopolistic and controlled scenarios was kinda social revolutions (remember MS?)

Bad premise (5, Insightful)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8406956)

The premise that you could get a significant number of file traders who already know and understand that they are in violation of copyright law to voluntarily cough up five dollars to pay for the 'right' to file share, when not paying has no consequence except the user's guilty conscience, seems to me to be a little more than optimistic.

It is a good step in the right direction to show the record labels new and interesting ways to make money, but in the end any solution must rely on the power of the law to enforce the payment of artists.

Re:Bad premise (4, Insightful)

Arioch of Chaos (674116) | more than 10 years ago | (#8406979)

I think that there is actually a fair number of people who would be prepared to pay. As long as the price and other conditions are fair (e.g. no annoying DRM).

Re:Bad premise (1)

sk8king (573108) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407114)

Exactly. I would be willing to pay $1/song [that I wanted] if it was in MP3 format and I could move it to a couple of my computers, an MP3 player or burn it to CD. But something that can only be played on the computer it was downloaded onto is ridiculous.

I've only ever downloaded 1 song through Napster and all it did was prove to me that I didn't really want the song [sounded good on the commercial when it was all edited up]

Re:Bad premise (2, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407169)

How many non-Slashdot-reading college students give a shit about DRM? A few maybe, but consider the following reasons why a cash-strapped college student isn't paying for music:

1. They're not paying because of a moral objection to the RIAA's business practices.
2. They're not paying because they don't trust DRM.
3. They're not paying because they don't have to pay.

Think back to your college days; chances are you weren't independently wealthy. Considering that, which scenario do YOU think is the most likely?

Re:Bad premise (1)

JRob007 (704655) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407256)

I know that if I had the option (and there were not a lot of negative strings attached) I would probably pay for the last several years that I have been dling music. That would be (3 * 12 * 5) 180$ right off the bat from me.

Re:Bad premise (2, Interesting)

aheath (628369) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407045)

Except that this scheme allows for the license fee to be included as part of the monthly bill for network access. To quote from the eff article:

"How do we get filesharers to pay up? That's where the market comes in -- those who today are under legal threat will have ample incentive to opt for a simple $5 per month fee. There should be as many mechanisms for payment as the market will support. Some fans could buy it directly through a website (after all, this was what the RIAA had in mind with its "amnesty" program). ISPs could bundle the fee into their price of their broadband services for customers who are interested in music downloading. After all, ISPs would love to be able to advertise a broadband package that includes "downloads of all the music you want." Universities could make it part of the cost of providing network services to students. P2P file-sharing software vendors could bundle the fee into a subscription model for their software, which would neatly remove the cloud of legal uncertainty that has inhibited investment in the P2P software field."

This model is the rough equivalent of a 'tape tax.' However, this model provides several things that a tape tax does not. Transparency is key to making this model work. Reasonably accurate data about which songs are being downloaded will allow all artists to have a level playing field. A tape tax system tends to reward the big artists and ignore the small artists because there is no way to collect data about which artists are being taped the most.

The collection agency must be able to transparently report how much money is collected and who is paid for this scheme to gain acceptance from downloaders and artists. If anyone can go to the collecting agency web site and view their accounts online, then and only then will downloaders and artists think of the downloading rights fee as something worth paying.

Re:Bad premise (1)

rm007 (616365) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407115)

As you say, it is analogous to a 'tape tax', but there is still an element of voluntary self-reporting to pay this tax - as the parent post points out. For ISPs to offer a bundle that enables users to download all they want would presumably require that they also give those who do not want to download music a cheaper package or to eat the cost of the 'tape tax' (highly unlikely). This opens the possibility that down-loaders will not self report so that they can save money. It might work if ISPs put an additional access charge on the bundle as a network access charge additional use of bandwidth that file sharing uses. Not a perfect solution, but it gives the ISP an incentive to ensure that downloaders participate in the scheme.

