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Why Make a Sequel of the Napster Wars?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the did-well-in-test-groups dept.

Media 280

6 writes "Cory Doctorow has an interesting article over at Information Week about Hollywood's strategy of suing sites such as YouTube. Says Doctorow: 'It's been eight years since Sean Fanning created Napster in his college dorm room. Eight years later, there isn't a single authorized music service that can compete with the original Napster. Record sales are down every year, and digital music sales aren't filling in the crater. The record industry has contracted to four companies, and it may soon be three if EMI can get regulatory permission to put itself on the block. The sue-'em-all-and-let-God-sort-'em-out plan was a flop in the box office, a flop in home video, and a flop overseas. So why is Hollywood shooting a remake?'"

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Napster, WTF? Hotline Servers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20191345)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotline_Connect [wikipedia.org]

Napster was for the retarded masses and came out at least two years later.

Hotline was where the original media piracy started. Everyone else, like Napster, was for lamers.

Re:Napster, WTF? Hotline Servers (1)

smclean (521851) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191365)

Hotline the origin of media piracy? The original internet scene was founded on IRC, FTP and USENET.

Hotline was for point and clickers.

Re:Napster, WTF? Hotline Servers (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20191401)

Actually it began on BBS's.

Re:Napster, WTF? Hotline Servers (5, Funny)

smclean (521851) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191423)

The original internet scene?

I'd actually began to mention BBSs and then erased it, because I figured if I start down that road, people are going to say, "Actually, it started with people copying each others punch cards."

you insensitive clod (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191509)

i specifically remember trading brass gear assemblies that made pipe organs play the 1812 overture with others in the underground pirate charles babbage adding machine scene

you young whipper snappers and your pirate ragtime player piano paper scroll scene, you have it so easy today... YOU try hauling around 50 pounds of brass machinery under YOUR overcoat!

Re:you insensitive clod (1, Funny)

shawb (16347) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191597)

You ratscallion punks with your fancy mechanical mu-ziq. Back in my day, we had to trade entire orchestras to share our music. Ponder hiding THAT from the local constibulary!

Re:Napster, WTF? Hotline Servers (2, Insightful)

IvyKing (732111) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192057)

I'd actually began to mention BBSs and then erased it, because I figured if I start down that road, people are going to say, "Actually, it started with people copying each others punch cards."


Home taping was the first worry of the media companies, I remember reading an article in 1970-71 Hi-Fi mag aout the ethics of taping records (tape recorders had been available since the 1950's). Similarly, one of the reasons why Ampex never got serious about a home video tape recorder was that they knew they were going to be sued by the media companies (Betamax decision...) - they figured that the Japanese with their assets offshore would make a much harder target for the media companies.

Re:Napster, WTF? Hotline Servers (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191431)

That's why he said "The original internet scene..."

I was "pirating" mix tapes with friends before home computers could play anything approaching recorded music.

Re:Napster, WTF? Hotline Servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20191511)

Yeah, because there was no such thing as online piracy until 1997... *rolls eyes*

Here's a tip. Just because you aren't aware of something doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Re:Napster, WTF? Hotline Servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20191553)

Awww, did someone hurt your feelings as a former retard who thought he was badass running Napster?

pickup basketball with old guys (5, Insightful)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192187)

Ever play pickup basketball with old guys? I'm a run and gun type player myself - and the old timers neutralize all that with the ground and pound. They back up the whole way down the court at two meters an hour, talking shit the whole way while swatting at you when you try to steal the ball. You get overzealous, he threads a backdoor pass from the three point line to the basket for an easy layup. It you tap the ball away he cries foul and complains that the young guys are beating up on the warhorses. Or he'll pump fake you like 14 times until you give up and he banks in the shot. old guys ALWAYS use the glass.

the lawsuits are that old guy - taking a speedy process and slowing it down to their pace in order to give them time to catch up. they call fouls all the time and make the whole process generally unpleasant at times. But they are doing what they need to do to WIN.

pointing out that the lawsuit strategy failed is assuming that it was to attempt to deter change - it's not. Big companies are about slowing down the process and milking every dime they can out of it. Innovating is an interesting thing. For every innovator who succeeds, countless others fail for reasons other than technical viability. The smart thing to for large moneyed firms to do is to wait - let the innovators do their thing; when the market reacts in kind - bully into the market with dollars and positioning. It's the lion chasing off the hyenas after they've made the kill. The king of the jungle feeds off carrion something like 30% of the time.

I'm certain I'll get modded down for this, but the future of this business is not in selling music. What the internet has taught us is that content is devalued by an inability to secure exclusivity of access. The future of media is not ITUNES - that's another example of slowing down change. It is not change itself. It is still selling music. the paradigm shift is that they are not going to sell MUSIC at all.

Because they live in a world where the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20191355)

only future that matters is that of the next quarterly report.

Also they're greedy motherfuckers.

litigation muscle (1)

ystar (898731) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191359)

Looking weak and submissive in the face of evil, dirty pirates isn't in the interests of these folks. Their extreme litigiousness is not (only) a misguided attempt at recouping monetary losses from copyright infringement, but an effort to slow the creation of distribution networks that leave them in the dust. They can't move quickly in this sector, so they need to buy time to create or feed money into services that give them a bigger piece of the pie.

Re:litigation muscle (1)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191475)

What monetary losses? I was under the impression that everyone was complaining that music sales GREW during the past decade, despite piracy. Which is it gonna be, Slashdot?

Re:litigation muscle (1)

ystar (898731) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191493)

Hence, "misguided?" Could've been phrased better on my part, but what, do you know? Anyways.

Well (4, Insightful)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191383)

So why is Hollywood shooting a remake?

Unlike the Napster case, Youtube has revenue sources (and Google can invest the additional funds needed to keep it afloat).

The studios, quite rightfully see a source of revenue there. It's not just a bunch of cheap bastards sharing amongst themselves. It's a multibillion dollar company making money off of THEIR content.

Should copyright just be abolished because we want free access to tv shows and movie clips?

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20191411)

"Should copyright just be abolished because we want free access to tv shows and movie clips?"

slashdot answer: yes.

Re:Well (1)

DoraLives (622001) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191417)

> Should copyright just be abolished because we want free access to tv shows and movie clips?

Looks to me as if the de facto cat might already be out of the bag on that one.

Re:Well (4, Insightful)

jc42 (318812) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191497)

Should copyright just be abolished because we want free access to tv shows and movie clips?

Nah; the copyright system should be abolished because it leads to our current mess in which a few giant companies use it to deprive the artists of their rightful income. We should toss such copyright laws, and devise a revised scheme that guarantees that the artists get most of the money.

Or we can continue along the path of zillions of skirmishes that hurt everyone, until it settles down to a new system. And hope that that new system can't find a new way to steal most of the artists' income and give it to a few fat cats who have a stranglehold on the distribution channels.

Re:Well (1, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191805)

the copyright system should be abolished because it leads to our current mess in which a few giant companies use it to deprive the artists of their rightful income.

Yes... because that is the fault of copyright law, and not the artists, who sign over the rights to their works for a pittance.

Re:Well (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191889)

When the only way to distribute your work is through a medium in which the distribution cartels always take their cut, even if they don't actually do a thing for you, something's wrong.

Re:Well (1)

OmegaBlac (752432) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192221)

When the only way to distribute your work is through a medium in which the distribution cartels always take their cut
There is this thing called the Internet. And you know, it allows one to distribute their own stuff without the middle-men (record labels, publishers, tv/cable stations, movie studios) being involved. Perhaps you have heard of it?

Re:Well (1)

BalanceOfJudgement (962905) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192255)

There is this thing called the Internet. And you know, it allows one to distribute their own stuff without the middle-men (record labels, publishers, tv/cable stations, movie studios) being involved. Perhaps you have heard of it?


