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Write Back: -dan's napster report

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I liked that a lot. I've sort of been following the controversy (to be honest, I don't much care what the major labels and their bands do), and I find it pretty amusing.
My only other comment is on your last few lines. Copyright infringement isn't the only way to fight back. I'd much rather people just stop supporting bands that go to major labels, and instead stick with bands on smaller labels or bands doing it themselves without a label backing. Or you can just buy the major label stuff used. I can see both sides to the copyright argument, and I understand that both have merit. It just seems that there are other ways to fight back. Let's face it, some of these bands are just as greedy as the labels they are on. I've interviewed plenty of them to know that's the case.
Good work!

-Doug (

Hey....I just want to say. I had never heard of this site. But I like this guy, this e-zine, and its content. Suhweet.

Well if you wanna list other artists....Public Enemy and Billy Idol are also on our side. ;)

Ray (

Fact is, the recording industry has made a living out of ripping consumers off. And now that the consumers have a real alternative to their monopoly, they're getting pissed.

Even if this is true about the record industry where is this alternative? And what monopoly?

Ed: The alternative is Napster/MP3. The problem is with the Record Industry's ridiculously expensive means of distribution of music. Napster is the alternative means of distribution. As far as the monopoly goes, it's not just one company, but rather the big record companies working together as one. See here to see what's being done to prevent it. Also see the following post.

While the show didn't really introduce anything new or surprising, it did clue the world onto where a lot of musicians stand on the topic. While a good portion are anti-Napster, the software does have its share of big-name supporters, like Bloodhound Gang, Offspring, Courtney Love, Kittie, and of course Limp Bizkit (whose free summer tour is being sponsored by Napster).

Would that be the same Bloodhound Gang, Offspring, Courtney Love, Kittie, and Limp Bizkit that are active members of the recording industry that you claim rip consumers off? Courtney Love has a well documented history of abusing, threatening and bullying journalists, so she's obviously a keen exponent of free expression.

Ed: Actually, for the most part artists are also victims of the recording companies. The way a recording contract usually works is, if a band doesn't make it, they have to spend the following however many years of they're life paying back the record company the money it spent on them. They're not who I'm talking about when I say "record companies."


Please name three smaller bands that have made it on their own, or even three bands that have been promoted solely due to the activities of Napster? Legally Stealing? Is that like quick slow or good bad? Fight the System? What are you writing about? Has your capacity for social or political activism been reduced to piracy? Do you honestly feel liberated by this? When I consider all the struggles of many people across the globe, mp3 piracy is not an issue that's included. One issue I will add is the growing number of internet users that choose to adopt an ill-informed and cynical attitude and communicate it as enlightenment, whilst ignoring the possibilities of seriously researching subjects via the internet. salut!

Ed: Napster is still relatively new, but many bands have had MP3's to thank for their growing success. Visit here to see what Napster is doing to help upcoming bands use the software for self-promotion. The power of the internet allows world distribution of information/music without the need of a corporate men-in-suits company.

Philip Page (

Even if this is true about the record industry where is this alternative? And what monopoly?

The 4 company monopoly of Warners, Seagrams, Sony, and BMG who control 80% of the music biz. And by the way NAPSTER never was investigated for Price FIXING which the other 4 agreed to quit, AFTER overcharging consumers $500 million dollars in the last 2 and 1/2 years. And that was this year! See Musea for more.
Art S Revolutionary.

Tom Hendricks (editor of the zine Musea

> keeps the big bands from getting too rich
I hope you don't plan on ever getting 'too rich' yourself. I would certainly oppose that.

joan (

*APPLAUDS* *CHEERS* *WOO-HOO* Well said that man. Got it exactly. If I could have been bothered when we had this argument before thats exactly what I would've said. Nice one.

Stevie (

Dave wrote: >I do not just speak for myself when i say that Napster is the reason for a lot of the Cds I have bought. I download a few song by a band and if I like them I buy the CD, if not, the Mp3 is deleted.