Your Internet comes from somebody who cares (5, Interesting)

stomv (80392) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407052)

Consider:

* The percentage of downloads that head right to static IPs in dormrooms -- the artists would get paid by them, via their universities (after all, $45 per year per student payment to not have to deal with the RIAA harassing the sysadmin of a univ is a good deal). Besides -- they'd just charge the students via fees anyway.

* That ISPs will market this in with their products. Using lots of bandwidth? The ISP monitors you to determine if you've signed up for their (+$5 for music) plan. If you aren't and you've got lots of .mp3 files flying by, than the ISP makes a nice little bounty by turning you in to the collection agency.

Between universities and ISPs, methinks that there would be payment from the users responsible for the majority of downloaded files. The majority of users? I don't know -- perhaps that as well.

Re:Your Internet comes from somebody who cares (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8407111)

  • The ISP monitors you to determine if you've signed up for their (+$5 for music) plan.
FUCK THAT NOISE. Let me sign up for the plan or not, that's fine. But to MONITOR someone and then automatically bump them up? Fuck that. ISPs should be common carriers, by doing this they would lose any claim to that status they previously had.

I repeat: FUCK THAT NOISE.

Who gets paid? (5, Interesting)

Arioch of Chaos (674116) | more than 10 years ago | (#8406957)

Personally, I do not really support this kind of soulution. The problem is that I cannot see how the money can be divided amongst the rights holders in a reasonable way. The same goes for taxes/fees on blank media, by the way. How can anyone know what I download or copy? If they cannot know that they cannot distribute the money fairly and if they can . . . Well, then there are serious privacy implications.

It's odd or precient... (4, Interesting)

terraformer (617565) | more than 10 years ago | (#8406963)

...but the last article regarding "the edge" [slashdot.org] has a lot to offer this topic. Why would the RIAA agree to a licensing scheme like this, despite prior precedent in this country and countries like Canada, when they can conspire to control the content with those that control the delivery of said content.

iTunes works (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8406964)

What's the problem with these guys? The music industry should support the online music services that already work, such as iTunes and Napster 2.0 . Suing people left and right will not help, on the contrary, sooner or later everybody will be so fed up with lawsuits against kids that the rights of the music industry will be curtailed. Wait till the first annoyed judge throws out a case as frivolous.

Re:iTunes works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8407075)

What's the problem with you. Everybody don't live in the US and have gay-fancy Macintoshes. I need something that work with free software. This solution do that.

Re:iTunes works (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8407177)

Was the subtle stab at the US really necessary? Try to be a bit more civil.

Re:iTunes works (3, Interesting)

ooby (729259) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407339)

Steve Jobs has admitted that Apple is using iTunes to drive iPod sales and iTunes is making no profit [slashdot.org]

In comparison to iTunes and Napster, I'd prefer the EFF's option. It basically provides a selection from whatever is floating around the internet including less popular and ultra-obscure artists and labels. I also think that a second tier bandwidth price option is not unreasonable (provided that the price itself isn't ludicrus).

Useless (5, Insightful)

Krapangor (533950) | more than 10 years ago | (#8406965)

The music industry decides what licensing scheme to choose. And they'll surely take the one with which they can squeeze out a maximum of profit out of the hip-hop and goth kids.

Re:Useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8407037)

True. Besides, EEF seems to get more and more like RIAA, don't you think people? Is there anyone who still remembers the beginning of RIAA, or am I the only old fart here? Do you see the same pattern?

If it hadn't been done before... (5, Insightful)

robslimo (587196) | more than 10 years ago | (#8406971)

as with ASCAP, etc in the radio market, I'd say it wasn't possible. With that precedent in mind, I think it (or something similar) will happen, just not very quickly because of the politics involved.

1. RIAA is busy [over]reacting to file-sharing
2. RIAA will never be able to stop file-sharing
3. There's gotta be a compromise. Maybe this is it.

Re: If it hadn't been done before... (2, Insightful)

er_col (664618) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407070)

There's gotta be a compromise.

I think we are already past the point where a compromise with the RIAA is still possible. Most people will simply not accept any plan where the RIAA or its successor or anything similar to it is allowed to exist in any form.