When an artist on the Internet makes $10 million a year from their work and is so well known that 75% of everyone you ask knows who they are, call me. Until that is the case, using the Internet as a counter-argument to that point is intellectually dishonest.

Re:Well (1)

Nossie (753694) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191955)

if it was a pittance that decided whether you ate that day or not what would you choose?

I'd say 80% of artists hardly have enough to eat nevermind clothe themselves.
10% make lots of money on a few good songs/art/movies and pish it against the wall till they end up back with the 80%
5% get constant coverage on their creations due to media hype, backhanding and chest size
and the last 5% couldn't give a flying fvck because they made their millions 40 years ago, have never created since, and probably make more now on royalties than they ever did as a performer.

I do believe the whole system is screwed....

I admit that RMS has some social issues that should maybe be addressed (like most geeks?) but I REALLY think the madman has a very valid point in what he says here:
http://www.csclub.uwaterloo.ca/media/Copyright%20v s%20Community%20in%20the%20Age%20of%20Computer%20N etworks.html [uwaterloo.ca]

I never realised before that Steamboat willie (the birth of mickey mouse) was a derivative of another artists work... Shame on Disney for trying to promote perpetual copyright on something that they never even came up with!

Re:Well (1)

Nossie (753694) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192087)

if it was a pittance that decided whether you ate that day or not what would you choose?

I'd say 80% of artists hardly have enough to eat nevermind clothe themselves.
10% make lots of money on a few good songs/art/movies and pish it against the wall till they end up back with the 80%
5% get constant coverage on their creations due to media hype, backhanding and chest size
and the last 5% couldn't give a flying fvck because they made their millions 40 years ago, have never created since, and probably make more now on royalties than they ever did as a performer.

I do believe the whole system is screwed....

I admit that RMS has some social issues that should maybe be addressed (like most geeks?) but I REALLY think the madman has a very valid point in what he says here:
<URL:http://www.csclub.uwaterloo.ca/media/Copyrigh t%20vs%20Community%20in%20the%20Age%20of%20Compute r%20Networks.html>

I never realised before that Steamboat willie (the birth of mickey mouse) was a derivative of another artists work... Shame on Disney for trying to promote perpetual copyright on something that they never even came up with!

Re:Well (1)

Skim123 (3322) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192193)

We should toss such copyright laws, and devise a revised scheme that guarantees that the artists get most of the money.

But who, exactly, is the "artist" in a movie? I saw the Simpson's film this week - a short animated movie - and the credits easily exceeded 100 people. Even in music, while the artist may be the one who created the work, s/he certainly did not work alone to get their songs recorded, produced, distributed, and marketed.

Re:Well (0, Troll)

jt2377 (933506) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192233)

What the fuck? Nike gave Jordan a giant check to use Jordan's image to sell Air Jordan shoes. What the fuck give Jordan the rights to demand a cut on every shoes sold. Jordan already got a huge payout from Nike. Those artists/movie stars already got a fat paycheck from the studio. what the fuck give them the rights to demand more? fuck you! stupid fuck!

Re:Well (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191503)

Should copyright just be abolished because we want free access to tv shows and movie clips?
on tv shows and movie clips, sure.

If the majority of people don't respect a law (and they don't) then that law is unjust.

Re:Well (0, Troll)

MushMouth (5650) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191545)

Mob rule! Tell that to the families of people lynched in the south.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20191905)

Hint: If the majority of people actually supported lynching, it would never have stopped.

Re:Well (0)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192001)

IT stopped because the law enforcement effort became to much of a risk of getting caught. Don't fool yourself about a time when it was common to make a nigger use a different door.

And if it wasn't for the laws and a good majority of people who were spreading the hate around going to jail, you would likely still see it today.

The problem is the penalty and the likely hood of getting caught. Rite now, people just don't think they would get caught. It is like the old saying "locks keep honest people out". It isn't that they think it is rite to go into a house so breaking and entry is bad and unjust, it is that they don't care as much if they think they will get away with it.

Re:Well (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192055)

That's a good point; sometimes it is important to have laws which run contrary to popular opinion, because the populace is wrong about a very important issue. However, where the issue is basically trivial, it seems like it would be harder to justify such a thing.

Protecting lives and civil liberties is a very important issue. Keeping people sober by banning alcohol, not so much. Which of these two seems more like protecting copyrights to you?

Re:Well (1)

NosTROLLdamus (979044) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192059)

Goodbye speeding tickets!

Re:Well (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191705)

"Eight years later, there isn't a single authorized music service that can compete with the original Napster. "

Since you brought up revenue sources, every most every current online music service seriously out performs Napster on the "bringing in revenue to the record company" front.

Re:Well (1)

Caged (24585) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191733)

Should copyright just be abolished because we want free access to tv shows and movie clips?


YES! Copyright in its' current form does not in any way shape or form encourage creative expression or production. With copyright law as it stands, if you make 1 song or work thats' a hit, you have a revenue stream for life. Not just your life, but your childrens' children.

Wheres' the incentive to create more?

Re:Well (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191827)

Wheres' the incentive to create more?

Well, the Hummer needs fuel, the Lear needs a new paint job, and frankly, the yacht could do with a good barnacle scraping.

Re:Well (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191811)

Should copyright just be abolished because we want free access to tv shows and movie clips?
Yes.

Re:Well (1)

MorpheousMarty (1094907) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191829)

since no one else said it, copyright should take into account that for all intents and purposes we can create and distribute an unlimited amount of video. Trying to hold onto short video clips is like trying to hold onto a saying. Even if you have 100% of a government's resources behind you you can't stop someone from quoting the daily show, and you can't stop them from putting that clip on a public video server.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't believe in copyright, I just know how technology works and I feel that Hollywood is fighting an unwinnable battle. Yes I know it's not word.

Re:Well (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192089)

since no one else said it, copyright should take into account that for all intents and purposes we can create and distribute an unlimited amount of video. Trying to hold onto short video clips is like trying to hold onto a saying.
Hey, motherfucker, I said that first! =)

There's a number of problems that have become entangled. The major problem with current copyright is that copyright has been extended beyond any sane term. It should be no longer than 10 years. On top of this, we've seen the entertainment business engage in many other abuses of the system. However, these are not the underlying problem. The underlying problem is only somewhat different from the problems that copyright was originally designed to address. The new twist is that reproduction is cheap enough to be considered free, and easy enough that anyone with a computer can do it.

You don't need Netcraft to tell you that the old way the entertainment business works is dying faster than BSD. They're going to fight tooth and nail, but they're on their way out as the gatekeepers. The most important aspect of the new digital world isn't that copies are so very cheap, but that production, distribution, and marketing are all within the means of anyone with a computer and an internet connection. There is no need for a middle man.

not abolished.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20191853)

...but it is going to have to be altered because of cheap replicator technology, which means we will have to rollback the changes they made so far, then alter those somewhat. Fast forward, we now have the beginnings of tangible objects replicators, the fast prototyper machines. Digital replication is now common tech,so what happened when that was invented and people really started making copies at home? They got "the man" to adjust laws in their favor, in effect, enforced technological luddism to preserve past business models. So...as we enter more of a real star trek like world, will we deny replicator tech for other things, based on lifetime + plus copyright monopolies? How far are we going to take it so that actual tech advvances are limited and start to slide away from encouraging the common good and the advancement of arts and sciences? Copyright concepts are entirely artificial and man made, which means we can reconsider them and alter them as situations change. So far, we have altered them so that two cents worth of digital bits is sold for 20 bucks and they still complain about it, when the solution is obvious, drop prices drastically to correspond to advances in the tech. How is that useful for society as a whole when they have the resources to bribe the system in their favor and not actually have to deal with true market forces with the addition of the common good. We need both after all, or just say heck with it and abolish all governments and laws. One or the other. If we still want some government and laws, how about we actually LOOK at the situation and see who is really scamming who here, and why.