Ditto. I do the same thing. I hear of a band people say is cool, so I download a few MP3s. If I like, I buy the album. It's that simple. That's how I got hooked on the Skatalites, Desmond Dekker and Hepcat. Flogging Molly and Great Big Sea were two examples of bands I saw live but couldn't find their album, so I download a few songs until I do find the album. It's simple. Napster seems completely wrong and illeagal, but what they're doing isn't entirely bad, I think. Bah. Whutever. the DE

Rude Boy (

> > Fact is, the recording industry has made a living out of ripping consumers off.

> So that means consumers have the right to rip off hard working artists and basically say f*ck copyright infringement laws.

Do you seriously think that good music would cease to exist if it wasn't (highly) profitable? If the artists really had to work hard (i.e day jobs) to support their love of making music?

Do you also think people would stop playing baseball/soccer/other sports if there wasn't multi-million dollar industry based around these sports?

Copyright and patent law was intended to promote creation and innovation. It is currently being used by the 'media cartels' to *reduce* creation and innovation (attempting to criminalize new technology to protect profits, and to help dominate the market - preventing fair competition). Which is why many people don't feel bad about ripping off the big record companies (who are, after all, often ripping off the artists)

So I suppose, to some extent, yes, f*ck copyright laws! - when all they're doing is protecting the megaprofits of the megacorps at the expense of consumers and artists. And especially f*ck the new copyright laws (the DMCA in particular) created by Corporate America and being forced upon the worldwide Internet community to protect American profits.

Dave (

I totally agree that the prices should be lower, but I still don't agree with the concept of totally free music off Napster etc. I'm sure the record companies would make just as much money if they lowered the prices because far more people would buy the records. I know if it was me and they halved the price, I'd buy twice as many.

Rowan (

All i know is there's something wrong when it's cheaper for me to buy CD's from the U.S.A. And it's still cheaper even with shipping charges. 12.24 is lower than all major record stores sell here. Example:- i looked in HMV records in Nottingham, England for The White Album by The Beatles and it was on sale for 29.99 or $45. I bought it on holiday/vacation in Orlando for $19.99. The record industry deserve all thats going to happen to them over here over the next few years eg:- Napstar, and what ever replaces them when they're shut down. I agree with you though that artists certainly should get their rightful payments and control but unless Record companies and shops lower prices they're certainly going to have a few rocky years ahead.

Kev Harrison. (

I'll weigh in here. I'm no fan of what Napster does. I think the artists should be paid for the work they do and be able to control the distribution of the product they produce.
That said, I also think that record companies have been screwing over the music-buying public for a while. I see no reason why we need to pay more than $10 a CD. And I'm personally a big fan of the eMusic concept. We should be able to buy music on demand and have it now, for less money, and be able to buy just the songs we want rather than the whole album if we choose. This alienates some people, but I was alienated from CDs for the longest time and I survived.
Bottom line: I think artists deserve compensation for the service they provide us, the consumer, and I am willing to give them my money, hand over fist, as long as I feel the deal is fair.

"makebase" (

fed up w the shit coming fru ur mouth
fed up w napster - fed up w assholes
fed up w ur behaviour
fed up w u polluting newsgroups
fed up w ur hypocrysy
fed up w ur name
u say u fight tha system
u say u'll free all of us from economy
u try to seem friendly
u'r just another gates
another knight
.com is tha new eldorado
for dictatorship
shut up / u make me sick
and i say phuck u
coz i'm fed up w u

Ed: While he really didn't say anything interesting, i thought it was funny enough that someone spent the time writing this to print.

"koma" (

One thing you left out of your "big bad industry vs. little consumer" rant about Napster was that when we don't buy these albums, the artists don't get SoundScanned. This hurts the artists, not the companies. Artist doesn't sell enough albums, artist doesn't get the label support, artist out of a job.

Ed: Keep in mind, this article is about the fact that with the new technologies available, artists no longer need label support to have a job like they did ten years ago.