An acceptable compromise would be one where the artist is the one in control of the distribution of their work, and also the one who actually gets paid. Which is exactly the opposite of the current situation.

Re:If it hadn't been done before... (1)

robslimo (587196) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407122)

Searching news.google.com on "collective licensing" turned up this bit of news from yesterday:

Senators Ron Wyden and John Ensign ... called a meeting in Washington today encouraging the music industry and a new trade group for file-swapping companies to find a resolution.

The article is here [thewhir.com]

Also found was this [siliconvalley.com] where the RIAA has responded to the EFF proposal, saying [the RIAA]summarily dismissed the EFF's proposal as too "drastic"

Re:If it hadn't been done before... (1)

EinarH (583836) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407188)

If it hadn't been done before... as with ASCAP, etc in the radio market, I'd say it wasn't possible
There are 5000+ (?) radio stations in the USA.
There are 30 million+ (?) Internet connections in the USA.

So how are they planning to enforce this?

Re:If it hadn't been done before... (1)

No Such Agency (136681) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407195)

1. RIAA is busy [over]reacting to file-sharing
2. RIAA will never be able to stop file-sharing
3. There's gotta be a compromise. Maybe this is it.


Why would the RIAA wish to compromise? The most profitable demographics (meaning teenagers buying Puddle of Mudd or Britney, and yuppies re-buying the White Album) isn't buying fewer CD's because of the lawsuits, in fact the "bad publicity" is largely among people the RIAA sees as unprofitable troublemakers already.

I won't be surprised if the RIAA cold-shoulders it (5, Insightful)

e6003 (552415) | more than 10 years ago | (#8406972)

Considering their real problem with file sharing is not the loss of money but loss of control over music distribution, anything that tries to tackle their public complaint whilst not addresing their real beef is bound to be rejected. Kudos to the EFF for trying but I think this is still 12 to 24 months ahead of its time. Congressman Boucher and Congresswoman Lofgren to the white courtesy phone please...

Napster (4, Funny)

Trillan (597339) | more than 10 years ago | (#8406985)

I'm still weirded out every time I see Napster as a company that the RIAA likes. Am I the only one?

Re:Napster (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8406995)

Nope.

Re:Napster (1)

Trillan (597339) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407072)

I think the thing I miss the most about the Napster days were the silly little NAPSTER BAD! animations. The ones with Metallica.

A Day Late, $0.99 Short (4, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407004)

iTunes and it's imitators work. They are popular, past any analyst's imagining. What possible percentage is there for the RIAA to climb back up atop that great hill they only recently cleared just to piss in the well?

You know as well as I that for every existing P2P client system that goes legit, two more "rogue" systems will pop up because "Music Must Be Free!"

Through intense marketing, clever user interfaces, relatively lax DRM, and brutal scare tactics and legislative knuckle-dusting, the RIAA has begun to put the genie back in the bottle. You think they're ging to throw in with their ol' friends the EFF now? Sh'yeah...

Re:A Day Late, $0.99 Short (2, Interesting)

e6003 (552415) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407047)

It's true that iTunes "works" in the sense that people are using it, but as some point out [downhillbattle.org] it's just a perpetuation of the same tired "selling discrete amounts of music for a defined price" model, and the artists are really no better off than under the current system. This is my fundamental objection to all these online music stores. Also don't forget the BBC Talking Point [bbc.co.uk] which recently aired about these issues. Interestingly, for ages I never saw the BBC post comments which pointed out the "loss of control" factor as being the real thrust of the recording industry's complaint ($DEITY knows, I submitted enough of them) but now they have published a few of these. They took ages to have a talking point on the issue but once they did, and the overwhelmingly anti-RIAA mindset of the readers became clear, it seemed to have a definite effect on their other articles with less use of words like "piracy" and "stealing music" - and less simple rehashing of record industry press releases.

Re:A Day Late, $0.99 Short (1)

Talez (468021) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407146)

it's just a perpetuation of the same tired "selling discrete amounts of music for a defined price" model, and the artists are really no better off than under the current system.