    If we get cheap tangible replicators, and you can order up a sandwich and tea-earl grey-hot, for a penny worth of electricity and a penny worth of raw materials, will it "serve" us to charge 5 dollars, or can we feed more people for 5 cents and the originators still make a hefty doubling plus on their investment and work?

I don't know what part of thousands of per cent profit these people need to make for their "hard work", other than whatever that number is they apparently want it is still way too high, and free/taking is unethical, so I think a compromise is in order, but the ball is in their court-recognize that the tech we have now makes your copies extraordinarily cheap, and price it accordingly, not priced like it was years ago when it was a lot more expensive to produce and distribute. If it takes changing the laws and actually placing a firm percentage of increase over cost, hard codified, then so be it, but price gouging and then gaming the "law" system is *not* productive for society long term. It just isn't.
In the US we have had fatcats from the oil industry up in front of congress to try and prove they aren't price gouging, but on the other hand, we don't see the digital bits boys up in front of congress explaining why they need to make these thousands of percent profits. So which is it, does government protect all the people, just some of them, or what? Why do we even have consumer laws when some industries can profit immensely from changes in the law, while others are held under a microscope and told they can't charge what the market will berar? Why do we have public service commissions? Why not let all the electric companies charge as much as they want, after all it is their "product"? Oh ya, we decided that holding people up and price gouging was a bad idea. We should do the same with the technology deniers in the digital bits business because if we let them continue it is going to infect the even better tech coming down the road. Better to stomp that idea flat now that they can hold up progress because of the way things used to be. So, in essence, copyright, sure, good idea, their idea which is copy-wrong? I don't think so. If we have to go to actual hard numbers, a megabyte of data is worth two pennies transmitted over the net and no more, fine (whatever it is using industry pricing for bulk data transfer), then re visit it every five years for an update on actual cost. I say let them charge exactly double that cost, and that's it, no more, else THEY are abusing their limited monopoly status they are granted with a "copyright".

I don't see Hollywood attack (1)

Via_Patrino (702161) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192309)

I don't see that "Hollywood attack". The article author failure to provide massive attack examples.

No one will see that kind of attack because there isn't a single point of failure. They can't totally destroy that kind of distribution but only sue some players for refund.

I can even say Holywood heads probably have no idea about many ways to defeat P2P or are doing a poor job because I often see significant points of failure in that scheme.

Holywood don't wan't to end the movie theater experience, that's the main reason you don't see a DVD/Netflix the same time it's released on the theaters as P2P folks do.
Watching a movie on a bad enviroment (computer screen, small tv, bad sound, not focusing on it) lowers the movie experience which can return in bad publicity.

Of course nowadays Hollywood can afford twice selling the movie and after that selling the DVD. But if the movie isn't really good no one will buy both.

People complain about quality, I don't like that crap so I don't watch/listen it. But people keep downloading while saying it's crap that don't worth their money. Either they like it enough to keep watching, just wan't the power to tell their friends they saw the movie before/for free or insanely download files they'll never use. If crap movie is the point, critic the audience (including you and P2P friends).

Google/YouTube don't care about other people copyright. Google mantra is "index the world ... and eventually make it available with ads". So copyright is their enemy.

To those who can't believe let me tell their control of copyright abuse works by faxing or sending a letter to their office where a human will take that paper from the pile and type the offense on the computer. They're a top notch technology company but have zero technology to proactive prevent copyright violations.

You see they working proactively only when some is suing them. Because of that they are promising a fingerprinting tool. No, wait, that's to ensure everyone only see the version of the show which have their ads on it.

Google point is to reduce the value of copyright to the point they can use the content for free or make the copyright owners welcome their terms ("I'm not bad, just want 10% of everything you sell").

They don't say that out loud to don't shadow the "not evil" slogan, they prefer to work silently behind you.

Yeah free trumps "not" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20191389)

Def. It's hard to compete with a business model based on "giving shit away for free."

Very insightful, Cory.

Re:Yeah free trumps "not" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20191437)

especially when it's "giving away shit-that-isn't-even-ours-to-begin-with for free."

Re:Yeah free trumps "not" (3, Interesting)

6 (22657) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191765)

True, cable and for that matter such channels as HBO were totally destroyed due to ABC, CBS, and NBC broadcasting their content free across the air.
Same thing happened with music. No one purchased records and tapes due to all that music broadcast over that free medium of radio.

What trumps everything is the basic building block of a business: customer value.
Companies that figure this out grow.
--- check it out thousands of video podcasts on your phone: www.mywaves.com ---

Re:Yeah free trumps "not" (2, Interesting)

quanticle (843097) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191877)

Your analogy is flawed. The thing that for-pay cable and for-pay music allowed was control. With cable, you gained control over what you saw (and the more you payed, the more control you got by getting more channels). Same thing with purchased music vs. radio. With radio you were at the mercy of what the station played. If you bought your own music you could decide what to listen to yourself.

The problem with music piracy (and to a lesser extent with web radio) is that you get the higher level of control associated with paid tiers of service for free. This takes away significantly from the added value that owning a CD provides. Whether I pirate a song or buy the CD I gain the same level of control over my music and piracy costs a whole lot less. The reason that the music and industry is scared is that the loss of the ability to charge for greater levels of controls takes away significantly from their ability to provide added value. In fact, it darn well invalidates their entire business model.

That's not to say that this is a bad thing. After all, the buggy-whip manufacturer's business model was invalidated by the advent of the autmobile, and no one is shedding tears for them. Business evolves, and the RIAA companies are filling a rapidly shrinking market with no clear progression to a new business model. Therefore they're trying their best to buy time with lawsuits and intimidation while they figure out what they will evolve into.

Re:Yeah free trumps "not" (1)

MLS100 (1073958) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192223)

Except: ABC, CBS, and NBC are not broadcasting HBO's content without their consent. If they were, something tells me HBO would have something to say about that.

And radio is an extremely poor substitute for a CD, they both fill completely different needs. If I want to listen to song/band X, I put on the CD and I can listen to it immediately and at my leisure. With radio, I am subjected to mass advertisements and the station's choice of music which may or may not be something I want to listen to.

The ability to listen to what you want, when you want has tremendous value to a large number of consumers, and that is why tapes, CDs, etc have done so well in the past.

Now, the exact same service (what you want, when you want) is being offered at zero cost, vs >0 cost. Here, the value of the zero cost item is so close to that of the >0 cost item that the zero cost item wins every time. Add in the value placed on getting the content DRM-free, and the value of the item is now even greater than the >0 cost item.

So the real goal for the music industry should be creating value for their products with a lesser focus on using legal clout to diminish the value of the free alternative (a losing battle). How can this be done? iTunes has picked up on a couple of the items--namely DRM-free (lessens the disparity), convenience (nice searchable shop, easy to move to iPod, reasonable price), selection (should be at least as good as a retail store if not much better).. the list goes on.

Obviously, for some consumers, the price of free just cannot be beat no matter how much value is added, but their numbers fall as the value of the paid alternative rises.

-MLS

Curious (4, Insightful)

David Hume (200499) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191407)

Assume that the major movie studios produced high-quality full-length first run downloadable movies with no DRM whatsoever at a reasonable prices. (You define what is reasonable.) Any DRM-less format you prefer.

How many of you would "share" then with your friends? (By "share" I don't mean watch the movies with friends. I mean make copies of the movies for friends.) If so, how many friends?

Would you see anything wrong with posting your copy to an FTP site or the equivalent?

Would you see anything wrong sending copies to your closest 100 friends?

Just curious.

Re:Curious (1)

SuSEboy (642235) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191627)

Why would I buy and download a movie if I can just get it from a bittorrent for free?

Re:Curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20191631)

How many of you would "share" then with your friends?

Traditionally the movie industry is a series of one-hit wonders. Once you've seen a movie, there's (usually) no need to see it again. Ever. If you buy a DVD, you can watch it and then just give it away to a friend. Your friend can then pass it along to her friend, etc. That's called sharing, and it's perfectly legal.

