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File-sharing, Digital Rights Management, Etc. 167

Posted by michael
from the another-brick-in-the-wall dept.
Politech has a couple of good articles on political developments in the post-Napster world. (That's almost a Katz phrase there, isn't it?) The folks behind Kazaa, when they're not busy spying on their userbase, took the time to write to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after a bashing they took a few weeks ago. Kazaa's new owners suggest a general royalty fee, perhaps similar to the recent webcasting fees, be put in place to compensate intellectual property holders for file-sharing. Meanwhile, the European Commission takes a look at digital rights management. Looks like Europe will get its own version of the SSSCA.
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File-sharing, Digital Rights Management, Etc.

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  • With so many links on this website, I think those guys who wants to provide a google cache will have some trouble. :P
  • by spt (557979)
    That 1992 statute mandates a small royalty on digital audio recorders and recording media, with the proceeds of that levy redistributed to content creators

    What is the equivalent in the internet world? Is the new tax on computers? Modems? File sharing software?

    The latter obviously won't work for decentralised P2P systems like kazaa, so I bet they'll put the 'P2P tax' directly on the original CD itself.


    • at the current (insane) price of new CD's, I think it's safe to say they already have included a P2P tax, infact, you could say that is why P2P is so popular, people are already paying that tax, so why not do it?

      Realy, if they priced CD's a little more reasonably this would be much less of an issue, there is a reason you can get all those older CDs for $5 each, and that is that it is STILL profitable to sell them at this price!
      • Actually, the case could be made that since the resellers can sell the CD's used for $5, that must represent the 'media and store-space' cost for producing the CD. That means the rest of the price difference is the value of the Intellectual Property of the content.

        Oops, but that blows the arguement so many people here make.

        Never Mind.

        • hmm, perhaps you should think before posting next time,

          they happily sell !NEW! CD's for $5 a hit (and less!), therefore I guess the value of the TOTAL PACKAGE (including the intellectual property) is $5.

          the rest of the value must be, let me see, the value of the media hype used to push the new product so that it can hold a 300% and more premium over one 6 months old. hmmm.
          • Make up your mind. Either they are 'older' CD's, which means re-releases where the producers have probably recouped the production costs, and no IP cost is factored in, or they are 'New' CD's, meaning the ones that sell for $12-18, because the cost of producing the IP hasn't yet been met.

            This is all a gross simplification of the whole cost equation anyway. My clever retort obviously falls apart when real world factors are added. So does anyboy else's in the discussion, however.
    • I would have to say that the technology that allows the transformation from one media to another is where the tax should be placed. Place it on CD-Rippers, or MP3 Encoders. Of course since MP3's and CD (so far) are basically open there's precious little way to enforce the tax.

      I really wouldn't mind paying an extra $2 for iTunes or a disk burner. I WOULD mind paying $.02 for every CD I ripped, or every disk I burned.
  • You are going to get pretty much unitary legal structures on intellectual property and music copying. That's what's been planned by groups like the World Economic Forum and the World Trade Organization for years.

    What's more, there won't be too much debate on perspectives other than those put forward by U.S. law and the major music corporations. That's because these firms and the U.S. government are able to dominate the meetings of business decisionmakers.

    The protesters outside global gatherings are, in part, fighting for freedoms in music copying and things like this. What they are doing is trying to get more than a few voices into the meetings where these decisions are made. You should consider lobbying these global groups like the WTO - it doesnt make you a "bomb throwing anarchist," and it may be more effective than lobbying your congressperson, 'cause that's where the decisions are getting made.

    • by wfrp01 (82831) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @06:29PM (#3099147) Journal
      I think you're absolutely right. There's a bigger problem here - I want to use the word "globalization", but that words been so overused of late I'm not even sure it really has a meaning any more. Call it the smothering of nationalism. When nations are sovereign, it's much harder for the evil robber barrons to impose such draconian legislation. People can always route around the damage.

      When I was a kid, I used to think "Wouldn't it be great to have one world government?! No wars. Peace and prosperity for everyone." Now the notion scares me to death. Soon there will be no place to turn. Mega-corporations will rule the world.

      Eisner testifies at the SSSCA hearings. Why? How many ordinary citizens, who will shortly be declared criminals, had an opportunity to speak to these assholes? None. Zippo. So much for social progress. The corporate CEO has become the fuedal lord of the new milleneum.
      • There's a bigger problem here - I want to use the word "globalization", but that words been so overused of late I'm not even sure it really has a meaning any more.

        It's rapidly becoming a word where the functional definition is a long way from any literal one...

        Call it the smothering of nationalism.

        It's also about replacing national boundries with different boundies, such as the DVD "regions" and similar things with games consoles.
    • You are going to get pretty much unitary legal structures on intellectual property and music copying.

      Most likely used to protect a deliberatly fragmented market.
  • Errrr (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SevenTowers (525361) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @05:42PM (#3098988) Homepage
    Soak
    Wash
    Repeat

    I'm getting fed up of this bullshit. We all know that in 20 years the technology for online music exhange will still be here and it'll be legal. The music industry is doing the exact same thing the petroleum cies did, boycott the product until they own it. Then market it and prepare the market (ie. electrical cars), and finally say you played along the whole time, while unveiling your product.

    The birth of a new monopoly, the same as before, just different packaging.
  • by buford_tannen (555867) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @05:43PM (#3098990)
    There are so many people out there sharing music and other files, that it would be difficult to actually stop them. The RIAA thought that people would give up on downloading mp3s after the death of Napster, but instead the music exchange continued (and may have even grown). Schemes like gnutella have been largely invulnerable to attack from the {RI,MP}AA, although they could still be improved to further protect their users.

    My point is this: no matter what they do, people will find a way around it. There may be some martyrs at every turn, such as Emannuel Goldstein and Derek Fawcus with DeCSS, but now CSS is all but broken, and virtually anyone can find DeCSS if they look. A DRM OS, while evil, can still be broken, and tracking down the subversives who use Linux/BSD and other "unAmerican" OSes would prove difficult. And if the governement started coming after the people, they just might have a revolution on their hands.

    This isn't something to get overly depressed about. We should be fighting it, but even if they win the battle of legislation, we are still able to continue the war.
    • I don't disagree with the basic point that all DRM systems can be cracked, but...

      tracking down the subversives who use Linux/BSD and other "unAmerican" OSes would prove difficult

      Well, maybe it would be tricky to find people who were using Linux/BSD, but it shouldn't be too difficult to find those who are developing them. Without huge amounts of cooperation across the internet, there is no way we can continue to develop these OSs. Also, once they are illegal you won't be able to connect to the internet using them.

      if the governement started coming after the people, they just might have a revolution on their hands.