If your record label is an evil megacorp intent on draining every ounce of creativity from your body for profit then you're going to get screwed no matter what format the music is on.

Apple has a bunch of indie labels able to submit to iTunes. What's stopping a band from fronting up the cash for the recording studio and then passing the master tapes onto an indie label that's going to give them a much bigger slice of the pie?

Who decides how much music is worth? (5, Interesting)

CrosbieFitch (694308) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407008)

The trouble with blanket licensing is that there's no way for punters to say "I like this more than this". If everyone and their dog download a particular ditty for their phone's ring tone, does it make it more valuable than a movie soundtrack which only a few people really love, but love a lot?

Why should a quick tinkle on a xylophone be better rewarded than months of work on an orchestral masterpiece?

A better way of capturing music's artistic value is to auction it directly to the interested audience, e.g. using The Digital Art Auction [digitalartauction.com] .

Labor Theory Of Value (3, Insightful)

agslashdot (574098) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407069)

Your problem is better known in economics as "The Labor Theory of Value". Karl Marx was a huge proponent of the same. Predictably, Adam Smith & other capitalists totally disagree with it.

You ask "Why should a quick tinkle on a xylophone be better rewarded than months of work on an orchestral masterpiece? "
Why ? Because that's the way the world is. If you spend 8 hours a day building a highly creative straw statue in your backyard while I spend same 8 hours mindlessly slogging in a corporate IT outfit, guess who gets paid at the end of the month ? Your creative impulses are fine, but nobody wants your straw statue :( My labor has value because the market wants the end product. Your labor has value only to yourself. Deal with it.

Re:Labor Theory Of Value (4, Insightful)

CrosbieFitch (694308) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407097)

Nevertheless, it is possible that 100 people may be willing to commission a music score for $1,000 each - it's that valuable to them. Whereas, 100,000 people may be happy to pay $1 for a ringtone.

In a fair market, the orchestrator would look forward to $100,000 rather than a measly $100, that the xylophonist who just happens to be able to do a 20second cover version of stairway to heaven can get.

Re:Labor Theory Of Value (2, Interesting)

agslashdot (574098) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407165)

Again, you are wandering in the Marx garden of utopia. You say - "In a fair market, blah blah...". There are no fair markets, only free markets. Big difference.
Marx said, if man could co-operate instead of compete, then we would have all kinds of products, a great variety, instead of just mindless imitations of the same product each trying to undercut & outsell the other.
Malthus read this, rolled his eyeballs & said - yeah and if man was ostrich, then we wouldn't have the notion of private property & we'd all live in peace & harmony & so on...

In a fair market, average American programmers would have secure jobs just as much as the Indian programmers. Do they ?

Re:Labor Theory Of Value (1)

CrosbieFitch (694308) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407190)

The point is, if the EFF solution is good, it will create a fairer market for musicians than the one they have at present.

Do you really want to suggest that it doesn't matter how fair or unfair the EFF proposal is? That as long as someone makes money, who gives a monkey's how fair it is? That's life?

I can see you are quite happy to continue the label's interest in reward popular pulp, at the expense of poorly rewarding highly regarded and appreciated, but less popular musicians.

So, because life isn't fair, who needs fair compensation?

Right.

Re:Who decides how much music is worth? (0)

B.Smitty (604089) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407080)

Basic economics. Value is driven by demand.

Meh. Self promoting troll. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8407151)

Fagnut is from Digital Art Auction, and is promoting his site. Mod him to oblivion please.

Re:Who decides how much music is worth? (1)

-noefordeg- (697342) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407174)

Or just let the music be free and let people pay for concerts etc.

IMO an artist is someone who makes something because he want to express himself or makes something which the artist himself like.
On a sidenote: It would be funny if politicians made people pay to hear their views on things.

An artis with a huge following would earn a lot of money from doing concerts and selling different kind of mercendise. Also, a burnt CD in the bookself looks really lame.

