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#1626524 - 03/07/01 03:15 AM Another Napster Question
Tzouras Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/18/00
Posts: 220
Loc: Chico, CA 95928, UNITED STATES
I was just wondering where did Napster get any income from, before they added the CDNOW link on their software.

Anybody knows?

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Yiannis Georghiades
NYC
_________________________
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Yiannis Georghiades
Chico, CA

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#1626525 - 03/07/01 03:19 PM Re: Another Napster Question
Ex Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 39
Loc: ,,UNITED STATES
Before this Napster did NOT have any other income sources. The money that they currently have comes from $15 Million in venture capital financing. So until now, they made no money otherwise. I personally think that it was diliberate attempt to justify their argument that their service is not "copyright-infringing" in court.

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#1626526 - 03/07/01 09:03 PM Re: Another Napster Question
Doctor Al Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/05/00
Posts: 192
Loc: ,,US
Rev E
How were they able to offer the music biz 1 Billion to stay in business ?

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#1626527 - 03/13/01 04:39 PM Re: Another Napster Question
bombastique Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/15/01
Posts: 77
Loc: Oakland,CA,UNITED STATES
The 1 billion would have been financed by BMG (Bertelsman Musik Group), the company that 'partnered' with them a few months back.

The sad thing about this whole affair is that the Big 5 seem to be completely blind to the fact that music trading isn't going to stop because they shut down Napster. It will still happen with peer to peer software like Gnutella. I think it's really a very stupid move on their part - there was a genuine opportunity here and they took the selfish, short-sighted path.

I don't condone theft of intellectual property - in fact, I'm probably one of it's most staunch supporters, BUT given the situation and where things are going technologically speaking, I think they are shooting themselves in the foot by attempting to shut down Napster.

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#1626528 - 03/14/01 06:28 AM Re: Another Napster Question
Curve Dominant Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/29/00
Posts: 4223
Loc: Philadelphia USA
>>It will still happen with peer to peer software like Gnutella.<<

Have you or anyone you know ever successfully used Gnutella? It's the biggest thing that never happened. As if Napster wasn't bad enough - most folks don't know how to rip audio, and the client-side is weak, to say the least. Peer-2-peer is the most flawed and over-hyped phenomenom since communism.
_________________________
Eric Vincent (ASCAP)
http://www.curvedominant.com

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#1626529 - 03/14/01 12:31 PM Re: Another Napster Question
d gauss Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/15/01
Posts: 3231
Loc: Somewhere in the Swamps of Jer...
i found this really cool music service the other day. they had thousands of tunes and even videos. i could see everything they had without even clicking a mouse. took less than 5 minutes for me to get 7 whole cd's worth of music. it's called tower records.

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#1626530 - 03/14/01 04:49 PM Re: Another Napster Question
bombastique Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/15/01
Posts: 77
Loc: Oakland,CA,UNITED STATES
I agree - Gnutella isn't all it's cracked up to be, but I GUARANTEE you that it will get really good, really fast once Napster dries up. And, yes, it is true that MOST people don't know how to rip cd's, but it doesn't take many that DO to have alot of stuff availble in a very short amount of time.

What it boils down to is that, now that people KNOW what they can get, they're not going to give it up just because of some minor flaws in software.

By the way - you may think I'm a supporter of things like Napster, but that's not the case. I'm looking at it from a historical perspective - look at what happened with Cassettes, VHS, etc. etc - EVERY TIME the major companies have complained because of the possibilities of copying, yet every time they have seen only MORE growth because of it. Once they got a handle on how to distribute properly, all was well. They have an opportunity to get a handle on distribution, but they're going to, instead, litigate to get it shut down.

Most people that I know using Napster (myself included) use it to check out new stuff - then they go and buy the CD (personally, I think MP3's are like a cassette copy and not really up to par...). I've bought at least 15 CD's in the last 3 months that I NEVER would have bought without Napster. You just can't go into a record store and listen to any cd you want and that's the difference.

Nuff said...for now...


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#1626531 - 03/14/01 09:33 PM Re: Another Napster Question
Curve Dominant Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/29/00
Posts: 4223
Loc: Philadelphia USA
A previous post that explains Gnutella a little bit...
------------------------------------------------------------------------

posted 11-10-2000 06:13 PM            

------------------------------------------------------------------------
<>

Interesting story behind Nullsoft. Its founder, Justin Frankel, created WinAmp and subsequently sold it and Nullsoft to AOhelL for $80 million. PlayMedia then sued Nullsoft/AOL because Frankel had plagerized the code for PlayMedia's PlayAmp to create WinAmp, and AOL was eventually forced to settle with PlayMedia for $20 million. It was in this environment that Frankel and Nullsoft released Gnutella, which was intended as a tie-in to AOL's new investment in WinAmp. Then, one of the suits in AOL's legal department informed the geniuses at AOL that giving copyright-protected entertainment away for free might jeopardize their pending merger with Time-Warner, for obvious reasons. Hello! AOL ostensibly "pulled" Gnutella and claimed their indignation at this "unauthorized" product release, but gnutella was out.

