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Experts Pronounce Napster Dead

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In a nutshell, the court has decided that the song filtering thing doesn't work, that Napster has failed to comply with a court order, and that it will be subject to numerous lawsuits that will ultimately break it financially. Is this the end of the road for Napster...or the beginning of the road for a new bunch of harder-to-track down, more elusive equivalents that will make Napster look like a champion of artist's rights?

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Here's my 2 cents:


1) Napster has NEVER appeared to me to be a viable business model as it stood, even without any lawsuits. I think they knew that. In order for them to EVER make money, they were going to have to start charging users for their services, and that would mean paying artists and labels royalties for the downloads. That seems obvious, and they have always seemed willing to work with labels on that point once it was demonstrated just how powerful and cool the technology is.


2) Based on that, this court decision is INCREDIBLY short sighted, sad, and stupid, as is the RIAA. They apparently think the only reason Napster is so popular is because it's free. Not so. It's simply the only place where you can find and listen to just about ANYthing you are looking for. Let's face it, fans don't give a crap what label (if any) their faves are on, or whether it's in print or out of print, or who owns the copyright, or whatever else. They just want to find what they want to find. I have enjoyed using Napster IMMENSELY for the past year and have found LOTS of things I'd been looking for for years through "legitimate" channels. I've also discovered and subsequently bought a lot of music that I otherwise wouldn't have. And I would have been happy to pay artists a royalty for my downloads - IF there were a channel through which to do so easily, and IF the price matched the service.


Certainly there are already existing databases out there which can match users' file names to artists and songs and their copyright holders. ASCAP and BMI manage it. The fact that the court did not give Napster adequate time to develop such a channel or partner with one (perhaps in conjuntion with the Future of Music Coalition) is unconscionable, and I hope this mediator, who unlike the judge knows a thing or two about software apparently, will suggest that as an option. For Napster to be killed off simply because other complementary technologies and/or organizations do not exist yet is truly sad. What could be nicer for an artist OR a label than having royalties come in when there's been no distribution effort and no marketing done, for a product that may not even be in print? And what could be nicer for a label than to be able to research users' download habits to see what products might in fact be worthy of re-releasing or promoting to a niche market? Dumbasses.


If Napster, which already has a large user base, isn't allowed to seize this opportunity, I fear you are right, Craig - that all it will do is open the door for more and more "underground" trading services, and more draconian measures by the labels, Microsoft, etc. to stop them. This would eliminate ANY chance of artists or labels ever seeing any of that royalty stream. And I personally will use any means to continue my file sharing experience, underground or no, because it's been too good an experience to just give up. If somebody wants to show me a legit and easy way to pay for my downloads that won't break my bank, I'll go for it. As a software/database designer I'll even help program it. But nobody is going to just roll over and give up file sharing at this point. What a moronic turn of events.





This message has been edited by Lee Flier on 04-14-2001 at 04:35 PM

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the music industry is dumber than a redneck in a trailer park. instead of taking advantage of a trackable platform such as napster, they try to destroy it leading to the loss of any control they might of had to more untracable programs that are already making their way into the mainstream of the net. not bright at all.


This message has been edited by alphajerk on 04-18-2001 at 01:05 AM



"if god is truly just, i tremble for the fate of my country" -thomas jefferson

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Yeah, it doesn't make a bit of difference now what the courts do to Napster. OpenNap is blazing like crazy right now, and working just as well as Napster ever did.


The RIAA should have partnered, but they blew it and there's no way they can start something new from scratch like that, now that the public thinks they're a buncha pigs.

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