The movie industry knows this, so they're starting to build more and more movie franchises (yes, sequels have been common in the past, but never this common ... just look at the last two summers' offerings). However, the value of a franchise is in its purity. If you allow Joe Internatz to dilute the franchise in a negative way, then he's actually doing measurable harm to the bottom line of future movie ticket and DVD sales.

Of course it goes the other way, too. The positive impact of having the fan-contributed line "We've got snakes on the Mother[censored] plane!" probably paid for the development cost of that pathetic movie (which I saw on DVD from Netflix, along with 3 other people, so the studio may have made somewhere around $0.5 per person, instead of the customary $5 as half of the $10 ticket at the box office).

So in conclusion, I really don't have much of a point other than to say that I get all of my movies the legal way, but I already share with my friends. Maybe if they started releasing better quality movies, I'd be more inclined to go to the theater so the production company will make 10x as much money from me. But then again, maybe I wouldn't. And maybe that's why they don't bother making better movies.

Re:Curious (4, Interesting)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191643)

Not MANY people would upload their copy to TPB, but it only takes ONE.

Something movie distributors have in their favor is their exhibition system. Showing movies on a big, bright screen in a large room with a great sound system is significant added value. If you want to defeat movies as they are, you must defeat the movie theater, and if you want to do that, you have to:

  1. Make home systems provide an equivalent technical experience on a common basis, in other words not a niche trade for cinephiles and AV hobbyists.
  2. Figure out a better low-impact date for two people on a friday night than dinner and a night at the movies. A courtship date of watching movies at home just isn't the same. This is just a small example of a bigger point: going to the movies is a "lifestyle" thing, it provides an experience on top of the content. Selling a first-run movie over the internet would never compare, it'd be like buying a night at the club over the internet .
  3. Change the directors and producers. I have many director friends, all young and trying to break in, but none of them are even remotely interested in making a film and putting on YouTube to tell their stories. Recording artists, musicians, etc. famously have always hated their labels, complaining about the quite abusive deal they get. Directors, Producers, actors and everyone involved in movies LOVES theaters, in marked contrast to how musicians feel about labels.

Just an opinion, but most people actively engaged in making commercial movies in Hollywood love the internet for promotion and secondary distro, but no business people, and crucially no artists, are talking about chucking the whole movie theater idea. Working in the status quo's favor as well, is the strong separation between commercial cinema, the clearly expensive star-studded vehicles that can be good or bad, but will generally be at least entertaining, and independent cinema, which can be more profound but often isn't, and is generally actively hostile to the idea of "entertaining" people (they regard mass entertainment in the way FOSS people regard configuration wizards).

Welcome to the Developed World. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20192135)

It's where reality has been replaced with fantasy. Fuck working, or responsibilty, or anything pragmatic, let's make a movie!

I have many [wannabe] director friends, all young and trying to break in, but none of them are even remotely interested in making a film and putting on YouTube to tell their stories.
That, my friend, is because they have actually little interest in telling stories, or the process behind it.

To them, being a director means rehearsing your Oscar acceptance speech in the dormroom mirror, then your Oscar party moves afterwards.

It's all about the money and image, which is why the movies suck so fucking much now! Your friends are just part-and-parcel of the whole problem.

Re:Curious (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192215)

Change the directors and producers. I have many director friends, all young and trying to break in, but none of them are even remotely interested in making a film and putting on YouTube to tell their stories.
That's interesting because I know a bunch that are putting stuff up on youtube and elsewhere, and they seem to be getting the attention that they want from the studios and the cable networks. A few have been able to make a living as creators (and not just getting paid to work on another's project), while others have not yet crossed that line, i.e., they have to keep their day gig.

What is really telling is that even the ones that are successful or are becoming successful are still making their goofy little videos for the web. When you ask any of them why, the most common answer is that they're making these vids to entertain their friends and themselves.

Most, but not all, of the people I know doing this are active creators on Channel101 [channel101.com] . Usually they're also putting stuff on youtube, but Channel101 is for the peer group. Check it out if you haven't seen it. And keep your eyes open for some people you'll surely recognize.

Re:Curious (2, Interesting)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191665)

Sure, anyone who says they wouldn't share is probably lying, but that's not the point. The digital world has already turned certain aspects of our economy upside-down, and it has the potential to make even more changes. Its fundamental nature is to eliminate scarcity, and since so much of our current economy is based on scarcity, current business models don't function well in the digital world.


DRM is an attempt to introduce scarcity into an arena where none exists. It goes against the fundamental nature of the digital world. The deeper problem, however, is reconciling our current way of doing things with this new world. How will film and music be produced when they can no longer be sold like a carton of eggs? I doubt they can continue to be produced in the same manner as they currently are - but that's not necessarily bad.

Re:Curious (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191669)

Assume that the major movie studios produced high-quality full-length first run downloadable movies with no DRM whatsoever at a reasonable prices. (You define what is reasonable.) Any DRM-less format you prefer.
CSS = DRM-less already because it is so readily crackable. But ok, whatever.

How many of you would "share" then with your friends? (By "share" I don't mean watch the movies with friends. I mean make copies of the movies for friends.) If so, how many friends?
Everyone who wants a copy and can convince me to put in the effort to make it for them (cause I aint lending it to ya, you bastards never bring it back).

Would you see anything wrong with posting your copy to an FTP site or the equivalent?
No, but it would be an annoying upload time, and I doubt I'd get any benefit from it.

Would you see anything wrong sending copies to your closest 100 friends?
I think, on average, every one of my DVDs has been copied about 3 times. TV episodes I've downloaded I've copied for friends a hell of a lot more because they don't know how to use P2P programs. It takes 10 minutes to make an ISO image of a DVD and another 10 minutes to burn each copy. So you're asking me if I could be bothered doing something that would take 16.8 hours.. and that's assuming they all come to my house to pick it up. Obviously the answer is no, I wouldn't do this, but I wouldn't see anything *wrong* with it.

Just curious.
Fair enough. Perhaps you're curious why I feel I should be free to copy anything I want. Fundamentally, I feel that me being able to use my physical property (my copying devices and blank media) to do what I feel will benefit me and everyone else being able to do the same is a lot more important than some movie studio being able to tell everyone what they can and cant do. Basically, my local needs outweigh their remote needs. Clearly, my actions have no effect on their ability to make movies.. but I *suppose* if everyone was to do what I do then it might be a different story. Would this mean that the movie studios should get some special law that gives them control over what people can and cant copy? Of course not. It's a total sellout for the government to give away my freedom to them. If this was to mean that these movies weren't made, then boo fuckin' hoo. I'd rather there be less Hollywood movies and more freedom to copy than the situation we have today.

But my individual actions are not going to change that.

Re:Curious (3, Interesting)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191749)

It's a total sellout for the government to give away my freedom to them. If this was to mean that these movies weren't made, then boo fuckin' hoo. I'd rather there be less Hollywood movies and more freedom to copy than the situation we have today.

Do you oppose copyright as a general principle? Without copyright, there could be no GPL.

Bill Gates: It's a total sellout for the government to give away my freedom to copy the Linux kernel to Linus Torvalds. If this means nobody writes free software anymore, than boo fuckin' hoo. I'd rather there'd be less free software and more freedom for me to sell it to people, preferably with a cute little animated assistant to help configuration.

Re:Curious (1)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191849)

Do you oppose copyright as a general principle? Without copyright, there could be no GPL.
In the "copyright debate," the "without copyright you can't have GPL" argument is indeed an interesting one.

Actually I think that FOSS would do just fine if copyright disappeared tomorrow. Sure, some companies would create closed-sourced forks, but the community has enough momentum that it would do just fine. That having been said, I actually quite like the principle of the GPL and Creative Commons licenses, when it comes to "share alike and allows others to modify/remix/etc."