-John (

I'll go ahead and give my 2 cents as well. Napster can be a wonderful thing, if used in the right way. I have actually bought MORE cds since I discovered mp3s and Napster, because they offer a kind of "try before you buy" deal. If there's a band I'm interested in hearing, or a band one of my friends is trying to turn me on to, all I have to do is download a few mp3s. If I like what I hear, I'll go buy the CD, if not, I delete the mp3s and there's no harm done. I for one am much more likely to buy a CD if I can listen to a few songs from it first, instead of spending as much as $17.99 for a CD, not knowing if I'll like it or not. Especially since most of the bands I've been getting into lately are not the type of bands you're going to hear on the radio. I realize that some people are just going to download whole CDs and never actually buy the thing, and I don't agree with that. But there's a potential for misuse with just about any kind of product - everything from VCRs and CD burners to guns and knives. Just because some people will take technology and use it in an illegal way doesn't mean that those of us who use it in a perfectly legitimate and reasonable way should be punished (and I'm speaking from experience since I'm no longer allowed to use Napster on my own computer when I'm in my dorm room). So there's my opinion.

Shannon (

I agree that we should fight the system of big, loads of money making record companies. I'm on Napster too and I like it especially because you can sometimes find there some bootlegs or obscure remixes which you can't find in the store. However I'd like to add another major expense for record companies (apart from the already named royalties and insert design): studio-time. One hour recording in a professional studio cost loads of money; well, there are plenty of (big) bands like Radiohead or The Cure who spend six months or more in the studio to record an album... Another thing is, when a record company makes lots of money out of a band, they can invest in a new, not much selling band. I'm not saying that all record companies do that, but some do. An example is dEUS, a band from my homecountry (Belgium). They have a record deal with Island. Island keeps investing in them, and they are getting little by little a bit bigger. But when everybody starts copying the albums on CD-R or mp3, dEUS doesn't sell more albums, so Island will say: Sorry guys, the game's over. Now whith such actions we may have stated a big fuck you to the music industry, but we also have effected that a brilliant band is out of record deal. (This is hypothetic of course.) Taking all this into account, it is easy for rich boy Billy Corgan to say that music is ultimately gonna be free. Don't get me wrong however, I agree that we pay way too much for a cd, and now we maybe have the means to change something.

-Mich (

I don't think there's anything wrong with artist's getting paid money, and established companies investing in that potential - it's the clamping down on the redistribution of the output that bothers me.
The current system of music distribution relies on making money by _preventing_ people from listening to the music. In reality, we can all just copy the music we want from someone else and not pay the $30 (price of an LP here in oz) - that's how the free market works. But the way the music industry works is to enact these copyright laws to prevent competition in the industry, thereby creating an artificial scarceness to drive up prices. In the end, the money is made by preventing people sharing and listening to the music, and I cannot imagine _any_ artist wants it that way. They accept it because, at the moment, that's the only way they'll get paid.
We need to kill the copyright system that creates an artificial scarcity of music - we have more than enough _real_ scarcity in material goods. However, what we need to do just as much is to create a new system to reward artists. One in which they are rewarded for giving their work to the masses and letting them share and use it as they see fit, instead of one where they are rewarded for not letting the music be heard or shared. Probably the best proposal I've seen is the Street Performer Protocol. It has some issues that need to be ironed out, but on the whole, it's gotta be better than the present system, and it's also gotta be better than a world where music and other art is only created by those rich enough to afford the time and money.
What do you all think?

-Greg Mildenhall (

hi thieves!hello followers of the bung-ho Napster!! hello cheap bastards who will rip off bands and labels until there is no more!! but you get free music....yeah..fuck the bands and em off...Mr.Dan boy says....this pricks day has come...

Ed: I can already tell this is gonna be a fun post.

-------big name commercial artists who are jumping on the trend to get more noticed,and more media coverage..which in turn will bring THEM more sales...cause the sheepies in this country will do anything for their idols..Limp dickshit are the biggest sellout fucks and lame music this world has possibly seen,.,. but dude..with all those! they are so cool...hahaha its so funny how shitty the music most sheep listen to...
-----its a bunch of assholes investing in these thieves cause they know most of the youth and cheap asses in this world will go for it..and the sheep such as you follow what they say.. bahhhhh!! its sad...that you would all fucking fight the artists that have entertained you for years..cause they deserve to have the rights to their songs and albums .....and not to be ripped off or bootlegged or traded amongst the cheap little bitches who can't even buy a cd of a band they supposedly LIKE cause they can get it free instead...