      Get Real! If tomorrow morning the government announced that every none Microsoft/Apple OS was illegal and that folks had seven days to destroy all copies or go inside. How many people would riot? 100? 1000? How many rioted in Seatle? Did that change anything? What percentage of the population would care or even understand? 1 percent? Maybe 2? I guarantee that more than 90% wouldn't care at all, and most of them would also be easily persuaded that Linux was something to do with terrorism.

      If we want to fight this we need to (a) get folks who sound respectable (e.g. university professors) to start trying to educate politicians and more importantly (b) get folks with big wallets and a vested interest (e.g. IBM) to start bribing those same politicians.

      • Imagine if this law was passed in the U.S. and in Europe, but not, say, in Canada. Many programmers would protest, ineffectively, and decide to live with it no matter how distasteful; but a not insignificant minority might say "Canada's looking pretty good right about now".

        If even this minority decided to move to Canada the country would suddenly inherit a wealth of technical expertise - unfettered technical expertise - which would result in a boom in its technological industries. Along with a resultant expansion in the economy and the creation of thousands of new jobs.

        All you need is one savvy, future-oriented nation to say "no thanks" to these kinds of laws while it sits back and reaps the rewards of dissent in other nations. Not to mention the sales (roundabout or direct) of non-crippled devices to countries which have outlawed their own industries from producing these goodies.

        (I'm using Canada as the example because, so far, they don't appear to be caught up in the same sort of digital hysteria that seems to be sweeping the U.S. and Europe. I could be wrong - any resident Canadians, feel free to correct me.)

        Max
        • Imagine if this law was passed in the U.S. and in Europe, but not, say, in Canada.

          I don't think Canada is a likely candidate for dissent, too easily bullied by its neighbour to the south and west...
    • No: tracking down Linux / BSD users won't be difficult. Why? Because I suspect many, many users will do just what I do if this is passed. Namely, I have every intention of continuing to use my computer as I always have (which, incidentally, doesn't, AFAIK, include depriving anyone else of anything, or harming anyone intentionally), and writing to my MP, explaining that I am doing this, that it is illegal, and inviting them to come round and arrest me if they so please.

      This is the true power of civil disobedience: you don't use violence, you don't wage a war, you just continue as normal.
      • However, since your machine will no longer connect to the Internet, the Linux and Free Software community will have to set up their own Network. That would be cool, but I don't think it'll accomplish what many would hope.

        Let's face it, Free Software is subsidized by all the businesses and individuals who support the Internet for purposes other than developing Free Software. If the OSS community had to pay for their own, seperate infrastructure, it'd become impossible for it to be free (as in beer) software. It might still be free (as in birds flying around out there in the sky) software, but I doubt if it would be affordable.
        • I think that SSSCA will probably pass, but not in it's current form. For every Disney that wants every OS and CD-burner to be government approved and secure, there is an IBM that just came up with a business model that depends on Linux and/or BSD remaining open source and hardware to remain relatively inexpensive and free from this kind of political interference.

          I don't think IBM's team of lobbyists are in any way intimidated by Disney's, and they'll have friends as well. Once they start spreading the doom and gloom predictions of the destruction of the US tech industry and how much money *that* will cost the economy your average congresscritter will be put in a bind. Send some support to the EFF and/or friendly congresscritter of your choice to help out.
        • However, since your machine will no longer connect to the Internet,

          What Internet? take away the free software parts and you don't have much left... (Also for that matter what shape would the US economy be in without such things as the New York Stock Exchange and the Postal Service?)

          the Linux and Free Software community will have to set up their own Network.

          They at least would still have all the tools needed to do that...
    • China, North Korea, Iraq, et al. are going to love this DRM thing. They will use it to silence political speech.

      In the West one centralized authority will be responsible for RSA signing all the approved works with their copying instructions. This centralized authority will have the only private key, and every electronic device will deny media not signed with it. Let us call the committee the Politburo. Hopefully the certificates will not be too expensive, possibly $5 provided the MPAA has not filed a unfounded cease and desist letter against you.

      Other nations will not be content with our DRM authority (and tax), so their servers, routers, and PC's will be installed with a different master key. This will create "regionalization" which the copyright owners also like. The media being copyright owners will avoid printing critical stories, and regional DRM will be law.

      Yes, it will succeed. Every computer component will be responsible for enforcing it. That means hard drives, network cards, CPU (look the size of itandiam's and carusoes microcode), and video cards, and router.

      Like my gun collecting friend, I should stockpile modern day computers. Every year when the DRM laws become more strict, I can sell my computers for a higher profit. The trick will be not to wait too long to sell when the grandfather clauses are revoked.

      Actually, just like today's emulation of old arcade games, someday these DRM crippled computers will be able to emulate old DRM free computers faster than my old stockpile. The DRM schemes will not be smart enought to look inside the emulation, and see the emulation as an approved process.

      You would think you are free, but the ISP will screen transmissions, and by this time the filters will recofigured to block anything it cannot understand and verify. So the contraband computer will be useless without communication.

      Naive people say, "Stealing is bad we should stop it." but at what price? Shoplifting has not yet been stopped, so should laws require stores to keep all muchandise behind glass? ... or should we cut off the fingers of people?

  • paranoia. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alien54 (180860) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @05:48PM (#3099012) Journal
    Well, we have seen over the past few months how Micorsoft patented a digital rights operating system [slashdot.org].

    We have also seen how perfect encryption is fundamentally impossible [slashdot.org], although being good enough for government work may get by.

    Somehow, the connection between this and the SSSCA could mean that Microsoft could be the only legal OS in the US. Purely coincidental of course.

    I think this should be investigated, just in case my paranoia has a legitimate case to make. Microsoft has a habit of too many convenient coincidences.

    Maybe they'll all go to jail because they will not be able to obey the law and provide an impossible result. I'm not holding my breath.

    • From the site on the story page.

      [abstract]:

      Filed: December 1, 1998


      So, this is actuall an old patent. Did microsoft sit back and wait for a time to introduce this patent... how many do they have?
      • Granted: February 5, 2002
      • Something strange about this patent, its assigned to IBM, not microsoft. Looks like the link in the original slashdot story changed.

        According to a comment in the original story, the MS patent was applied for in January 1999, but was just granted when the story appeared (December 2001).

    • Microsoft, IBM, Intel, and many many others have written Congress to say they'd rather figure this whole DRM thing on thier own.