Why not just let there be a donate button on an artists page, so you could donate money to him if you liked his music. That way you would make it so that the artist didn't have to flip burgers or something and instead make more music for you.

explain to me this (3, Interesting)

masterQba (699425) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407022)

The software and video game industries also continue to show strong growth and profitability. Each one of these industries has taken steps to adapt their business models to the realities of file sharing. In what way did the gaming industry adapt to p2p filesharing?

Re:explain to me this (1)

CrystalChronicles (706620) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407059)

To save on bandwith some of the indie labels host their demos on bittorrent.

Re:explain to me this (1)

masterQba (699425) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407194)

Well yes, but we aren't really talking here about demos of music but whole albums (whole games etc.). I can think of one company that let me download the iso and wanted me to pay for the cdkey (iGames & Savage) the rest of the software industry is pilling up on copy protection.

Re:explain to me this (1)

kawaichan (527006) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407231)

Good question

have you noticed that most games nowdays include both single/online element?

whereas the single element can be played without having a legit CDKEY, but if you want to play online, then you will actually have the buy the game.

So single player mode is more like a demo anyways.

Why not avoid the labels altogether? (5, Interesting)

GuySmiley (71599) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407028)

It seems to me that if the bands and recording studios could make distribution agreements directly with iTMS/Napster/etc, the whole RIAA can be avoided and declared irrelevant. As it stands, ~60 cents of the purchase costs goes to the label, of which a few pennies go to the band. Bands could increase their cut 10X and the price per download cut in half. Everybody wins.

The record labels only exist to market and distribute pop music and those functions can be completely done by other means now. I have found some of the /best/ music on line in the last few years and none of it is available at a music store.

To take this even one more step off-topic, you can argue that the whole MTV half-time boobie stunt (which has now mutated into a weird free-speech thing)was simply to steal the thunder of the iTMS/Pepsi/arrested-by-the-RIAA commecial. It shows that the labels are not needed and can /easily/ be done away with. MTV, the sock puppet for the industry, makes money by worshiping the 'stars' promoted by the labels. Heck, when was the last time you saw a music video on MTV? When was the last time you saw a 'music star' actually sing? It is not about music anymore. MTV can can get flushed down the crapper too.

All music related marketing and distribution can be done on-line. The old business model is dead and not needed or wanted. The first major band to sign directly with iTMS/Napster/whatever will turn the tide.

Clearly, I need to calm down and have a cup of coffee. Sorry for the early morning rant.

Re:Why not avoid the labels altogether? (1)

Endive4Ever (742304) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407223)

All music related marketing and distribution can be done on-line. The old business model is dead and not needed or wanted.

Is that a scent of the smoke from the burning dot.bombs that I smell?

You're seriously claiming the J.Jackson controversey is to detract from the lame Pepsi/iTunes commercials?

(and on the Pepsi/iTunes bit- it's delicious to see Jobs back in the business of selling sugar water. Scully must have grinned at that.)

This has a lot of potential (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8407034)

Lets hope Riaa will co operate in the name of everyone AND Riaa's survival in an age when hard distribution is no longer so important.

Internet radio under seige (5, Insightful)

tompoe (581543) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407064)

The premise for any proposal that promises musicians be paid for every download, seems missplaced. It's the Digital Age, stupid - - - - a mantra that must be repeated 1000 times anyone thinks BMI/ASCAP offer even a remotely legitimate role in our society.

Performance rights can easily be handled through Digital Age Fan Clubs, who better, right? Time for ASCAP/BMI/RIAA/MPAA to disappear. Musicians are doing just fine, thank you.

The Internet is the independent musicians' radio. Why take it away by imposing old business models on it?
Tom

Re:Internet radio under seige (1)

Endive4Ever (742304) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407276)

For ages ideologues and armchair theorists have been deciding to proclaim it's 'a new age' based on their need to justify something or promote their new theory of how other people need to act. Calling people who disagree with you 'stupid' is both arrogant and, well, stupid.

Time for a bunch of people to get outta their comfortable chair in the British Library and meet the real world.