Ed: heh, "fight the artists," he apparently missed the fact that the artists are probably the biggest victims of the record industry that we're fighting.

Fact is, the recording industry has made a living out of ripping consumers off. And now that the consumers have a real alternative to their monopoly, they're getting pissed.

------ripping off the consumers????you all been buying all your manson and nin and all the alternica shit all were never mad about it..until these fools came out with their software to rip these bands and everyone else you see that you can get everything FREE!! and you think the record companies who provided all this music forever are ripping you off???the Record companies and bands CREATED the music scene you now latch just think you can fucking cut them out cause you can get free music...what happens when no more music comes out cause artists are sikc of being ripped off?? then your goals will be met eh??? are just cheapies.. sound like a fucking junior high school bitch crying at his parents and shit... wake up asshole..

Ed: i dunno about "you all," but i've been fighting the high cost of CDs for more than five years now. Since I've discovered independent/used CD stores, I've never spent more than $10 on a CD. I have about 500 CDs... average cost to me? $6. We've protested the ridiculous prices that the commercial outlets have charged for years. Now our protests are just a bit more mainstream. Why should this guy care? I bet he works for a record label (the only ones who have something serious to lose from Napster.)

how have they been ripping us off? I'll explain. Most people know that it costs them less than a nickel per CD made... yet most record stores sell CDs between $15 and $20.

------WRONG!!!!!not a nickel per cd!! thats a fucking LIE!! try .$1.00 for raw cd's...or a little design no booklet,no cases,or trayliners..

Ed: I know for a fact that a mass production of CDs (no case, insert, etc) costs about a nickel each... but i can't find proof. If anyone can, please e-mail me at Thanks.

Now there are a lot of other expenses that need to be accounted for- artist royalties, insert design and various other parts that add up quick... but if an album sells about 2500 copies (average for a no-name band), they will still make ok money selling the discs at $5 a pop. you even know how much money a label must spend on promo,royalties,overhead..printing promo flyers,stickers,shirts,etc???NO!....its alot of money...something i didn't expect the peanut gallery to understand... but fuckers with no clue like you think you know it all..and act as if you know what you are talking about.. well sonny boy,you don't... you are a product of MTV and this trendy lost society,....a great example of the living deaD.

Ed: I don't know where this guy shops, but the cost of everything he listed there could be made back with the sale of a few dozen t-shirts at $12 a pop. Or maybe he just doesn't have a good business sense. He sure doesn't have a solid grasp of the english language (give him time though... he's working on it) :-).

What about big artists like Eminem who sell more than one million albums in the first week? Profit could still be made selling those albums at $1 each...

----- this is bullshit..and you really do not know what you some concrete evidence fool.. i can prove otherwise..i do run a label,distro and spend tons of money each release to get the band out and heard..and people like you are trying to kill off music and bands with your "ever so un-enlightened and lying shit essay" you think not,you say bitch???"know it all" damn..i see this usually from those who are wannabees and know nothing..

Ed: I knew it! He does work for a record label!

---well...with your "philosophy" all bands will be ripped off of their royalties have no label to push or promote their music,and all will have to get new jobs to don't have any idea how much work a label does for the bands..why do you think you see them on MTV and all the ad's for these bands... there goes the music you aLL like and idolize....
---you want to cheat artists and labels of the little profits they more music eventually except the heartless wank churned out by users with a cakewalk program and no talent or knowledge of music...more cheesy shit then ever.. good call fool!!

Ed: So many bands are making it on their own these days without the need of a corporate record label. How do you think Ani DiFranco became a millionaire... it wasn't by selling her albums through a Time Warner company.

Back to Napster- created by college student Shawn Fanning after he decided MP3s were just too hard to find on the internet.

----he was too cheap to buy the him and his wanker friend spent all their time after they quit school....trying to figure out how to create the software,and they them and all the other cheapfucking losers can steal all they want and fuck up the bands they once liked...very are you for promoting this shame on you...ripoff bitch!

