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MMD > Archives > March 2001 > 2001.03.08 > 02Prev  Next


Napster
By Ed Chaban

Robbie,  Once again, you edit my comments and completely misrepresent
my position!  I was hardly advocating the practice of copyright
violation.

My comment simply referred to the fact that new technology had
completely changed the landscape of the music industry and forced new
paradigms to be created.  Remember that broadcasters also faced the same
kind of legal battles Napster is involved in.  Their solution, however,
was to simply buy the record companies (like RCA, & CBS!) and used
their medium to promote record sales.  Also consider entire careers
were made by radio because previously unknown artists (Duke Ellington
for example!) were heard by a large audience who would have never laid
out money to buy a record (assuming they could even find one!) without
hearing the music first.  MP3 and Napster are a way for artists to
evade the tyranny of Media executives' strangle hold on the distribution
channel.  We've always had "alternative" (formerly "race") labels in
the recording industry, but they have always suffered from poor
distribution.  Perhaps I should have qualified my usage of the word
"free" in my posting.  Radio, like Napster today, was also "free" from
the the tyranny of the marketplace.  I chose the word "software" to
evoke the feeling of the "open source" movement and it's concept of
free exchange of ideas.  Cassette tapes were also seen as a threat to
musicians livelihoods, but the irrational fear eventually subsided.
Technology, by it's nature, can always be abused.  I have nothing
against people making money while making music, but the money often
stifles the new creative endeavors.  As a Jazz musician, you of all
people should know this!

As an aside, consider Pop/Rock Musician Todd Rundgren's approach to
using MP3 and "peer to peer" file swapping.  His "Patronet" model
allows patrons to "subscribe" to an artist's creative output for a
period of time and share content with members of a paying community:
http://www.patronet.com

Ed Chaban

 [ This is Ed's previous message as received: ]
 [
 [> Subject: Re: 010306 MMDigest
 [>
 [> Art Reblitz' points about the the Radio and the demise of the
 [> Player Piano can't help but remind me of a phenomenon we're
 [> currently experiencing in the music industry:  Remember that Radio
 [> was also a source of "free" music and entertainment.  Unlike rolls
 [> and records once the Radio owner had the the hardware, the software
 [> was free!  Napster and MP3 players anyone?
 [>
 [> Ed Chaban


(Message sent Thu 8 Mar 2001, 15:36:26 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Napster

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