But Gnutella is currently in gnots. It seemed like the end of copyrights as we knew it at first, because unlike Napster it is a decentralized peer-2-peer network. But a funny thing happened when all the Nappyheads ran to Gnutella: it slowed to a crawl. The more people get on it, the slower it gets. Brilliant, eh? First of all, it is not limited to MP3s the way Napster was, so when you send a search for an MP3, it has to look through every other kind of file for it, and most likely it will time-out before your search is complete. Searches that produce no results are also due to bottlenecks on the Gnutella network. These bottlenecks are being caused by a couple of reasons, including bad code writing in the client-side software. If user A makes a request for a file from user B, who is offline, the software sends a "push" packet broadcast to all the other computers connected to user A instead of routing it back to where it came from. This lack of routing and pushing when the host is offline contributes to more than 50 percent of the total traffic on bad days. Also, 90% of the files available are posted by only 35-40% of the participants in the system (human nature: everyone wants to take, few are willing to share), creating more bottlenecks. This is common on peer2peer systems that offer free stuff. So much for the Gnutella revolution.
_________________________
Eric Vincent (ASCAP)
http://www.curvedominant.com

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#1626532 - 03/15/01 06:19 PM Re: Another Napster Question
Jem33_dup1 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/15/01
Posts: 11
Loc: ,CA,UNITED STATES
Many artists earn no money, or very little, from CD sales, and often composers don't own the copyrights to their own songs. So when the record companies criticize Napster, they're advocating for their own income more than that of the artists.

I think there's little or no evidence that anyone is losing money due to Napster anyway. Why assume that the guy who downloaded a song via Napster would have paid for it if Napster hadn't existed? On the contrary, I think it's more likely that such downloads make more people aware of the music and encourage CD sales.

I've written more about this and related issues, including some proposals for reform of the music biz, at the URL below.

Best, Joan

http://community-2.webtv.net/Jem33a/Biz/

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#1626533 - 03/15/01 10:46 PM Re: Another Napster Question
Doctor Al Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/05/00
Posts: 192
Loc: ,,US
a word from THE NUGE:

> Cat Scratch Thiever
> Hey Napster, get your greasy paws off my intellectual property.
>
> BY TED NUGENT
> Tuesday, March 13, 2001 12:01 a.m. EST
>
> My younger brother Johnny and I rounded the corner of the vast parking
> lot outside the concert arena and immediately spotted the greasy hippie
> with the huge bag slung over his arm. Brothers Nuge looked at each other
> with a gleam in our rock 'n' roll eyes and stated in unison, like
> military commandos: "Bogie, 12 o'clock!"
>
> We approached the young man at a steady gait, stepping past his three or
> four customers. Though I had my hair pulled back tight in a ponytail, he
> looked confused. Still, we figured he had to recognize me, given that he
> was selling Ted Nugent T-shirts at a sold-out Ted Nugent concert.
>
> We surrounded him and told him that he could not sell shirts with my
> name and photograph on them. It was illegal, unfair and unacceptable. At
> this point Johnny and I yanked the canvas bag of merchandise and cash
> from his grasp and departed, returning backstage to hand out the cheap
> imported booty to friends, crew members and charities. I used some as
> rags to clean my guns.
>
> We relentlessly repeated this across America for years, determined to
> stop the unjust bootleg merchandising of my copyrighted image. We ran
> into occasional resistance, but it never deterred me from taking what
> was rightfully mine. Even on ABC television I faced threats from some
> punk who thought he was dealing with just another pushover dope-smoking
> hippie band that he could rip off with impunity. Hell, I hunt grizzly
> bears with a bow and arrow. Bring it on, greaseballs!
>
> I didn't need anyone to explain to me whether selling or giving away
> other people's products without their permission was the right thing to
> do. Common sense is alive and well in America if you're not stoned,
> drunk, greedy or just plain stupid. To think that anyone could even
> argue that Napster has the right to give away an artist's product is
> ridiculous.
>
> Hey, I have a good idea! I'll just stand outside the local grocery store
> and offer its food free to the public. It doesn't matter if the owner
> took the risk, pays all the taxes and overhead, struggles with a
> bureaucratic land-mine field of regulations and laws, invests his
> warrior work ethic in bucketsful of sweat day after day, and basically
> busts his butt to provide a quality service and jobs for the community.
> Hell, no. I'll just make that decision for him, thank you, and give away
> his products and hard-earned money. Who does he think he is anyway?
>
> The same applies to recording artists. We invest sweat and blood and
> millions of dollars creating musical products. It takes years of insane
> sacrifice and grueling tour schedules and intense effort. To think a
> third party should be allowed to give away our product for zero
> compensation is brain-dead and un-American.
>
> The Recording Industry Association of America attributes a 39% drop in
> shipments of compact-disk singles in 1999 to this Internet downloading
> system. Full-length CD sales also dropped dramatically. In the short
> amount of time Napster has been in front of the courts, its users have
> grown from a few thousand to more than 50 million. Thank God common
> sense is still operating in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which
> recently ruled Napster must stop providing unauthorized music.
> Artists--or grocers for that matter--who wish to give away their own
> merchandise or services as a promotional or marketing scheme can have at
> it. But on any legal or intellectual level, only that individual can
> legitimately make the decision. Artists and record companies already
> give away an enormous amount of free goods. No one outside that business
> circle should dare to do it for them and expect to get away with it.
>
> Facing a runaway freight train of technology, we in the industry are
> moving to upgrade the quality of music delivery while also protecting
> copyrights, intellectual property rights and freedom of speech. With the
> book and motion-picture industries also susceptible to the sort of
> pirating Napster encourages, these communities will increasingly have to
> fight with us if they are to protect their futures.
>
> There is no reason for allowing intellectual property to enrich lives
> without payment to the artist or business team. I'm just an ol' guitar
> player, but surely what is fair is fair. I'll leave the mind-boggling
> technology to the experts, but if I want bread, I'm going to pay the
> baker.
>
> Mr. Nugent is a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter.

