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Canadian Recording Industry Claims Drop in Sales 259

Posted by michael
from the statistics-never-lie dept.
tyrann98 writes: "The Globe and Mail reports that the Canadian record industry has experienced a 6.4% drop in CDs and cassettes overall (not singles) in the last year - plus a 7% drop in the first four months of this year. They don't know who is to blame, but they have their fingers pointed at you guessed it: Napster. Canadians are one of the world's most connected societies (mainly due to cheap high speed Internet access) and may reflect the direction the Internet is headed. "And indeed they are. Canadians have embraced the practice of downloading songs from the Internet faster and more intensely than most other countries. The surveys show nearly six in 10 of those between the ages of 18 and 34 go to their computers rather than a record shop to acquire songs. There are as many as five million Napster users who sign on to the Web site an average 6.3 days a month. It's about twice the reach the Web site has in the United States.""
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Canadian Recording Claims Drop in Sales

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Globe and Mail reports that the Canadian record industry has experienced a 6.4% drop in CDs and cassettes overall

    Isn't that just because Celine Dion retired?

  • Since you can't find anything on Napster now, it would follow that sales would go up. If not, they can't prove anything; remember, the economy started floundering at about the same time.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It seems like the record companies have the impression that they *deserve* a certain amount of money, or a certain number of sales. But if their business model becomes outdated and they don't do anything to keep up we should keep handing them our money for nothing.

    When the record industry is capable of offering a service that I think is worth my money, I will give it to them. Until then, I'll steal whatever music I like and I'll support the artists directly when they come into town on tour.

  • Last year, when Napster was going full bore, I was buying 2-3 CDs per month. Prices here in Canada are reasonable for things other than one-hit wonders (you can buy a good selection of CDs from A&B Sound for about $12-15 CDN).

    But when Napster started getting attacked, and started getting shut down, I said "fuck it". I'm not going to buy CDs anymore. Not until I have a choice about the way I can listen to and choose my music to buy.

    Napster allowed me to introduce myself to new artists. It went something like this.

    1. Hear a song on the radio. I like it.
    2. Go home, download it and a few others from the same band on Napster.
    3. Am I still listening to the song(s) after a week? Go buy the CD. Maybe buy one or two more from the same artist.

    Now the process goes something more like this.

    1. Hear a song on the radio. I like it.
    2. Curse under my breath about the RIAA controlling the way I listen to music.
    3. Say "fuck it!" out loud.
    4. Don't buy anymore music. Hell, don't even go to the music store anymore. I've stopped listening for the artists names of the songs I like. What's the point?

    I think we need to take widespread action against the RIAA. We need to stop buying music period. We need to individually petition all RIAA artists to joining Napster friendly labels. We need to encourage diversity in distribution and income models that allow us, the listeners, to control how we listen to music.

    Don't make any mistake. This is the most visible battle to date in a new war over our freedoms. If we lose, the brief blossoming flower of new forms of musical expression will be crushed. But if we win, the future will be for all of us.

    Stop buying CDs from RIAA affiliated artists. Donate them money, encourage them to leave their labels. Buy from anti-RIAA labels. Encourage new forms of distribution that give you more freedom, not less.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Yes , sales are down due to Nap et al.
    But also becuase:
    Economy has slowed
    -There is still lots of good music but not as much
    as there used to be.
    -An aging pop buys less music when they were teens
    and used to music to define who they were.
    -Music is too expensive.
    -Music is more commericial turns people off.
    Yeah, just like with sports, people look at the
    star "artists" as overpaid greedo they can no
    longer relate to.

    Along a similar line, the whole napster thing has
    driven home the reality that it isn't all about
    the music, it 's about the money.
    This sours people on the Industry and the Artist.

    Sorry- Metallican you can never be cool again.
    Not that you have for a long, long time.

    Finally, back to this , once again.
    Music is too FUCKING expensive.
    You could sell more music at lesser price and make
    the same or more, plus get all the goodwill you
    have lost.

    Never mind , Naptster.
    You have no idea at how many people aren't buying
    music because it costs too much.

    Grab a clue, music execs.
    Time to get off the Gravy train and
    get back on the Music Express... before it's
    too late. for you.... not for us
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Get Rid of the label and... Cost of Cds $2.15 -- Marketing and Promotion $1.99 -- Royalties to artist and songwriter $1.08 -- Producing Record $0.01 -- Online distribtion $2.00 -- Little extra for royalties ----- $7.23 I'd be willing to pay that.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Not only are CDs sold at extortionate prices, they are also a waste of resources. Can you recycle a CD? The sooner the music industry dies, the better.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    By having blank media arbitrarily taxed to "compensate" media companies who may or may not have "lost" sales since someone copied a song (or movie) to the taxed media, the media companies - anyone of them who receive money from this tax - have unequivocally given up their right to enforce copyright with respect to anyone who has copied a song or movie to the "taxed" media. What the tax doesn't address is that people can make copies of media they own -- taxing fair use is one reason this is arbitrary. Nor does it come to grips with people using the taxed media to make their own works. Can I go and get a refund somewhere on the tax I paid if I haven't made an infringing use of the media? No. So the tax stifles my _creation_ of a work & over-reaches by yielding compensation to a pool of creators who may or may not have one of their works on my media. When a government decides to presume guilt (on behalf of record companies), expect the innocent accused to not respect the laws. They (the people of Canada & the U.S. subject to these arbitrary taxes) have nothing to lose by breaking them at this point. We've already paid for it.