      Why wouldn't they just come out and say: "hey, no way - we'll do the whole DRM Thing from top to bottom, and you'll mandate the OS."

      Probably because MS knows what we all know - that they products that are good enough for 90% of the population, but no the "top" 10% of computer usersl. They know that. WE know that. We all get it.

      MS's worst nightmare would be a law forcing Windows down the throats of all kinds of hard core tech heads. We are demanding, rude, intelligent, creative, loud-mouthed and generally hard to deal with.
    • Re:paranoia. (Score:5, Informative)

      by DarkSkiesAhead (562955) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @06:06PM (#3099082)

      Micorsoft patented a digital rights operating system
      ...
      Somehow, the connection between this and the SSSCA could mean that Microsoft could be the only legal OS in the US.

      In fact, the SSSCA has already made provisions for M$ in SECTION 107. ANTITRUST EXEMPTION:

      (c) EXEMPTION AUTHORIZED. -- When the Secretary finds that it is required by the public interest, the Secretary shall exempt a person participating in a meeting or discussion described in subsection (a) from the antitrust laws to the extent necessary to allow the person to proceed with the activities approved in the order.


      The persons described in subsection (a) are the "representatives of interactive digital device manufacturers". Isn't it great how our law-makers can forcefully create new markets for M$ (or others) to dominate?
  • by The Cat (19816) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @05:51PM (#3099024)
    A clearing-house of sorts (like the radio-royalty structure already in place) would solve 98% of the "file sharing problem."

    I think the current limits on bandwidth really are going to make widespread DVD sharing a little unlikely, even with broadband. The files are just too big. If it takes 412 hours to download a movie (at lower quality with fewer features, etc.), people aren't going to care. They'd probably rather just go to Blockbuster and rent it for $4 or whatever.

    Perhaps it could even be tied to bandwidth and charged at the ISP level. Say $.10 for every gig of downstream bandwidth used. Money goes to a clearing house and member copyright holders are paid based on the amount of material they have licensed to the clearing house. The more stuff they license, the more they get paid. There should also be a limit on the cost of the licenses written into the agreement so once everyone signs up it doesn't become $1000/gig.

    I think in radio now, anything with a particular label (or stamp or something) can be played royalty free without limits, incorporated into other forms (like commercials, etc.) and so on. Music industry doesn't complain about that at all, because it is free publicity for their product. Same thing here.

    This really would help solve almost all of the problems with file-sharing and it is a win-win of sorts. Pay-per-play it isn't, but pay-per-play isn't going to work anyway.

    • And the tax on CD-Rs has demontrated what a great idea this is...
    • The Audio Home Recording Act [virtualrecordings.com] is flawed in one respect that I hope would be corrected if it applied to downloading music on the net. While the Act provides for royalty payments to compensate the music industry, it does not provide anybody with a license to copy copyrighted musical works. What this means is that when you buy an audio tape, you are paying royalties because you are an assumed music thief but you are not buying the right to copy music for that price. The Act does not make it legal to copy copyrighted music onto an audio tape.

      In other words, if the Act were updated and applied to music downloads on the Internet, Napster would still be at Metallica's mercy. The royalties would have to be high enough that Metallica would prefer to receive the royalty checks than to have people buy their CDs in a store. That's pretty much impossible because the music industry makes a fortune on CDs, and I'm sure not going to pay CD prices to download from Gnutella.

      The only real solution is to modify the Act to give net users, in return for indirect royalty payments, a license to copy music digitally and use it for noncommercial, nonpublic use.

      • "While the Act provides for royalty payments to compensate the music industry, it does not provide anybody with a license to copy copyrighted musical works."

        Yes, it does make it legal. They don't call it a license. They call it immunity from prosecution for infringement, but it's the same thing. This comes straight from the RIAA [riaa.com]:

        The Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 (AHRA)

        This 1992 legislation exempts consumers from lawsuits for copyright violations when they record music for private, noncommercial use; eases access to advanced digital audio recording technologies; provides for the payment of modest royalties to songwriters and recording artists and companies; and mandates the inclusion of serial copying management technology in all consumer digital audio recorders to limit multi-generation audio copying (i.e., making copies of copies).
    • This of course is a bad idea.

      And I uhhmm know people who are uploading 3 gigs in a few days and downloading the same in a day. All the while sharing DVD movies... although in VCD or divx format, great copies.

      The problem with your system is that my ISP is the one who is collecting this tax and somehow will have to distinguish between what is free and what is un-free.

      If I'm downloading linux iso's I don't want the money to go to some Nazi content holder. Why can't debian/Red Hat/mandrake/Slackware get the money?

      So P2P needs to collect or make the money. Look below for my comment on this.
      • And I uhhmm know people who are uploading 3 gigs in a few days and downloading the same in a day. All the while sharing DVD movies... although in VCD or divx format, great copies.

        (Since I knew someone would disagree with the download speeds by citing some |337 connection somewhere, I prepared some figures)

        At fully-efficient speeds, a standard (370Kbps, probably on the fast side) cable modem connection would need all available downstream bandwidth for five and a half hours to transfer one GB of data, and fully 17 and a half hours to upload the same, given the also-standard upstream limits.

        Not practical at all. Especially when one considers the cost of transfer (who pays for thousands of gigs of downloads?). Such use of bandwidth will set off 47 different kinds of alarms at any broadband ISP (which would result in a disconnect under most AUPs), and would slow the network to a crawl anywhere else.

        The problem with your system is that my ISP is the one who is collecting this tax and somehow will have to distinguish between what is free and what is un-free.

        No they don't. They just collect the money and pay the clearing house. It doesn't matter what is downloaded.

        If I'm downloading linux iso's I don't want the money to go to some Nazi content holder. Why can't debian/Red Hat/mandrake/Slackware get the money?

        I'll pass on invoking Godwin. If Debian, Red Hat, Mandrake and Slackware license their distributions to the clearing house, they do get the money. Matter of fact, since they will likely be more willing to offer more products for free download, they will probably see higher than average royalties.
        • I'm going start my own biz called 'Crappy Software, Inc.' and pump out 3 crappy apps a day. I'll send thousands of crappy applications to the clearing house. How much do and I get paid?

          I'm not trying to be 'flamebait' here... just questioning your business model. The previous poster was asking how you would be able to distinguish applications from music and movies? That is a huge responsibility for the ISPs. Would we be paying $500/mo. Internet bills?
          • How much do and I get paid?

            Don't know. Only been thinking about this for a few hours.