One can easily imagine a "copyright law" that, instead of protecting all creative works, applies solely to those creative works that are distributed with source material (source code for software, all footage for movies, original tracks for music, etc.). This law would guarantee that if you go to the trouble of releasing source material, others are required to also keep the source open for any modification they make. This actually matches more closely the original intent of "intellectual property" laws: to encourage the creation, distribution, and extension of creative works. Actually I find it quite bothersome that our governments grant monopolies to creative works that, even when they finally pass into the public domain, cannot be reliably built upon because source material is unavailable.

Obviously the law I describe is so unrealistically idealistic that it is never going to exist. Entrenched interests would prevent such a law from ever being created. I am not actually suggesting that copyright law is going to be modified to that ideal within my lifetime. What I'm saying is that there is nothing ethically inconsistent about opposing status-quo copyright, yet supporting the "share-alike" aspects of GPL and Creative Commons licenses.

Quite simply, I can oppose the notion of "absolute control over creative works by the originators of said works" while still supporting the notion of "requiring those who build upon other's work to also allow any other party to do the same."

Re:Curious (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192051)

The "source material" definition gets more and more complicated with the medium, and it seems like it would be too elastic. Isn't merely the script the "source" of the movie, and the photography just compilation? Or is it principle photography, but it could take someone a month to rebuild the original cut of a film from the footage (it's a lot like reverse-engineering). But then you can't add a scene, so maybe you need access to the actors!

Entrenched interests would prevent such a law from ever being created.

Among those entrenched interests are the writers of the Constitution, not to argue from authority, but just to give an indication of how ingrained the idea of copyright is in western culture, and not just rich book publishers. People don't think much of copying a DVD, but if you ask them, in principle, "Should anyone be able to copy any work at any time?" most people would disagree, since THEY wouldn't want THEIR creative works to be treated in that way.

Quite simply, I can oppose the notion of "absolute control over creative works by the originators of said works" while still supporting the notion of "requiring those who build upon other's work to also allow any other party to do the same."

When you're talking about a film, almost no one's seriously "building" on a film, they're just copying it; there is no novel process, no art, no nothing. I don't support studios suing people for doing remixes, as this isn't really a right of copyright holder - they're only allowed to stop derivative works if they take money away from the original, which remixes don't.

If you can't own intellectual property, than you risk having a tragedy of the intellectual commons, where nobody contributes works in the public, and novel arts, ideas and creations are either distributed ad-hoc under the radar among trusting groups, as this is the only way authors can get money for their work, or not distributed at all, since without money, people can't devote their time to writing. I don't think you're arguing for the abolition of intellectual property, but if anyone can copy anything and modify it in any way, particularly interfering with things like attribution, what would it mean to "own"?

Re:Curious (3, Insightful)

Bill Currie (487) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191869)

Without copyright, there would be no need for the GPL.

Re:Curious (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192029)

Yes. I do oppose copyright in principle. And, as a separate issue, I oppose Linus' use of the GPL, as he doesn't believe in the principles behind it.

This is going to sound counter-intuitive... (2, Informative)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191673)

Yes, the vast majority of people would give copies to a few friends... and enough people would give out copies to the world-at-large (and there are enough people who would download said copies) that these DRM-free files would spread far and wide.

Now, some would argue that this shows that people are mean or short-sighted, or somesuch. Perhaps. Another explanation is that the status-quo assumptions about ownership, distribution, and monetization of creative works are entirely out-of-sync with reality (where "reality" includes concepts like "computers", "the internet", and "sharing").

So then what's the solution? Well to me it seems obvious that domains of creativity that want to make money should just do what every other sector of the economy does: charge a price for whatever you distribute such that you actually make the profit you desire. (Rather than hoping for laws (e.g. DMCA) or technological measures (e.g. DRM) to come to the rescue.)

So, in practice this would mean that after you make a movie, you sell it, to whoever wants to buy it, at its actual cost (several million dollars or whatever). The person who buys it can do what they want with it: make copies and give them to everyone, or sell multiple copies to multiple people, or do nothing with it. Anyone who receives a copy can sell it if they want, or give it away. They bought the copy. The original creative-workers have already been compensated.

So how would this play out in an actual free market? You'd probably have commissioned works. You'd have companies setting up "donation-based content release" (e.g. "Did you like Spiderman 2? Well once we receive $X in donations, we'll release Spiderman 3 for the world to enjoy! Donate today!"). You'd have networks buying copies early on at high price, to put on TV along with ads... which is still a profitable business even if full ad-free copies end up on the Pirate Bay the following day. Then you'd have others buying copies later at lower prices. You'd have all kinds of websites set up (supported by ads or monthly fees) where you could download all the music and shows you wanted, nicely categorized. People are willing to pay for convenience and timeliness.

The point is that companies would do what they do best: figure out innovative ways to make money by giving customers what they want at prices they are willing to bear. Yes, it's really that simple. You don't need special laws for this kind of thing to take place. Copyright did a fine job encouraging the arts for many years... but that doesn't mean it's the optimal model in the modern world. It's entirely possible that special laws are no longer needed to encourage the arts. Conventional capitalism may be enough.

Now, I know I totally side-stepped the actual questions you asked... but I think I've responded to the subtext of your post. The fundamental question that people have in the anti-DRM debate is: "But without DRM, or something, then won't people just spread the copies far and wide?" The only reasonable answer is: "Yes, they will. Let them."

Re:This is going to sound counter-intuitive... (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191857)

So how would this play out in an actual free market? You'd probably have commissioned works. You'd have companies setting up "donation-based content release" (e.g. "Did you like Spiderman 2? Well once we receive $X in donations, we'll release Spiderman 3 for the world to enjoy! Donate today!").

I have friends that have tried this, and a big issue is marketing your donation scheme in such a way that you can find enough interested people to put up the money. If you were subjected to the Spiderman 3 ad campaign, except soliciting donations, you might find yourself aware enough of the film that you might put up $10, but the ad campaign for Spidey 3 cost $300 million! How do you raise the money to publicize the donation scheme?

As well, it's almost impossible to get people to separate with their money without showing them a script, which would kinda ruin a lot of movies.

In the end, you really wouldn't be putting the audience first, you'd be putting media personalities like Roger Ebert and Harry Knowles in the chairs now occupied by movie executives; the studios already heavily curry their favor to get good reviews, such types would just turn into mouthpieces for the actor's and director's agents, who would finally be the people who were packaging the actors/directors/scripts for the people who'd be hawking the donations.

You might have single donors, but what economic incentive do they have to "donate" the money, since they'll never see a dime off it, aside from the AdWords on the download page. And commissioned art is a really dirty business; maybe the Medici's or Pope Urban got art for their money, but most people who commission works want to see their second hot wife try to act; they don't care about reaching an audience or entertaining.

Re:This is going to sound counter-intuitive... (1)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191999)

You raise many good questions. I don't have all the answers... but I'll provide a couple ideas:

How do you raise the money to publicize the donation scheme?
One possibility is investors. The investors put money and expect a return. So the final "release price" is set to include the cost of advertising and investor returns. (Which, of course, is already the case for movies.)

As well, it's almost impossible to get people to separate with their money without showing them a script, which would kinda ruin a lot of movies.
For music it's easy to imagine releasing a few tracks and saying "like this stuff? Donate so we can finish the album!" For movies they would probably use advertising, trailers, etc. All the usual stuff. Would people end up unwittingly funding crap movies? Of course. (We do nowadays, too...) Chains of trust would develop. In fact if a particular movie reviewer consistently promoted movies (after watching a special private screening) that turned out to be awful, people would turn to better reviewers. (And if not... well then that's their money to waste...)

And commissioned art is a really dirty business;
We already have commissioned art. It's commissioned, distributed, and controlled by the powers-that-be in the entrenched media cartel. They already decide what is "decent," what gets promoted, what gets made. To have a bunch of different wealthy people all commissioning their own art is fine. They can do that today anyways. The difference is that without conventional copyright to use as a crutch, businesses would (I hope) reach out to the people for commissioned works, also.