    I'm just waiting for the book publishing industry to realize they can get a paper tax passed.
  • In the article, a professor at U of T sums up the problem with this quote: "The commodity is overpriced, the product is really inconsistent in terms of quality. It's no wonder that people are looking for alternatives."

    A couple of paragraphs later, the recording industry boasts that the industry has "the ideas and the energy" to overcome this challenge. His most prominent ideas? "He wants better marketing of national sales charts, perhaps even something on television. He foresees better CD package design so kids will want to own the album."

    Hop on the cluetrain, my friend. These two-bit marketing ideas don't address the real problems, articulated above.

    Until the industry addresses its shortfalls in quality and pricing (which are, IMHO, inherent in its prized distribution model), people are not going to be motivated to buy music, right or wrong.
  • What I don't get is why anyone buys CDs from a retail store. At CD Connection [cdconnection.com] CDs seem to average about $12-14 a CD, and you can find almost any CD you might want -- this probably applies to most online music retailers.

    Unlike many products, the only advantage you gain from buying CDs at a store is instant gratification. Looking at the cover doesn't tell you anythhing, and you can't usually listen to the CDs in the store anyway.

    CDs should still be cheaper, but people complaining about $20 CDs are just being stupid in their shopping. Music is a commodity item, and retail stores are entirely superfluous middle-men that you should cut out.

    The other aspect is that at a retail store you are subject to the marketing influence of the retailers and the labels. Your subjective opinion of what's Good Music probably doesn't match with what they want you to buy. By buying music online you won't ever not buy a CD simply because it's not popular enough to get on the shelves. Actually finding a non-mainstream band that you like is still a struggle, but then some people get off on that.

  • by defile (1059) on Sunday June 03, 2001 @05:39AM (#180401) Homepage Journal

    My High School economics teacher performed a cute experiment to determine the best price to set for your product and make the most money at it. The term was "market price".

    Anyway, the teacher took a survey of the class as to how many CDs they would buy per month if set at a certain price. Obviously, people would dozens if they were a dollar apiece, and significantly less if they were $40 apiece. You graph this, and select the price where # of units sold times price is the highest sum of all of the other samples.

    So, what's the target price for 16-18 year old high school students in New York City? About $8.

    Why are CDs so expensive you ask? Because teenagers aren't the target market. Adults are. If every teenager in the country stops buying CDs, they'll raise the price for adults who are probably much less net savvy (ie, less inclined to Napster) to compensate.

    If Napster consumes their Adult market too, they'd either raise their prices even more to try to capture whatever's left of the non-net market, or cut them sharply to make them more appealing to the general public. I might just warez a CD if it costs $20, but it doesn't seem worth the effort for $5.

    Can they set their prices to $5 and make a profit? Of course they can. They may have to tweak their business model a bit (uh oh, we can only blow 5 million on "promotion" instead of 10), but I wouldn't cry for them.

    Just because it's illegal doesn't mean people won't stop doing it. May as well legalize it and try to make money at it. :)

  • they're selling Canadian music.


    Can anyone tell me why the U.S. trade office hasn't retaliated for Shania Twain?


    :)


    hawk

  • >That means to compensate, they should LOWER prices.


    *shudder*


    No, it doesn't That doesn't even guarantee that revenue will increase (which depends upon elasticity). THe correct move is potentially in either direction.


    >And these people have business degrees??


    Maybe they've taken microeconomics . . .


    hawk

  • There's really only three CD's I'd be interested in buying:


    1) Waylon Jennings, I've always been crazy--probably the only one I"ve ever heard that I'd pay $20 for anyway. I have the vianl, but . .
    2) Bobby Bare, THe Winner. Another of the best albums of all time.
    3) Tex Ritter, Blood on the saddle. CD Connection has something with this title, but it's a 4 cd, $100 collection--which probably also means it has the wrong cut of Blood on the Saddle. The good one is great; the other sucks. I f you play the original cut at 45, a) it's still slow, b) his voice is still deep.


    hawk, who buys very little music (but would spend about $50/month at $8/cd or $8/LP) [and won't buy cassettes]

  • by hawk (1151) <hawk@eyry.org> on Monday June 04, 2001 @07:13AM (#180405) Journal
    >$3.34 -- Company Overhead, Distribution, and Shipping
    >$2.15 -- Marketing and Promotion
    >$1.08 -- Signing act/Producing Record

    These are all manipulated costs with huge profit margins built in to them. This is the same kind of accounting that lets almost all movies being classified as losing money--such as _Coming to America._ On that one, Art Buchwald won the royalties litigation finding the "accounting" used to be a sham.


    hawk

  • If you choose to acquire your recordings in a manner that does not involve buying another brand new licence from the publisher, the record label is losing out more than the artist. To choose not to support this sort of travesty is not at all "unprincipaled".

    When you buy an album from your favorite band you are contributing more towards their oppression than you are towards their pocketbook.

    Avoiding paying anything to the RIAA is the most principled thing you can do in this situation. Petty "theft" is a relatively minor issue in comparison.

    My avoidance method of choice is used media. It's suitable while making the position of armchair pontifs such as yourself seem absurd.