            Perhaps users could publically comment and/or rate applications? Premiums could be paid for higher rated files, perhaps with certain ISP-sanctioned download locations being compensated for offering premium applications with the ability to track the number of successful downloads quarterly.

            just questioning your business model.

            lol.. well, this probably doesn't qualify as a business model yet, not even a back-of-the-napkin sketch.

            The previous poster was asking how you would be able to distinguish applications from music and movies? That is a huge responsibility for the ISPs.

            You can't, and they shouldn't try. That would reintroduce all of the current problems and then some.

            Would we be paying $500/mo. Internet bills?

            No. The amount paid would be directly tied to the amount of bandwidth used by each individual. If someone downloads a terabyte a month, then they pay a lot more than someone who just wants the latest #1 mp3 and a couple of weekends worth of movies.

            It would be a good idea also to start the "clearing house" as a group of small companies, each responsible for a small area as opposed to one giant gatekeeper.

            If there are really 3.5 billion songs (4MB each) downloaded a month, then there are 1000 terabytes of aggregate bandwidth. At $1/gig, that's $1M/month in royalties. Clearing house gets 5%, 10 record companies (example only) each get a maximum of $95,000 a month until their copyright runs out, provided they license their entire library. This would be *in addition to* their current businesses.

            Not bad, considering they are getting $0 now, and it will be far simpler than retooling the entire technology industry and refitting the Internet.
        • "If Debian, Red Hat, Mandrake and Slackware license their distributions to the clearing house, they do get the money."

          All the software in Debian is _free_. Do you understand what that means? It is _already_ licensed to everyone, including the right to put it up for download. In fact, downloads of Debian are made from independent mirrors, not from Debian servers. How the hell would Debian get any royalties?

          "Matter of fact, since they will likely be more willing to offer more products for free download, they will probably see higher than average royalties."

          Debian doesn't want any god damn royalties.

          If I put a work of mine up for free downloading I intend that everyone be able copy it without paying me anything. I don't need the government forcing them to pay a fee to some damn "clearinghouse".

  • Google hasn't cached politechbot's articles, and a full text post sets of the lameness filter, so I've provided mirrors on my own server.

    http://www.kaosrain.com/biden.kazaa.letter.030202. html [kaosrain.com]

    http://www.kaosrain.com/p-03210.html [kaosrain.com]
  • by Snafoo (38566) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @06:01PM (#3099058) Homepage
    Goddammit! If Europe gets the SSSCA, my plans to become an irresistably chic Espresso-sipping Parisian nouveau hacker are dashed.

    Looks like I'm moving to Sealand. They better have a whole lotta instant, that's all I can say.....

    • Looks like I'm moving to Sealand. They better have a whole lotta instant, that's all I can say.....

      Sealand???? Come on. That place will be British territory again before the end of July.

    • All of us freedom-loving geeks (and anyone else we can convince to join our cause) should band together, form a militia, buy some boats, and go conquer some underpopulated remote country. Then we'll form a new government, with a constitution and bill of rights. The first amendment will be: "if you own an object, you can modify that object in any way you please." If we get enough intellectual capital together (i.e. brain drain from other countries), our economy should surpass the so-called "first world" countries fairly quickly.
      • Of course, one bad flu would wipe out the nation. And all ten women would get pretty tired of being chased around. Also, who would work in the espresso bar? Geeks are notoriously cheap for anything that isn't a geek-fetish.
        • We'll get flu shots, so that shouldn't be a problem. As for the women, that could definitely be a problem. Maybe we could import a bunch from Russia...

          As for other workers, we'll use the natives (and pay them well) at first, and as needs increase allow others to immigrate (according to strict immigration policies designed to keep out evil CEOs who might try to infiltrate and turn it into another corporate republic). If the nation is successful, a lot of people will want to immigrate there to get away from countries where they get sued for criticizing corporations, thrown in jail for opening their DVD player, get mailed automatic speeding tickets any time their car detects they've exceeded the speed limit, thrown in jail for reading someone else's book, etc.
  • Opennap (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Funny no one on Slashdot ever mentions Opennap. The opennap server [sourceforge.net] is opensource and uses the old napster protocol. Clients are available [sourceforge.net] for a wide variety of Oses, most of which are opensource and spyware free.

    There's a large number of opennap servers & networks operated worldwide. Some have tens of thousands of users connected, others are more specific on music type or nationality (or at least that appears to be the intent).

    • people do use opennap. its the secret GOOD p2p. why does everyone suckle at the tit of ad/spyware monkeys?
  • I don't believe the SSSCA will ever come to pass, but it doesn't hurt to hope for the best and expect the worst.

    Assuming a worst-case scenario where SSSCA-style laws pass in both Europe and North America, and non-compliant hardware is seized at the borders, what should we as techies do to help the 95% of the public who can't hack? Whatever it is, remember to KISS, KISS, KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid.

    A simple hotsheet of all the SSSCA-OK hardware and *what* it will prevent you from doing in simple terms might be a start. A web site that lists all the hardware and makes it easy for people to share information?

    I sound like a broken record (aye!, but not a corrupt CD), but the ultimate, most powerful hack sits in people's wallets - cash or credit card. Whatever's done will need to leverage that power for the benefit of the public.

    Your mileage may vary...
    • Re:Simple Options (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DickBreath (207180) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @06:41PM (#3099179) Homepage
      I don't believe the SSSCA will ever come to pass.

      I strongly disagree. With all due respect, you are niave.

      Let me see now. I'm old enough to have said to myself under my breath....

      I don't think the government will let Microsoft get away with it.

      I don't think the DMCA will ever come to pass.

      I don't think the CDA will ever come to pass.

      I don't think that encryption will ever be illegal.

      I don't think anything will ever come of CALEA.

      Should I go on?
      • If I'm naive, you're clueless. :-)

        OK, flames aside, here's why the SSSCA faces a severe uphill battle. Unlike any of the other points you cite, the SSSCA involves incorporating copy protection into *all* digital equipment, not *just* consumer equipment. Buying high-end Sun servers for your big-ass corporate data center that serves people like GTE, AT&T and GE? Buying industrial strength routers for your 80 location corporate intranet? Buying a cluster of high-end servers to help manage reservations, check-ins, real-time security and departure/arrival times? Do you think these corporations are going to tolerate having copy protection tech built into computer equipment that will never see the light of day regarding mp3s or DivXs?

        Wake up. The DMCA, Microsoft, the CDA and CALEA do not effect big business in any perceived meaningful way (If you don't want MS, you can always go Linux/*BSD). Encryption, huh? It's legal and anyone who wants to use it can. Both my employer and I use 2K+ bit encryption on e-mail...