OK.... (4, Interesting)

Apreche (239272) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407100)

That's a pretty good idea. They're just missing one thing. I wont pay. I'll never pay. As long as someone besides the person who writes and performs music is making money from that music I will not pay a half a cent for it. That's all there is to it.

The business model of the future is the penny arcade/homestarrunner model. Acquire a large loyal fanbase. Actually BE good people who make quality art and gain the trust of your fans. Allow your art to be distributed freely all around the globe without a care in the world. Make money from merchandise, voluntary donations from fans, and "legitimate" advertising (google and PA style advertising NOT weather.com or superbowl style advertising).

The real problem here is this. The RIAA can think of a ton of business models that work considering new technologies. While the organization as a whole is "evil" the people that make it up are not all stupid drones. They know. The thing is that there is no longer a business model which will turn musicians into multi-zillionaires.

Musiciains can live with a new business model and make enough money for food and rent and all that. What they can no longer do is make millions of dollars at the same time some record company also makes millions. It just wont happen anymore. Until the record company accepts that, they are going to keep suing us.

Re:OK.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8407202)

So what you're saying is that you hate musicians?

Conan The Barbarian can't make rules for Superman (4, Insightful)

agslashdot (574098) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407104)

Rules must be internalized - they always are. When's the last time the EFF composed a song, or signed up an artist ? The only rules that'll get accepted in any industry are ones that emerge from within that industry - not from outside. Now if a bunch of EFF folks join RIAA as management, and then propose these rules, that's different...

The problem of distrubution (5, Interesting)

B.Smitty (604089) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407172)

I think using a Nielson-like scheme to determine the value of works is inherently flawed in this system. It relies on sampling a relatively small number of households who have access to a relatively small number of potential choices. This will inherently concentrate value towards the handful of songs and artists preferred by the sample group.

For this to produce 'fair' results, all paying customers would have to be part of the sample group.

Instead, perhaps the distribution of money should be left up to the license purchaser. If I want my $5 this month to go to 'Ice Ice Baby', then so be it!

P2P software & media players could, by default, record downloading & listening habits to form a basic percentage allocation, which I could modify each month, if I felt like it.

whats in it for me??? (3, Funny)

NoGuffCheck (746638) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407186)

just had a brain explosion! despite my total lack of musical talent I have just knocked up a 3 minute sound file of a bell ringing. I AM NOW AN ARTIST, as soon as this idea get off the ground Ill drop my latest work onto one of the P2P sites, and await my royalty cheques... lovely.

I'll use iTunes. . . (4, Insightful)

Bastian (66383) | more than 10 years ago | (#8407209)

When it starts carrying music I'm after. To me the whole point of this electronic format thing is trying to hunt down music that I can't get in stores because the stuff is out of print. Beyond that, I'd rather have CDs since I can't afford an MP3 player and I like to listen to music when I'm not at the computer, too. As it stands, I spend about an hour trying to find something I want every time I get a winning Pepsi cap. I'd try finding new musicians, but the samples they provide are so short there's no way to tell if I'm going to like the song or not - even if it's 2 minutes long and meant for the radio, at least give me a verse and not just a little bit of the hook.

Then again, I'm the kind of musical reject who actually buys Klezmatics CDs and has never actually heard "Hey Ya" all the way through (not through any effort of my own, it's just that I don't listen to the radio that much). I guess I'm really not their target market. But God Forbid I download MP3s of music they haven't published since the 1970s, because somehow copying something they aren't selling is stealing their profits!

The problem with all this... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8407222)

is that the broadband providers would in effect finance the music industry: they would provide near illimited bandwith to the consumer, at a fixed cost ($40/month) to allow the 'evergreen', ever growing, revenue to flow to the pockets of the music industry... Somehow, I don't think they'll go for it.

Meanwhile FREENET keeps getting better and better (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8407336)

In the past couple of weeks, the anonymous Freenet [freenetproject.org] has started working like gangbusters. Freenetters have been seeing incredible speeds.
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