    Enjoy your poorly reasoned ethics.
  • There's nothing miraculous about it. CD's simply aren't that expensive. You could produce your own in small lots and still undercut the big labels that have "economy of scale" going for them.

    The music industry is in an unenviable position. The informed buyer is very aware of just how little value goes into the production of the actual media as well as how little compensation goes to the creative talent behind the music.
  • The value of the "content" is at most $1. That is what the creative talent gets out of your $16 CD purchase. Any real production cost of that music is being taken out of the musicians 'cut'.

    As far as games go: in some markets 50K units sold would be considered a remarkable success. In music, that would be considered a pathetic flop. The two are simply not comparable. Your personal example is irrelevant.

    ...carts are expensive, this is why most consoles don't use them anymore.
  • Then run things like a business. It's not my job to pay for a label's seduction of a bunch of young kids through absurd excess.

    These are songs. All you need to create one is a warm body. Even an instrument is optional. Everything else is of disputable value to the "production" process.

    The real dollar cost of creativity is near zero. When it costs any more than this in practice then the labels are at fault themselves.

    60 minutes of music does not require 18 months of studio time.

    A pop album is NOTHING like a motion picture. The logistics of the two are no where near comparable.
  • Just how much studio time is wasted on losers?

    Just how much ad space is wasted on losers?

    If labels are busy subsizing failures, then there should be some really famous failures out there. Where arethe "Waterworld"s of the pop music industry?
  • The United States Constitution.
  • Steal a bike, no more bike.

    'Steal' a song, the song remains.

    The wrongess of theft is derived from the fact you are depriving someone else of something. This deprivation is obvious and non-disputable. Any 'harm' derived from copying that bike (or a song) is highly disputable and a different sort of harm altogether.

    The "right to profit" from something has never been to my knowledge something that any of the liberty espousing cultures have ever advocated. Many things can undermind your "right to profit" including the perfect replacability that should exist in a free market.

    Will you demand that Testament be jailed next? Perhaps we should just put Metallica in jail for trying to steal Soundgarden's image.

  • The news media could easily portray something that was clearly self-defense as if it were some sort of "ambush" or other form of "murder". If you are unwilling to question, it becomes remarkably easier.

    "murder" != to kill. The legal definition of murder requires more than that. Law and morality are not as simple as you would like to paint them.

    Why don't you be a human about it.

    Actually use that grey matter for something besides being a mediocre smartass.
  • I hate when this hapens. I post a coment hoping for a discusion and instead get moderated to +5 insightful without any replies.

    This sucks even more when you remember that the slashed over 200 points off my carma when the limit was created and I havn't been below 46 since.

    I.e. Carma means nothing.
  • Around here you have studios sprouting like mushrooms. Any DJ with a moderately successful single can build one and many do. We have the same IP laws as the US but vary rarely bother to enforce them.

    This isn't about Napster and pear to peer either. It's about dance mixes. Essentially you have a cassette produced by taping the output at a party or nightclub. This is marketed as a mix by selector Bar or sound system Foo. The actual artists are not mentioned and most people can't keep track of who is involved. I.e. It's not uncommon to have parts of 20 songs on the same rhythm played in a 6 minute period. that's just a few seconds each.

    How dose this affect artistes? They do not make 1% of what the major hit makers do in the US. In dead they make far more than 1%. At 2.7 Million Jamaica has 1% of America's population (pending the census which starts this summer). BTW: "jedi as religion" probably won't work in a country with less than 1% Atheist and Agnostic combined.

    You see people even buy large volumes of Vinyl still. We make copies of everything. We pirate music like there was no tomorrow. the end result is that the typical Jamaican spends a whole lot of money in music shops buying original songs.

    we also tend to judge music on it's own merit. This way Steven Segal's Reggae album (Yes, The actor) is a monumental flop. We like the guy (despite "Marked for Death") and give him good reason to love coming here but troth be told his singing isn't that good and his songs don't sell.

    By contrast Buju Banton had a number one hit before anyone knew or cared who he was. All this without any real marketing.

    What's the point? If the Music industry in North America was as deep in the society as it is in Jamaica more people would take the time to randomly listen to vast numbers of new artists. Publishers would be less able to actually make people buy pore songs and little independents who produce good stuff would have a chance.

    the problem is Americans (and Canadians too) mostly just buy what the marketing people tell them to buy and when money isn't available they pirate it. here we pirate everything and then buy the stuff we actually like.
  • The only person more brain dead that the writer was the moron who uttered the phrase: ""It's an opportunity to redefine our feature"

    People who even talk like that deserve to have someone change their minds, with a cinder block.

    If you're too devoid of critical throught processes to realize that you're an idiol. you ought to be begging people for spare change.

    But instead you become record industry exec who wouldn't know talent if it ripped open your scrotum with its bare teeth.

    I really hate these gormless twirps, (in case you couldn't tell.)
  • by grub (11606)
    Sorry I worded that wrong and didn't catch it in preview. What I meant is our dollar has as approximately as much buying power as the US dollar in our respective countries.
  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Sunday June 03, 2001 @05:24AM (#180422) Homepage Journal

    Last time I was in Montreal (not even a year ago) The average CD was about $16 Canadian.. that's about $10.50 US. That's pretty cheap for a CD

    If you're up from the US to buy CDs in Canada it's certainly cheap. Our (the .ca) dollar has (approximately) as much buying power as the US dollar in our country. Trips to the US cost us much more as the exchange rate is a killer.