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#1626534 - 03/16/01 12:53 AM Re: Another Napster Question
Anoplura Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/05/01
Posts: 131
Loc: ,CA,UNITED STATES
I apologize in advance for a long post, but this requires a resonse. The Nuge is wrong (again). I've seen this 39% figure touted and trashed many times since the RIAA's press release. The text below is from a slashdot.org article. It's the best respose i've seen so far. Follow this url to read the complete article which has the links to their information sources.


http://slashdot.org/articles/01/02/26/1812213.shtml

One year ago, we ran a story about the effects of Napster on the RIAA's 1999 profits, which Michael gave the great title: "Pirates Steal Negative $1,400,000,000 from Music Industry." It's a year later, the new numbers are out, and the RIAA is lying through their pointy little teeth about them. The AP wire story's second paragraph says "Sales of music compact discs fell by 39% last year," which they would have quickly seen was a blatant lie if they'd bothered to look at the numbers. Fortunately, Slashdot is here to bust up the spin. Keep reading, if you aren't afraid of numbers.


The RIAA's figures were released last week, but the AP story was delayed until Monday, when the story would get the most exposure.


CD sales plummeted last year in the U.S. and record industry officials say the figures prove that Napster, the Internet music-sharing service, has harmed their business.
Sales of music compact discs fell by 39% last year according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

"Napster hurt record sales," said RIAA president Hilary Rosen.


This article reads like it might have been ghost-written by someone from the record industry. It isn't until paragraph ten that journalistic integrity kicks in enough for the AP to quietly mention what they're actually talking about:

Some experts say [sic] the drop of CD singles as being part of an industry-wide slump, due to economic factors and a weak year musically. (Emphasis mine.)
That's right, CD singles. Unit sales for the singles were down 39%, revenue down 36% (they raised prices, of course).

And CD singles account for how much of the RIAA's profits?

Not quite one percent.

Yes, that's right: they lost 36% of 1% of their profits.

And the news media is reporting it as a 39% loss.

The facts are that their "CD sales" are up this year, even over last year's stunning performance. The RIAA increased the average price of a full-length CD from $13.65 to $14.02, and still managed to sell 3,600,000 more of them.

Total profit increase on this, the core of their business, was 3.1%, or just shy of an extra $400,000,000.

But full-length CDs only account for 92% of the RIAA's revenue. They did have weak performance in the other 8%. CD singles, as already noted, dropped revenue by 36%. But the real casualty percentage-wise was cassingles, which lost over 90% of its revenue from last year.

Gee, why could that be? Maybe because nobody wants them?

In fact, the RIAA's only real money-losing format of any significance was cassettes, which, along with music videos, were the only format actually cut in price. Cassette revenue dropped $436 million.

Wait a minute, what am I saying? "Money-losing"? They aren't losing money on cassettes -- they're just not raking it in this year as fast as last year. And gee, why might that be? Again, because nobody wants them?

And it's not like the RIAA is struggling to get by on slim profits. The big picture is that, in the last nine years, they have tripled their annual income.