Like I said, I don't have all the answers. But I don't need to. Capitalism has done a great job at finding optimal solutions in a wide variety of markets: solutions that I could not have imagined... that indeed no single planner could have imagined. The only reason that entrepreneurs and innovators have not been able to apply their skills to the sector of art-creation is that copyright law (a government-granted monopoly) has a tendency to create aggregated cartels that control everything.

I don't know for sure that a copyright-free world would "work"... but I think it's an option that is dismissed outright far too easily. I think it bears further analysis. (As a final tidbit, in the documentary Good Copy, Bad Copy [goodcopybadcopy.net] they show various countries that have thriving markets for creative works, despite the people have no regard for copyright law.)

Re:Curious (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191885)

Would you see anything wrong sending copies to your closest 100 friends?
Wow, I can barely count two people as "close friends"...

Re:Curious (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191947)

Why would anybody want to pay for low quality stuff? I still don't see why anybody would pay money for mp3s. How about just making CDs and DVDs reasonably priced. If they want to make things available for download, make it free, or just enough to cover bandwidth costs. They might find people buying the real thing more then, with the downloadable material being advertisement. Just a thought. I'd rather pay $5 for a cd than spend all day hoping to find it in flac or iso on a torrent.

Re:Curious (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192191)

Assume the major book publishers produced high quality full length readable books with no DRM whatsoever at a reasonable prices. (You define what is reasonable.) Any DRM-less format you prefer.

How many of you would "share" then with your friends? (By "share" I don't mean read the books to friends. I mean lend copies of the books to friends.) If so, how many friends?

Would you see anything wrong with posting your copy to a library or the equivalent?

Would you see anything wrong letting your closest 100 friends read it?

Just curious.

Wrong question. (1)

MacDork (560499) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192287)

Assume that the major movie studios produced high-quality full-length first run downloadable movies with no DRM whatsoever at a reasonable prices. (You define what is reasonable.) Any DRM-less format you prefer.

Yes, let's assume that. How many of you would bother to download the "free" version on a slower network where peers crap out, you might get all but the last 10 minutes of the file, you might get a goatse'ed file because some jackass thought it would be a great prank, or the file might be infected with the virus du jour?

Given your stated assumption, it wouldn't matter if the file were available for "free". The question you should be asking is: Who would even want the free download anymore? Guaranteed quality at fast download speeds would be worth a reasonable price to most downloaders.

Collapse (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20191409)

Shutting down Napster was a huge blunder for the record companies, leading to the collapse of the entire industry.
Not to defend the record companies, which are relics destined for obsolescence, but I suspect that not shutting down Napster would have led to the industry's collapse as well.

Re:Collapse (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20191601)

I wonder...

Back in the days of Napster I would routinely buy albums based on songs I downloaded. I surely didn't purchase everything I downloaded, but I did buy a lot of CDs. Then the RIAA started doing its insane routine, and I became less interested in doing anything that would bring them revenue. I don't often purchase CDs anymore, and when I do, they're used. I just don't care about doing the "right thing" when the RIAA acts in this manner.

I'm feeling the same about DVDs anymore. That fucking "FBI WARNING" that I cannot skip every time I put a DVD that I purchased in my player is enough to make me feel fine about copying Netflix DVDs (since I no longer purchase DVDs, either).

In short, the companies piss me off enough that I like doing things that they feel costs them money. It's illegal, yes, but when they treat me like a criminal, I oblige.

Re:Collapse (2, Informative)

bpeter3 (1141085) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191803)

If you read the rest of it, the author says that shutting them down outright was a mistake. He says they should have sat down with Napster and worked out a revenue sharing/licsening deal. That way the record labels would have had a well established, well run, well liked outlet for their music. They probably would have lost some customers from Napsters peak if it went to a pay service, but it wouldn't have been completely unprofitable. Instead, the shut down Napster and all the people using it went elsewhere and nothing was solved. (Napster was revived, but it was a watered down service in comparison to the original and way too late on its return). Years later, the same issue still exists. "Pirate" clients/webpages are still the best way to get good quality music files. The "legit" offerings from the record labels are not up to par with what the original Napster offered. In fact, they're not even close (limited selection on some, DRM, format restrictions, ease of use, etc.). Suing did nothing to improve their standing.

OLD WHITE MEN (0, Flamebait)

MilesNaismith (951682) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191429)

Because they STUPID OLD OLD WHITE MEN who cannot come up with anything new! The answer is always, okay smarty-pants meet my lawyer Mr. Cohen. Meanwhile, let's dust off another old movie and do a remake, or a sequel.

No one can compete with FREE?? (5, Funny)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191433)

Eight years later, there isn't a single authorized music service that can compete with the original Napster.
Wow, you're right! Not a single legitimate online music retailer can compete with a company that paid $0 for the products it distributed. That's amazing!

You should teach an economics course or something!

Re:No one can compete with FREE?? (0, Offtopic)

m0nkyman (7101) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191693)

Linux, meet Microsoft. Hmmmm.

Cory: It's called money (3, Insightful)

samuel4242 (630369) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191447)

Now Napster was great for you, me, and all of other hepcats, but it kind of sucked for the artists and the recording companies. And yes, I know that the recording companies rip off the artists. But if Napster rips off the recording companies, then the artists are guaranteed to get nothing.

I personally like iTunes and the iTunes store. I don't mind the DRM and I re-rip the few songs I need to move. It's a pain, yes, but I think the price is fair. So I think iTunes is infinitely times better than napster because at least some money is headed in the right direction. Even if only 5% makes it through to the artists, thats an infinitely greater amount than Napster ever paid them.

Sheesh. I owe so much to the artists who've written songs that have gotten me through some tough times. 99 cents is nothing compared to the gifts they've given.

Re:Cory: It's called money (4, Insightful)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191751)

Now Napster was great for you, me, and all of other hepcats, but it kind of sucked for the artists and the recording companies.
But Cory's point was that Napster could have been transitioned into a wildly successful business, bringing cash to the recording companies. According to him:

Napster's plan was plausible. They had the fastest-adopted technology in the history of the world, garnering 52,000,000 users in 18 months -- more than had voted for either candidate in the preceding U.S. presidential election! -- and discovering, via surveys, that a sizable portion would happily pay between $10 and $15 a month for the service. What's more, Napster's architecture included a gatekeeper that could be used to lock out nonpaying users.
So if Napster had kept its tens-of-millions of users, and 50% of them were truly willing to pay $10/month, then that's billions of dollars a year that could have been pulled in. If that's not enough to support record companies and artists, then there is something seriously messed up with their businesses. The point is that users were willing to pay for the convenience of Napster: easy access to a massive catalog. The subscription model was also appealing to alot of people: you don't have to worry about how much you're downloading. There's a limit to how much music a person can listen to... so alot of people will actually end up spending more money on an $10/month subscription that they do on buying CDs. They will do so happily if the service suits their needs.

Cory believes there was a huge missed opportunity for the industry to re-invent itself, and make money in a new age.

The success of iTunes drives this point home: everyone knows you can get free copies of music from various websites. However people are willing to pay iTune prices for the convenience. The labels are still caught up in an old business model ("each copy a person listens to must be a trackable sale we have made") rather than accepting a new business model ("charge people a monthly fee for access to an exhaustive catalog").

Re:Cory: It's called money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20191823)

Sheesh. I owe so much to the artists who've written songs that have gotten me through some tough times. 99 cents is nothing compared to the gifts they've given.
Don't be such a pussy! Find your courage in a bottle, like a real man.

Re:Cory: It's called money (1)

Hao Wu (652581) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191933)

But if Napster rips off the recording companies, then the artists are guaranteed to get nothing.
Only at first. Once the recording companies die, artists would be forced into more direct sales of their music (minus the greedy, exploitive middlemen), and they could take home even more money.