    Remember that when we buy a CD for $16CA, it's still costing us $16.

    grub
  • by jpet (14392) on Sunday June 03, 2001 @11:45AM (#180424)
    By your own numbers, the labels gets $8.01 of the $17.00 (3.34 + 2.15 + 1.08 + .85 + .59). You're comparing the labels' net profit with everyone else's gross income.


    Lie with numbers! Fun for the whole family.

  • is 13 and it took her all of about 5 minutes after we got our cable modem to download and install Napster and start building her song collection. Every time we turn around we're running out of hard drive space....

    *sing* I'm a karma whore and I'm okay....
    I work all night and I post all day
  • Stop overlooking the facts to preserve your method of piracy.

    His method of piracy seems to be purchasing CDs after he has previewed the songs on them. How is that piracy?

    --
  • Man, where are you shopping? In Stockholm a new release used to be 189 SEK and is now 199 SEK. That's 20 USD!

    And yes, I have stopped buying CDs. I can't say I use Napster that much, I just go a lot more on recommendations from friends, whereas I used to buy stuff I hadn't heard much about. Sometimes it was good and sometimes it was bad. Now I just don't risk it. I am just far more selective.

    As someone else said, most of us don't have to buy CDs. It is a luxury, just it is becomming more and more of a luxury now.
  • He actually became an evangelist. Yep. I've seen him a few times on late-night TV.

    He's starting to release albums/singles again, though.

    Anyway, here's a url to a little blurb about his rebirth.

    http://www.connectionmagazine.org/mchammer.htm [connectionmagazine.org]

    -gleam
  • by gleam (19528) on Sunday June 03, 2001 @09:15AM (#180429) Homepage
    Where the cost of a USD 17 comes from:

    Cost of CDs [cnn.com]

    $6.23 -- Retail Markup
    $3.34 -- Company Overhead, Distribution, and Shipping
    $2.15 -- Marketing and Promotion
    $1.99 -- Royalties to artist and songwriter
    $1.08 -- Signing act/Producing Record
    $0.85 -- Co-op advertising and discounts to retailers
    $0.75 -- Pressing album and printing booklet
    $0.59 -- Profit to label

    This is all via Billboard Magazine (and CNN)

    It should be noted that the Label makes the least money (the RIAA members) and the retail stores make the most (Coconuts, Sam Goody, CDNow)

    Anyway.

    -gleam
  • Most are unaware. The tax is *miniscule* especially on cd-r, only a nickel a piece. A canadian nickel at that.

    The article had it right; we're well connected, and cd's are higher priced in Canada than the US in the first place, plus the economy isn't as on fire, so there is less money in general (that's not a complaint, btw...).
    Anyone who thinks napster hasn't affected cd sales is nuts. I can think of a lot of people (me?) who *never* buy music anymore. Granted, I don't use napster or it's brethren, but mp3 in general. I can't bring myself to drive across town, look for something interesting (or order something I want) for much more than I should have to possibly pay, and will proabbly only listen to twice anyway, when I can go over to the wireless laptop sitting on my coffee table and have it in seconds.

    As for the tax.. I share teh sentiment that we should not make concessions for 'imaginary' losses.

  • I think they're trying to prove a correlation between two variables which may not be related.

    I would also look for a couple more factors to correlate against, such as the economy and/or disposable income.

    I could make another assertion that would be just as valid as their claim: "Since napster came out, crime has gone down". This is also just as valid of an assertion, because the economy is usually related to the crime rate.

    I'll bet if you plotted record sales vs. nasdaq you'd find a better correlation.

  • Remember you are paying for content, not for the price of the media.

    So why are casettes cheaper than CDs?

  • In my (repeatedly-expressed, I know) opinion, the fans' & artists' interests DO NOT coincide anymore with the huge corporations. Courtney Love, who is now suing her label, has written about this, as have others. Apparently, for that $15 CD, the band gets a very small slice of the pie (less than a buck in the end, I hear, though I'm far from the music business). The rest goes for things like "trips to Scores," to use Courtney's terms. (Scores is a NYC area strip clup.)

    The solution, IMNSHO, is a tipjar model. Use my currency (blatant self-interest noted, go ahead and mod me down -1, greedy) or another currency to do a micropayment to the artist/band DIRECTLY! Even if everyone doesn't pay, and they won't, and even if there are some crooks, and there will be, you can make an OK living in a job with tips, and it might just be a better model than what's currently offered musicians by the monolithic RIAA quintopoly. I've been ranting about this solution since CFP99, where I was totally ignored because it's more fun to shout and argue than it is to look at solutions that directly connect artists to fans. Will this make everything easy for artists? No, of course not. You're likely only to get tips for non-crappy stuff, and the days of bundling your shit with the good songs are over, but overall it's going to help artists to directly connect with their fans, and even with our fees (yes, we like to eat) my solution is cheap, since it doesn't send me to Scores (unfortunately).

    Any slashdot reader who wants to try e-gold should send me an account number for a small spend. Thanks for listening.
    JMR

  • I looked into this in depth at one time, and since you've so kindly quoted the section of the act, it basically amounted to:

    80(1)(a) - You can borrow a CD and make a copy of it for yourself, legally.