But they are desperate to spin this as a loss. The actual fact is that their total revenue is down 1.8% from 1999. Last year, they made $14,584,500,000. This year, they made $14,323,000,000.

But how could they blame Napster if they told the truth? What would they say? "Napster is killing us! Our income is down almost two whole percent! We are only pulling in $14,323,000,000 this year!"

That probably wouldn't fly.

Especially because in the three categories which Napster has precisely zero effect on -- cassettes, vinyl, and music videos -- their combined year-to-year loss was $579.5 million.

That's right. In the digital formats which Napster can trade, they are making more money: $318,500,000 more revenue. In the analog and video formats where Napster is irrelevant, they are making less money: $579,500,000 less revenue.

That's the real story here.

But don't trust the press to report this one fairly. Don't trust the RIAA's press release. Go read the RIAA's numbers yourself.

(Hell, don't even trust those numbers -- they don't add up. I was silly enough to type them into a spreadsheet, and someone over there has some problems doing simple arithmetic. Their 1998 total revenue includes the DVDs twice.)

The RIAA is desperately trying to spin this so that they won't look like greedy bastards for turning down Napster's offer of a billion dollars over the next five years.

If they just took that generous offer, then -- in a year that the AP wire suggests might be an "industry-wide slump, due to economic factors and a weak year musically," and in a year for which Bertlesmann admits "we didn't put that much good stuff out" -- their revenue would only be down $111,000,000 from last year. And that would have been $750,000,000 more than they made in 1998.

But that isn't enough for them.

Why would anyone think the RIAA is greedy? They just want what's coming to them.

(Update one hour later by J: Mea culpa. Three paragraphs up, I originally calculated the numbers as if the billion dollars was all applied in one year; that isn't so. The billion would have been applied equally over the next five years. Actually it probably wouldn't have been applied to year-2000 revenue at all, so it's more of a rhetorical point than anything. Thanks to dachshund for pointing out that it wasn't a lump-sum payment.)

(Update four hours later by J: The AP wire seems to have updated its story, now stating explicitly that it's CD singles, not "CDs," which dropped 39%. I see factually correct versions now at CNN, Salon, Yahoo, and wire.ap.org (search on Napster). The BBC version is still incorrect. In my opinion, the new versions are still misleading. Focusing on a large percentage drop within a subcategory which is a tiny percentage of the whole is a classic example of how to lie with statistics. But compare this to the RIAA's press release, claiming that CD singles had "flat growth in '98 and '99," though 1998 revenue actually dropped 22% -- that's just plain lying.)

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#1626535 - 03/25/01 05:06 PM Re: Another Napster Question
Mike O Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/20/01
Posts: 156
Loc: Central FL
Regardless of whether the industry (all parties included) lose income, etc. the place to start is with the facts. Whose property is it? Can someone usurp your/my property rights? If someone steals a print of a painting from your home/studio should they be allowed to view it without your permission or provide further copies to others?

Personal attack warning!?!

How stupid can you you people be?

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#1626536 - 03/31/01 04:22 PM Re: Another Napster Question
Jem33_dup1 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/15/01
Posts: 11
Loc: ,CA,UNITED STATES
Mike O wrote:

"..... Whose property is it? Can someone usurp your/my property rights?"

No tangible property is being stolen in the Napster system. The source disks or tapes and the computers/duplication equipment are all the personal property of the users, who all agree to share that property.

"....If someone steals a print of a painting from your home/studio should they be allowed to view it without your permission or provide further copies to others?.."

No copy or print of the music is being stolen in Napster, as in your painting example. The music on the original disks or tapes is the property of whoever bought those disks or tapes, and which they are voluntarily agreeing to share with others.

When home taping equipment began being sold to the public, even the lawmakers realized how absurd it was to continue to prohibit copying of recorded music -- such laws would be unenforceable and unconstitutional. So they reached a compromise to allow copying for one's own personal use, as long as the copies weren't sold in the marketplace. Personal use would have to include allowing one's friends to come over and use one's copying equipment - to prohibit this would go against the 4th amendment (personal privacy rights) and again be unenforceable. And the music and film industries discovered that home copying didn't hurt business anyway -- it probably helped if anything.
  There are no music files posted or published on the Web in Napster -- just people allowing other people to visit their virtual 'houses' and use their equipment to make copies for their own personal use. The number of people you can share with in this manner shouldn't be relevant -- the principle is the same whether you share your property with one friend or 100 million friends.

No one's property is being stolen. In fact for the law to prohibit such practice would be a violation of personal property rights. The best place to draw the line in copyright law is to prohibit publication or sale of such copies, but to allow their personal use, as in Napster.

And the best thing for the music
industry to do would be to embrace the new technology and come up with an online distribution system of its own.

Best, Joan

http://community-2.webtv.net/Jem33a/Biz

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