Re:Cory: It's called money (1)

Viceroy Potatohead (954845) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192047)

There's a counter-argument of sorts for what you say, or rather a concurrent counter-thread. While I agree that the artists (and in fact entities throughout the entire chain of production costs) should rightly get paid for the product [wince], it's the 95% that makes me belligerent toward the whole industry. I no longer want that 95% (alright, maybe it's 80%) going to a bunch of rich motherfsckers who will gladly assume I am a criminal, have the fortitude and ability to legally crush me regardless of guilt, and use capital to co-opt legislators to alter laws even further in their favour. I feel betrayed by industries I spent a quarter of a century using the majority of my expendable capital supporting. So I don't feel at all good when 5% of my purchase goes to the artist. And I also don't feel good about getting it for free. AFAIC, there is only one option (read, no option): boycott this retarded industry until either the ridiculous state of copyrights changes to balance the rights of the creator and the commons and the capital, or someone comes up with a brand new idea that doesn't fsck me over as the teat that the RIAA clients have been sucking. The current system, IMO, defends the interests of the capital over the other two way too much.

I WANT to pay the artists for this wonderful shit they've given me. But don't excuse the 95% that goes to eroding the commons, buying politicians, and ruining peoples lives along the way. It's the same 95% that eats up and devours many of these artists as well as their customers.

It's shitty that Art has come to this. Who turned the things that inspire humanity into a commodity market?

it's generational (4, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191461)

it's very much about a bunch of old guys who ask their secretaries and assistants to send an email. they simply don't get it, where "it" is any technological innovation after the year 1990

these old mogul type guys are from an era when you DID solve the problems of piracy by suing someone. because in the good ol' days, piracy was done by some mafia dude with a cd press or vinyl press or a bunch of cassette decks in a warehouse or closet room somewhere, and there were about 6 pirates out there who were making any economic impact on their bottom line: a small group of slow easy targets, and it was easy to get the fbi to help you

now of course, anyone who can download a program and drag a file in to a folder is a "pirate". which is basically every single young, music hungry, technologically savvy, and, most importantly, POOR student... in the entire world

but the old guys just don't get that

the solution?

wait. the old geezers will just die off. the guys who succeed them in the boardroom will know what's up and what's down about the realities of the internet

give it a decade or so. these RIAA and MPAA lawsuits are obviously incredibly retarded. but your complaints about the obvious realities of today fall on deaf old ears

Wait? (0)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191927)

wait

For what? For it to suddenly not cost anything to produce professional entertainment? For Pixar to spend several years and untold hundreds of thousands of animation and rendering hours/servers to produce a movie using only volunteers? For a 50-seat orchestra to not mind doing a film soundtrack for free? For it to cost nothing when an artist brings in talent from other continents to collaborate on a project? For Neal Stephenson to not worry about how he's paying his mortgage while he writes novels for hipster nerds who like to rent coffee for $4 but complain about $0.99 tunes?

You want to wait, it seems, for all of your entertainment to be produced in basements by people who've just gotten off of their day job. Your absurd mental portrait of a bunch of old guys in pinstripe suits smoking cigars and plotting to harm young people who don't want to pay $18 for an album is... well, absurd. Do you not know anyone who creates things for a living, and that needs to spend 80 hours a week working on their craft so that what they produce is something more than the boundless oceans of amateur dreck out there?

Re:it's generational (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191951)

It's not that these companies are run by people who don't get it. They are run by people who get it exactly. The problem is that those company make lots of money fr things that aren't needed in the marketplace anymore. There used to be lots of costs involved in distributing music and movies (creating the media, marketing, distribution, etc). Most of these costs have gone away or are going away. There is little reason for either the consumer or the artist to give this money to these companies anymore. These companies are trying to build a model that will allow them to make money. They are hoping to delay the transition to the new model long enough to find a business model that allows them to make money in the new situation. They know what is going on, they just don't know how to make money from it.

Why a Sequel? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20191483)

One of the reasons (and I'm sure not the only one), is that there is no more Hollywood any more. Instead, there are huge corporate entities that also happen to own entertainment companies, like GE owning CBS, or Time/Warner/AOL.

Policy about intellectual property is the responsibility of corporate lawyers, and they have a very primitive world view. They assume that all ownership is like physical ownership. If you own a theater, someone pays you to sit in the seat. If you sell songs, you sell the physical media. They don't understand that this model is no longer valid, and they don't have the flexibility to change.

This is why Apple has succeeded with iTunes. Apple understands the new online world, and they have figured out how to make money. It's not surprising that a tech company would be able to succeed, and old line traditional companies would fail.

Another side of the lawyer mentality is that you can only win by suing people. For some people in the law, not suing is like not breathing. (Insert shark joke here.) They see that their business model is going down the tubes. (Insert 'series of tubes' joke here.) Their first and only reaction is to sue. Why are you surprised by this? They are doing what they were trained to do, and what they are very well paid to do.

Na[ster 2: Electric Boogaloo (3, Funny)

proverbialcow (177020) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191491)

Because, as this summer has proven amply, the movie industry has temporarily run out of ideas and is only capable of producing sequels. Spider-man 3, Shrek 3, Pirates 3, Die Hard 4, Napster 2...

Because the law is the law!! (and other stupidity) (1)

Theovon (109752) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191525)

Some people, particular when they feel it suits them, feel that any time someone breaks the law, they're wrong and must be punished. Smart people recognize that "legal" and "ethical" are two different things, but apparently, people at record companies aren't smart.

Now, one thing that must be said in their defense is that if you do NOTHING to defend your intellectual property, what's likely to happen is that you'll lose your rights altogether. Under certain IP laws, you are require to defend your IP. But let's ask what would happen if the recording industry did NOTHING to defend their rights? That's easy. Everyone would assume they didn't care, piracy would run rampant, and the general idea of copyright would degrade. You'll notice that in certain Asian countries, IP rights are not important and infringement on copyrights, patents, and trademarks is completely unchecked.

One of the reasons that music piracy actually increased revenue for record companies is because people using Napster knew in the back of their minds that this was illegal or wrong in some way. Some people even managed to think it through far enough to realize that artists might be harmed by not being paid for their work.

So, we all agree that RIAA and MPAA are bastards and what they're doing is wrong. But we cannot let the whole idea of copyright be annihilated. Individual authors should be afforded the right to influence how the fruits of their labors are handled, and they should have the right to profit from their labor. Copyright and patent have been taken to an absurd extreme, with the fundamental concepts totally abused. But we should fix the system, not abolish it altogether.

Just remember this: Without copyright law, the GPL wouldn't have the power it has to keep greedy people from taking your code and closing it up in their application.

Re:Because the law is the law!! (and other stupidi (1)

Mprx (82435) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191571)

Without copyright and patent law there wouldn't be any need for the GPL.

The immortal stallone (1)

Bootle (816136) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191675)

"I am the law"

nonsense (2, Interesting)

twistedcubic (577194) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191679)

Eight years later, there isn't a single authorized music service that can compete with the original Napster.

I call bullshit. I played "stump the DJ" with a friend who has rhapsody, and it was no less impressive than Napster, at least for all the obscure titles I know that I was amazed to find on Napster.

I see no reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20191753)

why I should feel bad for people who are dumb enough to get busted for dowloading copyrighted music. It's like feeling sorry for that guy who camped out with grizzly bears until he finally got eaten by one. Forget those fools, it's their own fault what happened to them.

Here's Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20191767)

Lawyers sue.

Inability to understand. (1)

Kim0 (106623) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191839)

This is yet another example of peoples inability to understand even simple things.
Hence the expression "shooting oneself in the foot". The nice ting about it is that
one can pursue the same strategy against them again and again since they wont and cannot adapt.