    80(2)(b) - You cannot make a copy of a CD (your own or borrowed) and give it to a friend.

    As I understand it, it would be acceptable for your friend to come over and make his/her own copy using your equipment. Further, using my original qualification, downloading music of any sort over the internet is unprosecutable in Canada. Distributing it (sharing files in Napster) is another matter.

    --

  • by ljavelin (41345) on Sunday June 03, 2001 @04:37AM (#180443)
    Of course, it's to the record industry's advantage to speak of doom and gloom - this is a tired political response to get the artists and retailers and government to support this "important" industry in their "time of need". This has been part of their business model since the advent of the cassette.

    The music industry hasn't changed. It's been 20 years since the advent of the CD, and the CD didn't change how their business works. The industry failed to take advantage of new technologies to deliver CD compilations defined by the customer in the store. And the industry failed to take advantage of the advent of the Internet beyond a marketing exercise.

    And so now, let's legislate. It can be cheaper to buy some laws than to have lower profits for a couple years while their business model is repaired. The retail chains wouldn't it if the business model excluded them ... and Wall Street wouldn't like and stock dips or the possibility of new competition.

    Clearly, the industry needs to upgrade it's business model - one that has not changed since the introduction of music video - which is, humerously, less "art" and more "marketing vehicle " (despite the MTV Video Awards).

    It won't happen. None of the players in the music industry want to lose their profits - not the artists, the labels, or the retailers. And they'll all fight hard to keep their future profits.
  • I believe one of the reasons for the drop in sales is that they are leaving the country.

    There isn't a decent online retailer in Canada. Chapters? Took them 4 weeks to ship me a DVD (to ship it, it still hasn't arrived). This is after cancelling the order 3 times arbitrarily, and asking for a photocopy of both my card and statement. No, I didn't provide it. Sam The Record Man? Closed down.

    So, I buy stuff from Amazon. They've never flubbed an order, or failed to ship. What does that mean? Yep, my sales don't show up on the counts for Canada. It doesn't mean that I'm not buying, I'm just not buying Canadian.

    Jason Pollock
  • "Engineers have to get paid for their work of recording the music, and advertising and promotion is very expensive, too."

    And how was this different, say, 10, 20, 30 years ago? Cry me a river. I'm sure when cars came around, buggy manufacturers were all saying "Hey, that's not fair...we have *real* expenses, engineers have to get paid! buggy parts aren't cheap you know! we'll have to cut into our marketing budget!".

    This looks like normal market forces, and will happen any time a new better technology obsoletes an old one.
  • Yes, they have sold less records that the previous year. So what ? Just like any product, there are years better than previous ones, and years worse than previous ones.
    I don't think that Napster change anything to CD sales. When you get something from Napster, it's just by curiosity. You want to hear what 's last album sounds like. Or listen to old silly goodies just to laugh your ass off. Nothing more. I seriously doubt that a guy who has downloaded a song from napster would have ever bought that song.
    Music is not a product like an hair dryer. You buy a record because you love it and because you want to support the artist. You go to see live tours, you tell your friend about that artist because you want to share the pleasure you have listening to him. Napster or any artificial way to steal music will not have any influence on how people love music.
  • Whoops!

    s/bjectivity/objectivity/
    ------


  • Got bush? [antioffline.com] (fixed)
  • by joq (63625)

    How many songs do you know with the same titles in them? I know of plenty and when I want to find a song and am unsure of the name, Napster helps my ass out royally making sure not only its the right song, but right person too.

    Now how about a twist on this. Say your an American in Europe or vice versa and have little access to the songs you favored in your home town. Why shouldn't you be able to find it on mp3 for your own enjoyment? No one on Napster is making money off anything any way you want to slice the pie.

    Now as for the finality to my follow up,, don't tell me how I use Napster since I'm the one who's using it. I make a hefty salary and can afford to buy cd's at will, however I do enjoy being able to look up a song, perhaps preview the entire cd before I buy it. I've never used Napster to record onto cd because it's just plain tacky and gay.

  • Just to let you know I'm far from homophobic so if the word gay offends you then maybe you should think about how you read things. I've got plenty of gay friends and I could care a rats ass about their sexuality as long as their comfortable with themselves. So if you took it that way sorry to burst your bubble but your wrong, I'm not a homophobe.

    Im from New York City where when we say words like nigga we don't mean a degrading term for blacks. Like when we say "That's my bitch" we're not saying a particular girl is a slut or demeaning woman, its just the way I talk. Don't like it pass it by.

  • People sometimes only hear what they want to, never taking the time to look at facts. Logically no one can dispute what I'm saying here because no one can come to my house and see my PC is mp3 free, and my cd racks are full of songs.

    It's solely the petty non informative idiots who add comments without actually having a clue. Funniest thing though is when it's done anonymously since it goes to show their lack of actually having any fruitful input, and adds a stable level of "It's hard to believe some people are just so fscking stupid it hurts" to the world.
  • by joq (63625) on Sunday June 03, 2001 @04:26AM (#180459) Homepage Journal

    Its easy for anyone to point the fingers at Napster when this situation comes into play since news media outlets always depict a single sided view of a Napster user. It seems every single story the refer to users, those interviewed are almost always some sort of unemployed type (mainly young user). As I've stated before, when I use Napster I use it to find a name of a song that I'm unsure before I buy it, or a song someone else mentioned to me, etc., and almost always if I find something I want I purchase it. Look I'm sure there are thousands more who use it with similar intentions, and it's those users you never see interviewed, not because it doesn't exist, but because it doesn't make a juicy story as compared to someone who they pass of as a thief.