        The SSSCA, unlike any of the options above, will be a major headache. You may not like the fact that corporations are more important to Congress than citizens are, but for once it does play to our benefit (unless of course Congress builds mass-scale exemptions into the SSSCA for corporate purchases).

        Time will tell.
        • OK, flames aside, here's why the SSSCA faces a severe uphill battle.

          I agree. Flames aside, before they even get lit. The reasons you cite for it being an uphill battle are valid. And I agree that the SSSCA would be incredibly stupid.

          But you don't see my point. (BTW, I did say with all due respect.) I was once niave too. Then the CDA was not only passed, but signed. I was stunned. Couldn't believe it. I had carefully watched this battle for two years.

          My point was that these people can pass any law they want. It doesn't have to make sense. It doesn't even have to be possible to implement. Wanna bet there is selective enforcement for corporations? Or licenses that can be obtained to have SSSCA free hardware, just as you can now get a license to handle controlled substances, marajuanna, explosives, pyrotechnics, etc.?

          My point was that it is niave to think that they won't pass laws because you assume that the following obstacles would stand in their way:
          • Facts
          • Impossible to implement
          • The population already widely disobeys proposed law and would continue to do so
          • The laws of physics
          • Fundamental mathematical constants
          • etc.

          That's what I meant by niave. No disrespect intended. The non-niave view is that none of the above things will stop them from passing stupid laws. We could all very well live to see the day the SSSCA passed into law and signed. I illustrated with other unthinkable examples that all came to pass. There are other examples of stupid laws such as the War On Freedom, the War On Drugs, Prohibition, 55 MPH speed limit, Proposing that PI be equal to 3, etc.

          While I agree with all your reasoning that the SSSCA should not be passed, I am saying it is niave to believe that it will not be passed, simply because of your valid reasons. I gave examples, and you did not counter them, yet suggest I am clueless. I give even more examples in this post.

          Go to any modern bookstore. (You know, those chains run by big corporations.) Look in the humor section. You can probably find one or several books about funny laws. These books are humorous because of the incredible stupidity of those laws. Did you know that it is illegal in Boston to bathe without the authorization of a physician? Are you so niave to think that a law like this would never get passed? (Again, no disrespect meant.) But it did get passed a long time ago.

          Clueless? Maybe I don't have as much of a clue as the heterosexuals do. But just look at history. Haven't you ever heard the famous quote? Something about: No man, nor his property are safe while Congress is in session. Or something like that. I'm sure someone can correct me, or mod me down. Don't you think that the person who wrote this famous quote had some insight?
    • I don't believe the SSSCA will ever come to pass, but it doesn't hurt to hope for the best and expect the worst.
      I disagree. It is for the simple reason, that this will be sold as new technology enabling you to access new content. It's like you need Real Player to get a Real Audio stream, need Flash to play the latest video games etc. It will be an additonal feature. When it is in place, the push will be on to have it dilute and replace MP3's. Yahoo searches for mp3's now turn up more non-mp3 stuff in one protected pay me format or another than mp3's. Try it. See how long it will take you to find and download more than 10 good mp3's without giving up a credit card number or giving any personal information. See how many non-MP3's are offered (Liquid Audio, Real, etc.) Start with a Yahoo search for MP3. There are very few MP3's simply posted on a web site due to the litigation risk. Even MP3.com does not have MP3's. To listen to ANYTHING it is streamed and not downloaded. It will be worse when SSSCA is as standard as MS Windows on new machines. You will have to visit the internet underground to find mp3's.
  • If theres slashdotters in the UK / Europe who haven't already seen this, and want to do something about the EU Copyright Directive (our DMCA) and now this, have a look at The Campaign For Digital Rights [eurorights.org] (in the UK) and The Eurorights Movement [eurorights.org] There may be something we can do about this one, but we have to get reasonably organised to do it. Sign up to the mailing lists, and join in - before they take all our rights
  • If the SSSCA passes in the US, we will see the following effects: 1. Cost of new hardware/software goes up to compensate for the inclusion of the DRM: thes things cost money to create, and you know that the copyright-crazy MPAA/RIAA cartel will demand that you licence the DRM rather than having an open standard. 2. Open Source dies a slow death: as the government eventually realizes that they can't force open source operating systems and other software to include DRM effectively, without criminally punishing the developers. 3. The electronics industry will be at the beck-and-call of the entertainment industry: since the "copyright holders" have the sole right to choose what DRM they want to use, the tech industry will need to design their products to confrom to the entertainment industry's marketing decisions. 4. As the former three effects take place, the pace of progress will slow, and the intended result (after all, well-regulated copyright exists to promote the progress of science and the useful arts ( U.S. Constitution, Sec.8, P.8)) will be frustrated. 5. Those who really want to get at the DRM-protected content, and have the ability to do so, still will. The SSSCA is a tremendously short-sighted, economically harmful, stupid thing to legislate. For the US or for Europe. Oh, and don't forget, the SSSCA was brought to you by the progenators of the "Mickey Mouse Argument" :)
  • With all this talk about digital rights, etc., I feel the need to rant. OK...

    I can't wait until the record companies are out of the picture. It's possible these days to create music from your own home and record it onto CDs with the same quality as you'll find on the latest Britney Spears album at Wal-Mart.

    I foresee a time when instead of music artists getting paid somewhere between five and seven cents for every CD sold, they distribute them for five dollars and actually get about 90% of that money.

    Music sharing will be as legal as email and will be entirely peer to peer, with the reliance of one central server a thing of the past.

    Artists will release 30 songs onto their website every year, and their fans will choose the 10-15 that make it onto their official album.

    Concerts will continue to be popular, and once Ticketmaster is out of the picture, ticket prices will drop to between $10 and $30.

    Creative, groundbreaking music will be appropriately lauded and redundant bubblegum pop will be laughed at.

    *bump* Oops, looks like I fell asleep. Wow, that was some dream...

    EricKrout.com Is Back In Action :: GNUs For Nerds. Flawless Grammar. [erickrout.com]
    • Re:I can't wait... (Score:3, Informative)

      by LMCBoy (185365)
      Amen. I saw a band [ruffiansband.com] perform at a bar last night. They were selling their latest CD for $5. They were so much more talented than the vast majority of the RIAA's cash cows^H^H^H^H^H...uh, artists.


      It's my greatest wish that bands like this are the future of music. Musicians: screw record contracts, publish your stuff yourselves, because you love making music.