It is quite typical for groups of people in power to be there because they share some irrational
belief, not because they are smarter, more rational, or better at making money. It is a power thing.
It is a game of exclusion, not of cooperation. Examples: Music companies, freemasons, Bush & Co,
religions, politics, investors, etc.

But then again, most people follow this pattern, even many who believe themselves to be rational.
I have found that one strong indicator of this irrationality is the inability of people to understand
that "Absence of evidence is evidence of absence." Carl Sagan understood that this is true, while
Bush & Co with their absent evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Irak, does not understand it.
More surpricing is that the "American Statistical Association" does not understand it either, and
they should, since they are statisticians.

And now, to prevent some of the bickering that always appears when this is brought out, here is my proof:

http://kim.oyhus.no/AbsenceOfEvidence.html [oyhus.no]

Kim Øyhus

Copyright law at fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20191851)

The problem, at the heart, is the state of copyright law in America and abroad.

If media companies would let works pass into public domain after a number of years then people would be more inclined to pay for and respect the protection of works still under copyright. As it stands, no work of media will pass into the public domain, unless explicitly placed there by the copyright holder, for the rest of our natural lives. This perversion takes a law designed to protect the livelihood of the artist and turns intellectual property into life support for immortal corporations.

It is unfortunate, then, that as a result the lines have been blurred to the point that there is equal disrespect for copyright of new and antique media. Which not only starves faceless media conglomerates, but also fledgling media producers. I question a copyright holder's business sense to completely forgo copyright and hope to subsist on live performances and charity alone. But I also shame artists and companies that use age old works as a form of pension.

TFA is *not* about piracy vs. legal access (3, Insightful)

gold23 (44621) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191855)

There seem to be a lot of people bitching about IP and copyrights, and "well of course the Napster kicked their butts -- it was free!"

But what Doctorow is saying is that both Napster then and YouTube now *want* to do deals with the copyright holders, but they only see a revenue stream coming from lawsuits (especially given Google's deep pockets). He points out that both the recording industry and cable television started out by poaching someone else's IP (sheet music and already-broadcast material, respectively), then doing a deal with the copyright holders after they were able to make money doing it.

Please, read the fine ar... oh, right.

Where is the proof? (1)

swokm (1140623) | more than 7 years ago | (#20191887)

From TFA:

Record sales are down every year
Plenty of other links in TFA, but none there. Is this true? Proof? It's got to be somewhere...

Unfortunately, http://www.riaa.org/ [riaa.org] is stale and busted (imagine that) so their "piracy statistics" links just go nowhere. Wow, I wish I could rampage through the courts, extorting money from old ladies and children without any proof! I wanna be a media lawyer when I grow up!

The music Business Is Finally Getting The Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20191893)

After suing file sharers for many years, the music business is starting to come around to the internet, In case you missed it the big news was that Warner Brothers signed a deal with media sharing site imeem.com [imeem.com] , a couple of months after suiing them for being 'the youtube of music'. 5 years ago I'd never have imagined this happening, but now things are changing.

Tired of all this "illegal" crap (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20191945)

OK. We have 2 scenarios here, one perfectly legal, one illegal, yet same concept.
It is perfectly legal to:
1. Record a show on VHS
2. Invite people to then watch this VHS (given no $$$ is involved)
3. There are storage/cables/wires (in this case RG6 coax, whatever speaker cables you have, home theater systems, etc) involved in getting the media on the VHS to the TV for people to watch

Now all of a sudden, it's illegal to:
1. Record a show on HD (hard drive)
2. Invite people to then watch (download) from this HD (given no $$$ is involved)
3. There are storage/cables/wires (in this case CAT5, fiber, routers, etc) involved in getting the media on the HD to the computer monitor for people to watch

EXACT same concept, and it was ruled in courts a LONG ass time ago (before Internet was popular) that scenario #1 is perfectly legal. So why the hell isn't scenario #2 legal? You can not have a double standard, and that's exactly what we have.

And do not say scenario #1 is "analog" and scenario #2 is "digital" as being the reason for them to be legal and illegal, cause that's a crock too. VCRs have S-Video output (I do believe that's "digital"?). If you record from satellite (digital) or digital cable, well, that's digital, and that's legal.

The big problem (5, Interesting)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192005)

The big problem is this. There's suddenly a shift in entertainment now, where people are simply not willing to pay relatively large amounts of money to relatively few people. Entertainment is everywhere, and there are tons of different kinds, and forms. So right now, nobody wants to pay $20 for a relative "hit" CD, so they're just taking the entertainment.

In the 20th century, when culture in the US, at least, was much more homogenic, stars like Elvis'es, Marilyn Monroe's, Beatles were more universally loved and demanded (paid for). Now, nobody is interested to that extent because there's so much more to see/hear/watch/read. Sure, a few hundred thousand kids may want to pay $5 for the new April Levigne CD, they're not interested enough to want to pay $20 for a CD.

Entertainers are simply not able to earn the money they used to make. Neither are the distribution company. We're seeing an overdue shift down in the amount of money that we are willing to pay for entertainment. Supply of entertainment shot through the stratosphere at the end of the 20th century, and demand merely shot through the roof increased with the population increase and populations joining the modern world (as far as entertainment is concerned).

All of this stuff that this article was about are simply the transitional pains. I predict that in 20 years, very few entertainers of any kind will be able to earn much more than say, a big city local television news personality. The days of Michael Jackson buying amusement parks and Elvis collection gold Cadillacs is over. The days of $20 music albums are over, too. The problem is that the large entertainment industry, as a whole, are going to go kicking and screaming, whether they're actors, musicians, or distribution companies (which are even less relevant now than the entertainers themselves).

The distribution companies do, of course, represent the entertainers demands for more money, of course. The problem for them is compounded by not only are peoples tastes diverging into more and more entertainment options, but people are especially not willing to pay for distribution. They're going the way of buggy whip makers.

What does this mean? It means that in 20 years, celebrities will be everywhere, but few will be massive, massive stars. It also means that they'll be more like actual, working people, and might have to work on their own distribution, if they want to make a good living from it.

Perez Hilton is a great early example of what most of tomorrow's celebrities will look like: organic, diverse, earning money by giving their "art" away for cheap or free, and making money from ads and sponsorships, while handling their own distribution straight to the people.

That's all people are willing to pay for. Why? Well, even if the distribution companies lock it down perfectly, it won't work. The demand isn't there. If you don't want to pay $20 to watch a shitty movie that you'll forget 10 minutes after you watch it, you can hop over to YouTube, and watch some rapidly improving, amateur stuff for free or cheap.

The future of film (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192011)

Want to know what you can get for nothing? Head down to Blockbuster and find the crappiest video horror film you can find. Even those do cost some money but they are cheap enough for people to produce for ego reasons and not have to worry about keeping investors happy. Want big budget films like Transformers and Bourne? Those cost 1,000X to 2,000X, or more, as much to make. They need equipment and skilled people to make. Everyone working cheap still won't make them free it'll just drive out the last of the talented people. There is no economic model that can make high budget, or even low budget films, for no money. The only possible option would be massive amounts of advertizing which would result in people wanting to find ways to view them without seeing the advertizing. In that case advertizers would loose interest and the money would still dry up. If you want to see it pay for it, if you don't want to see it that bad pass on it. Supply and demand. If the revenue dries up so will the films.

A bored little boy (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192035)

The sue-'em-all-and-let-God-sort-'em-out plan was a flop in the box office, a flop in home video, and a flop overseas. So why is Hollywood shooting a remake?'

Desparation. A bunch of overpaid lawyers are constantly told, "do something!". So, they have to make something happen or lose their job. A worthless something is better than no something to those paying them.

Re:A bored little boy (1)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192099)

Either that or just a terminal case of dumbass.
I'm not sure which is worse!

It's Simple (1)

Kickboy12 (913888) | more than 7 years ago | (#20192237)

Fear.
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