    Now taking a look at the entire scenario going down, one could also say music sales are down because tech jobs are down, and many people are trying to save in a slumping economy as opposed to spending dot-com-like dollars on music.

    If people don't realize how twisted media distorts issues here's my example. About 3 weeks ago some guy emailed me from Yahoo Magazine wanting to do a story about the China/US hax0r war between script kiddies that was overfabricated. Well I was more than happy to speak to him when I saw it, however when I received the phone call the entire interview seemed to go the route of "Well give me some juicy examples of h4x0rs" not the truth about the entire situation. It sort of left a bad taste in my mouth to see that all media really wants to do is sensationalize the issues.

    So is Napster to blame here? No. When TDK, Maxell, Sony came out with cassettes companies most likely expressed the same gripes, and as time has shown nothing big came out of it. Now I know not all Napster users are angels in fact I know some do rip and burn mp3's however I would never settle for the quality of an MP3 versus buying a CD since I get the case with information, it sounds clearer, and if I were an artist I would hope someone would extend the same courtesy to me and buy the cd.

    Fuck the media
  • The bureaucrats in the Music Industry wonder why sales of FooBar's CDs have dropped? Here is food for thought....

    Every weekend Electronic Music is attracting more and more listeners. Just look at the top Shoutcast station...Electronic right?

    Many electronic music artists create their music without the aid of big studio investments because we can use a sampler and our minds. Because the production of pop music has been so formulaic people are now seeing through the triteness and are downloading some really creative stuff.

    I think some Recording Industry execs see this and want to focus on getting rid of the means for very creative artists to distribute their work. Other execs, those that don't understand creative work, think the world is really listening to FooBar without paying for it and are mad at the means for that "theft" to occur.

    Either way, those in power have a lot to lose with the way tastes are changing.
  • > Can a Canadian shed some light on the technological literacy in their nation?

    Everything from kernel development [openbsd.org] to the illiterate [ccra-adrc.gc.ca].

    If you're asking for a national average, then web surfing, and using application software (i.e. Photoshop) would be there.

    Cheers

  • There a difference, something I kinda didn't realize until I actually saw the US and Canadian versions of a CD side by side. Apparently they were different, and the hauled-north US one was twice the price. Granted most of the time the things are exactly the same, and noones the wiser.

    And when it comes to singles, they will be expensive. We don't have a singles market in Canada. No one buys them, so they don't sell them. If you really want a Single, it's usually an american import at C$20, or a British one at $35
  • by Inoshiro (71693) on Sunday June 03, 2001 @11:29AM (#180465) Homepage
    So the RIAA makes 1/4th what the artist makes per CD. However, they make it an ALL artists they have signed. So if you have 4,000 artists total wha make 100,000 a head, that's 400,000,000 they make. The RIAA makes "only" 1/4th of it, about 100 hundred million dollars.

    It's a smaller pice of a bigger pie. So it very much balances out, especially when you add the tax on all blank media.
    --
  • 5% is considered a margin of error in polls and studies. But trust me, if, say, the US's GDP decreased by 5%, economists (who took not only first-year, but also fourth-year economics!) would not be shrugging and saying "it's just the margin of error". Rather, people would be predicting recession and gloom. In business, a 5% -- or rather 7% -- drop in sales is something to take notice of.
  • Wow. Don't they understand the basics of supply and demand? Regardless of the reason, whether it's Napster or shitty product, if sales are down that means demand is down (if prices have stayed the same). That means to compensate, they should LOWER prices.

    And these people have business degrees??
  • The engineering cost, advertising and promotion cost, etc. are all fixed. They are the same amount whether 1000 CDs are sold or 1,000,000.

    The only things that are dependent on the number of CDs shipped or sold are the distribution costs and manufacturing costs. In large volumes, both of those are small. What eats up a lot of the money is the cost of advertising, etc. Thus, total sales revenue needs to be maximized (rather than maximizing the price of each CD). If CD prices were lowered, and sales were much greater, the record companies WOULD turn a greater profit, the artists' pitiful pay would be a little better, and so on.
  • This after increasing restrictions imposed by Napster in the hopes of not being sued completely out of existence. Yes, I can play that game as well as the recording industry can. Maybe it's just all those internet calls for boycotts finally paying off.

    Of course it could just be that everyone just finally realized that Celine Dion sucks. That's pretty much the entirety of the Canadian recording industry, right?

    Or it could just be that they're feeling the effects of the economic downturn like ever other goddamn company on the planet.

  • Here's my suggestion:

    Add a "Use it or Lose It" clause to copyright protection. If the copyright holder doesn't do a run of the copyrighted material within (Say) three years of the last one, they obviously no longer value the copyright and the copyright should fall back to the public domain. This idea could use a bit of fleshing out, but it should appease The Mouse and eliminate my number 1 bitch about the whole copyright scene as it currently stands: Once a work is no longer valued, it becomes impossible to find and you can't touch it for longer than you'll live. It's solve the problems of companies that still value their copyrights (The Mouse, MS, and Linux groups) and still provide for copyright's original intent, which was to promote art and the masses' access to art.