      • Re:I can't wait... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by limber (545551)
        Here in toronto the keynote speaker for CMW (a mildly pretentious and industry-oriented music festival) was moby, a guy who has been successful not so much in making good music but rather for selling snippets from every track of his last album for commercials.

        He had, I thought, an interesting and pragmatic take of the future. Especially given that his audience was mostly people in the music industry. He thinks that the ways in which music is made, marketed, distributed, and sold must change radically over the next ten years. He said that bands oriented towards live performances would be successful, citing the Bare Naked Ladies and Nirvana as examples.

        The quote that i remember was, "You can't download a concert. You can't download a t-shirt." That is to say, you can't replicate the experience of live music. His follow up comment was, "you can listen to a recording of live music, but compared to being there it's like watching porno in a hotel room instead of actually having sex with someone".

        In a way it's like a shift back to Mozart's day -- you had to go around performing and composing prolifically to make a living.

        He also noted how the a large chunk of the generation of his 14 year old cousin had "grown up without ever having bought an album. they download everything." So he was trying to make people in the industry aware that a cultural shift is already taking place with respect to consumer's attitudes towards 'ownership' of music.

        He also dismissed conventionally 'manufactured pop' and boy bands, and cited himself ironically as an example of an act becoming successful outside of the mainstream labels.
    • It's possible these days to create music from your own home and record it onto CDs with the same quality as you'll find on the latest Britney Spears album at Wal-Mart.

      That doesn't say much...
  • by dpilot (134227) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @06:26PM (#3099139) Homepage Journal
    CDs cost less than cassettes, but are priced higher, "because of apparent value". Tell that to computer makers, who pack more and sell for less, every year. IMHO, the price of real products is a compromise between cost of manufacture and what the competition will allow. Look at the price of DRAM, for an example. And of course we all know that next to nothing of that $18 CD that cost $0.10 to make went to royalties for the artists.

    Also IMHO, the only business where "apparent value" can be a true factor in pricing is where competition is absent, that is a CARTEL or MONOPOLY. In the case of CDs, we have the joy of both at the same time.

    There's the old lesson from videotapes: $80 tapes get pirated bigtime, $20 tapes don't. Plus tapes aren't $20, any more.

    I feel ripped off every time I buy a CD, and thus I buy very seldom, principally as gifts. At half the price, I'd buy more than twice as many. At a third the price, more than thrice. At some point, storage would become the limiting factor, not money and purchase price.

    Movies are headed the same way, and what's unfortunate about all this is that we're about to take a hurting tech sector and send it down in flames with SSSCA-type legislation. We're about to say that Jobs and Woz, or Hewlett and Packard will NEVER happen again, at least not in computing, because SSSCA turns the entire computing field into sealed boxes, and locks the innovator out.

    At the very least, opt-in would be workable. Strong enough crypto to require hardware chips, maybe even crypto all the way into a sealed monitor. Better than SSSCA, anyway.

    Of course copyright reform would be better yet. Isn't it interesting that patent durations have remained steady? Says something about the media industries, and what we've allowed them to turn into.
    • The music business seems to me like an ideal candidate for those RAND (reasonable and non-discrimnatory) licenses that caused some trouble at the W3C recently. Supppose that anyone could legally distribute copies of music provided they paid the artist the same amount per copy as they would get from their actual official record company. It would let services like mp3.com distribute music cheap by charging 2 cents per track instead of $1 on top of what goes to the artist, it would bring CD prices down really quickly and it would actually help the artists.

      Of course, while the entertainment business controls half of Congress, it's not going to happen.
    • I keep seeing this $18 figure for CDs, but where does it come from? I bought six CDs today and they ranged in price from $11 to $15. I don't think I've ever seen an $18 CD, unless it was a special import or something.
    • CDs cost less than cassettes, but are priced higher, "because of apparent value".

      The actual cost of pressed CD's is very low. Consider the number of computer magazines which come with at least one disk or even the way AOL send out postal spam with their disks.
      CD's are priced based on what the market will bear. Similarly for DVD's, except that they came up with the idea of regions, so as to charge what the market will bear in each of those reagions...
  • by ImaLamer (260199) <john@lamar.gmail@com> on Saturday March 02, 2002 @06:26PM (#3099140) Homepage Journal
    The RIAA doesn't want people to have digital copies that they can burn.

    File sharing companies at least want to deliver something that we can hear, watch, and experience.

    The fast track[tm] technology that is used by products such as Kazaa[tm] and Music City's Morpheus[also tm] is pretty strong and can combine clients/servers to provide media almost on demand for people who have dsl/cable and above. Gnutella also is becoming the strongest in terms of a network that may never be truly killed. And let's not forge Napster, the demon of P2P IMHO; they may actually sell some media to people.

    No one wants to bother with DRM. Computer users will most likely reject any such system. So, the simple solution is to take a somewhat common sense approach.

    Advertising and competition must come into play so that the P2P business isn't stomped on by media owners [of course, if the money comes in no one gets stomped]. Maybe one network will offer digital copies, fast browsing and strong searching. Another might offer a way to put your media on a personal server and a winamp/xmms/FreeAmp/Netscape/IE et.al. plug-in will be the search and viewing client. Finally an open and free network which will probaly be supported by an array of advertising stunts.

    The point is, we can have a system where no one is abused. DRM isn't needed if people use common sense and let these systems evolve into a decent business model. Not everything will work. But media/content owners can be payed. One thing I think we will need to get over is the fact that P2P systems may collect data on what is downloaded, viewed, and listened to.

    If we don't think of P2P as a way to get free stuff and show our friends how cool we are because we watched LOTR 2 days before release we may save it. Let's think of it as Cable, Network TV and the like. But like some cable channels if you don't want commercials you are going to have to pay up.

    Look at XM radio, in my town it's becoming quite popular. We can take advantage of technology in a good way.
  • YAY! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by autopr0n (534291) on Saturday March 02, 2002 @06:31PM (#3099154) Homepage Journal
    The internet, which once held the promise to liberate 'the masses', allow point to point communication on a scale never before seen, is now being co-opted by the mass media by force of law. That's just wonderfull.