Ed: Well, he gets real boring and repetitive here, so I don't need to say any more... but if you'd like to see what he says...

---stealing more then songs..full albums are what is see mainly,....thatsd fucked up.,admit it....admit you are a cheating fucking pirate..who would fuck his best friends girl if he went out of town and lie about it..those are the kind of peopel you are...liars and cheats... millions of you..deserve to be shut down... many of you pirating fucking assholes doing all you can to ruin the music industry..and its artists with talent..
---but we will be reporting all ISP's and getting you all thrown off for stealing,copyright infringement and pirating and making money off music that is not yours to steal.. the plot will thicken and the thieves will be highlighted.. you fucking think you can just rip bands off blatantly.. fuck no...your gonna get meat grinded.. the war is on..its not just METALLICA anymore...
--we know we can't stop you all..but we can label you all as "ripoffs,thives and pirates" and spread the word to all we can...thats "fighting fire with fire" Metallica would say..
--cause cheap asses like you will do all they can for free music and to rip the artists and labels who WORK hard off... what do you do for the music scene BTW????RIP off bands and brag like you are some hero for mankind... you are not,you are another loser who followed the cheap ass trendies too long..another piece of shit that will be flushed.
---- more more radio getting cd' more posters,shirts..all think bands print oup all that on thier own????nope...not in most cases...and all the music and its memorabilia will die out cause you and your little bitch clan will be snaking everything for free.. right cheapie???? all the shit you want..i am totally right and always will be while you talk out of your ass and follow the other 19 year old Napster creators "prophetic visions"
weak following weak..
--- you just proved what a wanker and lost little sheep btich you are.."lets steal guys" fucking thief!!
---don't and all your kind will be severed by the powers that be..and you deserve to be shut down..anyone who steals and robs from others deserves to be locked up..we can't wait to see all you little bitches locked up in the cells and wondering "man...i should have gotten a job and done somethignwith my life instead of ripping off others from their art and lives"
people like you and your kind need to be exterminated,... you will be in given time... your show is total shit by the way....nice try fucker....

Ed: So he's not too bright. What show? Any way... his e-mail is provided here until he gets sick of people telling him how wrong he is.

Tommy (

Dear editor
i am saddend, as a 15 yearold, who hopes to become part of the music industry, either as an artist or a audio engener to hear what you have said. you imply that "artists" like Emenem make TOO much money, but most of the "artists" on the top 10 in my country and countryies like mine, are not artists at all, they are mearly a pretty face with some crap funk shit music, targeted at the vunrable pockets of 12yearold girls and their parents.

Ed: At least this New Zealand-native kid tries to be nice. He's wrong as his spelling, but nice. Yes, the millionaire Eminem makes too much money. And he's made many millions for his corporate label, too. He is talented, yes. But there are thousands of artists better than him just trying to afford next month's rent. Is that fair? No. Why don't you hear these better artists? Because record labels don't want you to. They control it. And with Napster... they lose that control. No entertainer should be making six-digit incomes. What kind of a world is it that we're fighting for entertainers to become millionaires when our teachers make maybe an average of $40,000/year. What should be more important here?

A money makeing machine. true artists diserve to have their artwork protected. Limb Bizkit is a sellout. Offspring is a sellout. it is obvious, as they spend excessively on addvertinsing. not on the musical quality of their music. Spicegirl style pop groups make allot of their money off selling murchandice, so having their music free, will effectively only advertise their products for free.

First off, Limp Bizkit and Offspring spend no more on advertising/promotion than Eminem. As far as musical quality... what instrument does Eminem play again? Oh yeah- he doesn't. Limp Bizkit and Offspring are just saying that it's possible for a well-known band to take advantage of this new technology and accept that it's the way the industry is headed.

As long as this westurn world is right wing capatalizim run, profit comes before anyting else, then the music industry will remain profit driven. Mp3s on the net will destroy the real "Art" in music, or at least the possibilty of making a living from it

What MP3s do, is make music free and available. Meaning- take money out of the picture, and people get to choose for themselves what they want to listen to.

yours sincerly
Oli (