  • It couldn't be because there isn't as much QUALITY music being published, could it?

    No! It's just GOTTA be the Internet!


  • In my (repeatedly-expressed, I know) opinion, the fans' & artists' interests DO NOT coincide anymore with the huge corporations. Courtney Love, who is now suing her label, has written about this, as have others. Apparently, for that $15 CD, the band gets a very small slice of the pie (less than a buck in the end, I hear, though I'm far from the music business). The rest goes for things like "trips to Scores," to use Courtney's terms. (Scores is a NYC area strip clup.)

    Dude, have you ever watched MTV's Cribs? Well, every artist who makes music which a lot of people is living very large. Basically, the idea that musicians are starving because of the record industry is bunk. The artists who do not connect with a lot of people aren't making as much money but why should they?

    The solution, IMNSHO, is a tipjar model.

    Whatever. Here's a clue: musicans need the record industry to make records, since the cost of high quality recording is expensive. If you elimiate the record industry, the only people who would record are rich kids, and punk bands (whose music costs peanuts to record).

    The fact is, we live in a purely capitalistic economy, and any musician who was crazy enough to believe that the tipjar idea was a good way of achieving their interests would do it. Actually, there are some who do, and they're called street musicians. Generally, only musicians with limited appeal perform on the street for tips.
  • No dude, that artist's money includes paying for the recording of the album, which for most bands is more money than they ever make back on sales. If you're a one-hit-wonder boy band, you also had to pay someone to write the music, the royalties to the original artists (let's face it, stuff all of it's new) and the constant clothing accessories etc etc.

    Americans wouldn't know him, but you'd be surprised how not rich Jason Donovan is now. And didn't MC Hammer become a computer salesman or something?

  • Last time I was in Montreal (not even a year ago) The average CD was about $16 Canadian.. that's about $10.50 US.

    That's pretty cheap for a CD


    --

  • You're forgetting the payola that's still rampant in the music industry - pay to play still determines whose discs are played on commercial radio. Get rid of the "independant promoters" who work this deal and CDs can drop another $2-4 each.
  • ....5 people move out of Canada and the resulting sales drop is enough to launch a lawsuit.
  • We're talking cheap and fast. That $40cdn gets me 1.5megabit down and .5 megabit up -- and I have almost NO bandwidth limitaton at the Canadian end.. If the sit i'm puling from isn't heavily loaded, I can almost always get full bandwidth on downloads.

    For $160CDN/month ($110 US) I'd get 5 static IPs, and 4meg/1.5meg. Given that it's well provisioned bandwidth, it's almost as good as a colocate. I have a friend who ran a decent sized commercial web site out of his home on the $160 plan -- He needed the static IPs for SSL. Unless you're running a porn server, or a redhat mirror 1.5megabit is good for most small sites.
    --

  • by MotoMannequin (112293) on Sunday June 03, 2001 @05:43AM (#180501)
    can drown in a river that averages 12 inches deep.

    A look at RIAA sales statistics 1991-1999 [riaa.com] reveals that CD sales do not always increase. The data shows growth in the early '90s, but nearly flat sales in the mid '90s, actually decreasing from 96-97.

    As a music fan, I attirbute this (pre-Napster craze) trend to the explosion of new, unique bands in the early '90s, followed by a bunch of bland, industry-generated, me-too bands that lacked any originality or edge.

    With Napster, record company executives now have a scapegoat for thier ineptness. They want to paint the picture of always increasing sales and profits, else someone surely is tampering illegally with thier industry.

    Now consider that retail sales are down in many industries this year [bizstats.com], and it looks like the record industry is trying to get a good PR spin on the combination of incompetence and a down market.


    MotoMannequin
  • I'd like to see an upward trend in sales after the filtering began on Napster.

    Napster has been rendered practically useless to me; I haven't used it in weeks, and I've had little luck with any of the alternatives. Presumably this is the case with other people as well.

    Of course they'd also have to realize that the US economy is slowing, which tends to effect the demand for stuff like CDs heavily.

  • At first I didn't mind the idea of paying a tax on blank media if it went to supporting the artists; lord knows most would probably make more from the few cents of tax than from most record sales. But upon poking around at the Copyright Act a bit more, it seems that the only provision we are really allowed in Canada is to make copies for personal use (from Copying for Private Use [cb-cda.gc.ca]):

    Copying for Private Use
    Where no infringement of copyright
    80. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the act of reproducing all or any substantial part of
    (a) a musical work embodied in a sound recording,
    (b) a performer's performance of a musical work embodied in a sound recording, or
    (c) a sound recording in which a musical work, or a performer's performance of a musical work, is embodied onto an audio recording medium for the private use of the person who makes the copy does not constitute an infringement of the copyright in the musical work, the performer's performance or the sound recording.
    Limitation
    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply if the act described in that subsection is done for the purpose of doing any of the following in relation to any of the things referred to in paragraphs (1)(a) to (c):
    (a) selling or renting out, or by way of trade exposing or offering for sale or rental;
    (b) distributing, whether or not for the purpose of trade;
    (c) communicating to the public by telecommunication; or
    (d) performing, or causing to be performed, in public.
    1997, c. 24, s. 50.