    Btw, I'm being sarcastic.
  • by drik00 (526104)
    i remember reading about a court decision a few years back that ruled that the admin of a web board isnt responsible for the comments/content of what the visitors post to his site...wouldnt this same ruling protect any general file-sharing system? Kazaa doesnt house any of the copyrighted data, if the users use its technology to transmit a bunch of 1's and 0's, how is kazaa responsible for the content that its users send?

    just curious

  • I can hardly wait for the day when we are forced to pay to look at a painting we already own. Oh wait that will only apply to the digital copies of that painting/picture.
  • I've only read negative comments so far. Actually, I *read* that pdf the last hour and I didn't find it really shocking. It is good to see the European Commision do a study on this topic. The European Commission seems to recognize that DRMs easily cause trouble because they can take away our rights. The PDF says that lawful use of protected media must remain possible. What's wrong with that? I haven't found any phrase which proposes to forbid hardware that does *not* implement DRM. That is what the SSSCA is about, what nobody here will want and what I hope many politicians in Europe will oppose too. There is some DMCA-alike speech, however: 'legal safeguards are essential to support technological measures and protect them against unlawful circumvention and these are already in place' - but that is already much more subtle than the general definition of a 'circumvention device' that the USA have defined.
    I live in The Netherlands and I might be naive, but I just haven't seen the proof yet, that a European SSSCA would come to exist. Good to keep an eye on this matter, but where is that proof? This seems Slashdot-hype again..
  • I posted this comment a few days ago in a different thread, but it bears repeating.

    The SSSCA isn't that bad, and something like it needs to happen.

    So... copyright cartels get control over their stuff. So what. So people have to pay for it. Big deal.

    In fact, as long as there isn't any mandate that ALL content has to go through some kind of corporate or government review in order to be distributed, we're fine. As long as distribution costs are cheap for those who want to distribute cheaply -- as long as I can give away MY music for free, or charge a quarter a song without having to give some portion of the fee to someone else -- then we're in good shape.

    Because once the copyright cartels proceed to ream everyone over, then non-mainstream distribution is going to look better and better.

    I don't know how to get around problems for open source running on various hardware. That does need to be addressed. But getting a death grip on their own content will cause copyright cartels to lose their grip on the market. Which is what we all want.

    • Uh, except that the SSSCA, in order to be effective, would have to outlaw the general purpose computer. I and probably most others here could give a good g*d damn about the *AA locking up their precious boy-band and brain-sugar "content," but when the technology to lock it down is mandatory and we can no longer directly access our hardware, it's time to become a bit concerned.
    • as long as I can give away MY music for free

      My question is "how does this all work?" I have a CD. I rip it (because jesus, that should still be my right). I upload the files to my iPod. Does the iPod then check and say "This was ripped by psxndc. This iPod belongs to .... psxndc. OK, I'll play it."?

      Another scenario: I then take an mp3 downloaded off the net and try to play it. My iPod then says "This was ripped by |337 H4X0r. This iPod belongs to ... psxndc. Sorry". Cool. I'm prevented from stealing music.

      Lastly, you rip an mp3 that is music you created to put up on mp3.com. I download it. If it has a copyright on it, and I didn't rip it, how do I play it? If it doesn't have a copyright on it, then won't my iPod refuse to play it because it isn't complient? I admit I don't understand how the technology is going to work, but I don't understand how people will be able to give their creations away under this system.

      psxndc

    • "I don't know how to get around problems for open source running on various hardware."

      They don't see that as a problem. They see it as a solution.

      "But getting a death grip on their own content will cause copyright cartels to lose their grip on the market."

      They intend to get a deathgrip on the _entire_ market. Anything not marked in some way with some sort of key from the 'clearinghouse' will be blocked by the DRM hardware, and it will be effectively impossible for those who are not members of the cartel to get such keys.
  • i should start by saying that i'm from the punk/hardcore scene, so i'm by no means an advocate of major labels or anything. but it seems like any discussion of file sharing, DRM or the like always devolves into "CDs are too expensive, so it's ok for me to download MP3s." i'm not here to pass judgement on the ethics of that decision, but i thought i'd add my $.02, since i've not seen this information mentioned frequently on slashdot.
    let's take the newest britney spears record. it wouldn't surprise me if they paid over $1 million to record it. tack on another $50K for artwork and photography, $50K for a new website, another $500K for national print advertising campaign, and probably at least $100K for legal. there's probably a lot more expenses i'm not thinking of, but you get the idea. before the CD even goes to the pressing plant, the tab is already close to $2 million. sure, manufacturing is comparitively cheap when pressing that much, but i'm sure they're paying at least $1 each when all's said and done. so let's say that if they pressed an initial run of 4M copies, their cost is almost $6 million. and when you see a CD for sale at $16 or whatever they cost these days (i stopped buying CDs when i discovered napster years ago), it's not like that $16 goes into the label's pocket. they're probably selling to the distributor (probably a subsidiary of the label in Jive/RCA's case) for maybe $8 each, who then marks the price up to $12 or $13 and sells it to the retailer, who marks it up again. so when they sell 4 million copies, their gross profit is perhaps $6.50 per CD (still a lot of money). but the money's not in the bank yet- out of the money they make off of releases like britney they pay their extremely well-compensated executives and other staff members, and the profits from successful releases subsidize the money they lose off of their releases that bomb (which far outnumber the successful ones).
    to be sure, the labels are still making a very healthy profit, but what's wrong with that? and if an artist is getting shitty royalty payments, well, they are as much to blame as anyone else-- after all, they signed the contract! back when pop punk was the thing in 95 or so, many bands (like rancid) decided not to sign to major labels because they did their homework and it turned out that they would make more money selling less records on a smaller label (like epitaph) that paid them higher royalties per unit. so i don't really feel too bad for artists who don't read the fine print, or choose to ignore it, then compain later.
    also, let's not forget that without the substantial investments in promotion and what not that only a bigger label can provide, you may not have heard of your favorite artist in the first place. and if you never hear about the artist, it really makes the issue of their royalties moot, since you'd never purchase their record. finally, let's not forget the powerful legal muscle that labels can provide. if a business or individual were to use some unknown garage band's material in an unathorized fashion, it's entirely likely that the band would never hear about it, and even if they did, they would have a tough time getting any royalty monies out of it. but, since it's in a major label's best interest to do so (let's not kid ourselves and pretend the labels are in it for the music or the artists' best interests), they could have a team of scary lawyers on it in a heartbeat (see disney). so i guess what i'm trying to say is that the music business, like any other issue, is not black and white. of course major labels (and most indies) and totally shady, shiftless fuckers, but they also provide capital and invaluable services to artists, who are frequently too stupid to know what's good for them anyway. so, demonizing labels and industry organizations is really a short-sighted point of view.
    • "CDs are too expensive
      And when they are too expensive, many people leave them on the shelf as unsold. I stopped buying music on a weekly basis when it passed $8 per copy. (I know it's been a few years ago.) This has weaned me from being a prerecorded music collector. Last year I bought a total of 3 CD's and one used DVD. I still buy movies. On tape movies are much cheaper than music. Why is a 2 hour movie on DVD about the same price as a 1 hour music CD recording. The overpricing of audio is obvious to anyone. I thought movies cost lots more to make than a band recording. How many people would buy music on a regular basis if it is priced like a Sunday newspaper? Unsold CD's regardless of piracy or price is not helping anyones bottom line.
  • If the SSSCA passes and I am no longer able to put my Linux box on the internet, perhaps I will dig out a couple of old modems I have and setup a good old fashioned BBS. I remember a time when the US was dotted with somewhere around 30,000 of these BBS's and many of them were connected through FIDO net or similar. I know no one would want to download MP3's off such a thing and after having been on a cable modem for over a year, I would hate to fall back to dialup. It worked for us in the past, perhaps it will be our future and maybe the only future for Free (as in both beer and speech) content.
    • The big problem with files on a BBS is legal liability. If you have no-no's on your files section, you are a sitting duck for legal action. BBS'es do not have the protection of a distributed net.
      • You are correct, but it would be easy enough to filter uploads or not allow uploads at all. Lets face it though, this would be a merely "OK" alternative medium for communications, but would truly suck for file sharing.
  • ...to everyone ever wrongfully shot by a gun. If they can legislate mathematically impossible DRM into existance, then why the HELL can't they legislate guns that won't shoot innocent people?

  • The artists should be signing up with web sites where they can sell their music directly to the public, say $3 per album with the profits split 50/50 with the distribution site, passing on the cost savings and still taking more per download than they get on each CD sold.


    Vivendi Universal, one of the proponents of violating the Red Book standard, operates such a service, called MP3.com D.A.M. Artists like Gregory Chekalin [mp3.com] who distribute their albums on D.A.M. for $10 a piece keep $5 a piece, and unlike Universal's other releases, D.A.M. discs are compatible with the Red Book, and they include cleartext 128 kbps MP3 files of all audio tracks.

    • Gah... mp3.com is far from what it used to be, and it should be avoided. Its contract for artists is barely better than the notoriously bad Farmclub agreement: Vivendi retains permanent rights to your music for anything called a 'secure account' forever, even after you leave. Vivendi also gets the right to change the agreement that binds you at any time, with your consent or without, subject only to a few days warning you have during which you can quit mp3.com: that is your only recourse, it does not mean you can take your music from them, and furthermore it's entirely up to you to keep monitoring the agreement for changes: they're not obligated to tell you directly, they need only change it on their website without telling you they've done so.

      mp3.com is HORRIBLE. Plus their 'DAM' CDs are burned off of 128K mp3s- this is arguably still Red Book, but it's misleading to claim it is Red Book.

      There are better options. I personally use ampcast.com [ampcast.com] for two major reasons- one, the contract is sane and fair and two, they have common sense and run a good business. I've had material up on besonic.com [besonic.com] as well, but they're gradually deleting it because they're moving to a paid-hosting arrangement like Ampcast (only BeSonic is continuing to provide small free accounts for hobby musicians- Ampcast does not). Finally, I've heard some good things about javamusic.com [javamusic.com], though I can't speak personally to that- I do know it's another site that hosts and can produce Red Book CDs (from Red Book masters?) like Ampcast.

      Don't use mp3.com. Don't use farmclub.com. Don't use any of the major-label controlled sites. I'm not saying this over ideological reasons, though that's a good reason to avoid them. I'm saying it in terms of sheer self-defense. Farmclub offers a 'play on our national TV show!' deal to sucker people in- it's supposed to be 'exposure'. I've talked to someone who's been offered this- it is contingent upon your signing the 80 PAGE CONTRACT they present you with, a contract that flat-out fucks any hope you might have of pursuing a career in the music business by its restrictiveness and insane abusiveness. The person I talked to read the contract, refused to sign, refused to play and bailed out of the whole Farmclub scene. Of course, Farmclub still part-owns the material they'd submitted...

      Be careful out there!

  • Now if only the pirates gone legit and start making legal music CD...

    as absurd as this sounds there is only 1 thing standing in their way

    KARTEL ( = MONOPOLY )

    most people don't WANT to steal from "the artists". They however do not want to keep being fucked around. There are a number of fundamental problems with music distribution that this whole pirating thing solves

    1) VERY limited choice. Compared to the amount of available music, there is no music store that has a decent selection (define decent selection as 1% of all music, you would have a VERY VERY VERY big store)

    -> this can be solved now on the internet, it WAS being solved by napster, it IS being solved by gnutella, kazaa, etc

    2) Price. Obviously most people want a big music collection with, say, 10% of all music they ever heard. At this moment that costs millions. THAT is a problem. (same goes for videos, people wouldn't even bother lending tapes, dvd's, etc if there was a better option, the technology to provide a better option is here, and available, USE IT)

    -> this is SUPPOSED TO BE SOLVED by the public domain. You pay a price for the artists, to support them, but after a while it is public. This NEEDS to be enforced (you know why, and you know how ie the source material in unobfuscated form needs to be given in escrow somewhere, so libraries (and everybody else) can get their hands on it when copyright expires)

    3) Big companies screwing around with release dates, availability. Trying to control the market. Monopolizing, screwing over artists, screwing over consumers. "The Market" is in reality a force of hundreds of millions of users. To control this you need to outsmart everyone. They infuriate people, and then they're surprised when people start using other means to the same goal.
    • this is SUPPOSED TO BE SOLVED by the public domain.

      Which is also useful to artists, indeed the music industry even coined the term "cover version" to cover a new rendition of an old piece of work

      You pay a price for the artists, to support them,

      To encourage them to produce more work. Which dosn't work that well when most of the money winds up going to the publisher rather than the actual creator and makes no sense at all if the creator is retired (or dead)...
  • Let say we add in $1 a piece on top of the $1-$2 per music CD for the artists, the price is still a lot less than what RIAA sells. I am pretty sure the artists is getting a much better deal out of this.

    IIRC the named performers of a track typically receive a few cents, people such a backing singers, recording engineers, etc might well either either recieve fractions or simply get a fixed amount regardless of how many copies sell.

    What about promotional cost etc ? Do CD pirates have promotions ? Nope. Radio stations pays RIAA for airing music.

    They may be playing "promotional copies" which they were sent. But the cost to the publisher here is the actual cost of the media and posting it. They may well make a net profit from the fees the station pays back to them anyway.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming

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