    Subsection 2 paragraph b seems to rather negative about the whole idea of sharing music... Of course, I could be missing an ammendment somewhere, and if so I'd love to have it pointed out!
    • $6.23 -- Retail Markup
    • $0.85 -- Co-op advertising and discounts to retailers

    The labels can do away with these by selling directly to the consumer. Mail-order music subscription services such as Bertelsmann's BMG [bmgmusicservice.com] and Columbia House [columbiahouse.com] already do something similar.

    • $3.34 -- Company Overhead, Distribution, and Shipping

    If they ever decided to get a Clue and sell their albums online as 192 Kbps Ogg Vorbis [vorbis.com] secure downloads, they could reduce this to the cost of Akamai [akamai.com]zed bandwidth.

  • How many songs do you know with the same titles in them?

    Lots. [everything2.com] When looking for an artist-title pair, I use Google [google.com] with a few lyrics. For instance, I heard a song that went "Isn't it time ... falling in love could be your mistake" and a quick Google search turned up "Isn't It Time" by The Babys.

    But there has to be a better way to get copies of singles without the "$17 for one good song and get 11 filler songs ABSOLUTELY FREE!" bullshit the RIAA labels pull.

    Say your an American in Europe or vice versa and have little access to the songs you favored in your home town. Why shouldn't you be able to find it on mp3 for your own enjoyment?

    Because RIAA labels such as AOL have partnered (i.e. stock-swapped) with overseas air shipping companies such as FedEx. "If you want the music, pay for Sony Shipping! Only $40 for 7-day shipping of the entire works of $IMPORT_ARTIST!"

  • It would be nice if we could convince enough people to operate that way. Then the artist would be paid for their work

    See also MP3.com [mp3.com]'s D.A.M. system. An MP3.com artist makes several albums available, and when a consumer buys an album for USD $8 + S&H, the artist gets half of that, the rest going to duplication of the CD and of the box art.

  • ...as seeing Leftists trot out the Laffer curve to argue for reduced CD prices. So, let's get this straight: When Ronald Reagan and the Republicans argue that reducing taxes will increase revenue, it's voodoo economics. When the anti-IP crowd and Napster pirates argue that reducing CD prices will increase sales it's common sense. Yeah, right.

  • People say that they still buy music or even more than before because of napster, to make napster look good... some actually do, yes, but most not.

    RIAA says napster hurts their sales, but they don't do much about it exept whine and sue. And did the price for a cd change since 10 years? not really.

    Solution? why would someone go thru all the trouble of downloading mp3s, and burn them on a cd that 25% of the players out there won't be able to read?, why wouldn't you see that 4 years ago and now it's like the new Thing? 4 years ago it wasn't worth it to do that because the price of the cd was way too expensive (and one could argue that mp3 were a bit more rare to find). If you'd trop the price of a CD to 4-5$US, most of the kids would rather buy the album and having the nice cover and all the de lyrics with good packaging than downloading it and having to burn it (exept for custom compilation).

    There's 2 issues here... sensibilisation (which you won't get at 13+$ levels) and price. The hell to the people that use "it costs to manufacture" and so on, why do you see classic cds for 4$? why couldn't the mettalica cd be the same price? because it's more popular??? more popular = more sales = more volume = cheaper to mass produce, so the maths don't add up.

    While I might not like the people lying that 90% of the people using napster are buying more CDs, I do find the people at the RIAA stubbern and really not opened... imagine if it would be the same thing in the computer industry, things would have moved backward instead of foward. I wonder how many technologies they've blocked that could have been here today, just by acting like that.

    Who wouldn't like a service like napster that would do your CDs customly, and ship it to you for 4$ each, and with 10 cd you get free shipping for example? that way the author could be compensated, "napster" could make a profit, and joe nowhere could get known, everybody wins, exept the RIAA.

  • Today, this comment is probably going to be moderated down, and that's to bad. But probably not unexpected. Two years ago, this comment wouldn't have been modded down, but two years ago it never would have needed to be posted.

    Napster is not a website, it's a separate service that runs on entirely different TCP port. When I saw the words 'website' to describe it in Time magazine, I cringed. But, those people weren't expected to know that the web is different from the internet.

    but slashdot was supposed to be different, it was supposed to be 'by geeks, for geeks', and yet, today, what do I see? The word "website" used to refer to the Napster service that you use to download songs from (I realize that napster does, indeed, have a website but that's obviously what the not what the poster was talking about). I mean, WTF? Of course, it wasn't Michael who wrote the words, but tyrann98. But would it have been so fucking hard to change the word 'website' to 'service'. I mean Christ, CmdrTaco mentioned using napster in some of the geeks in space episodes.

    I've been becoming more and more disillusioned by slashdot in recent months, but this is the nail in the coffin (for me anyway). I can no longer expect any kind of technical validity from this page.

    Ok, I said what I wanted to say. Now mod me down.
  • Is it possible that instead of it being Napster's fault that it could be because of the recent layoffs that Canada has been expereincing? The US isn't the only country being hit by increasing numbers of layoffs. Combine that with an increase in price, and entertainment dollars are really being hurt!

    I mean, last year, RIAA had a study which showed that album sales in 60+ stores located near colleges and universities had drops in record sales. Is Napster to blame? Possibly. But they also forgot to mention that the average price of a CD had increased while the income students do make hadn't increased. I think it's reasonable to say that the increase may have caused sales to drop off. I'm no economist, but I do know that when you increase prices without a corresponding increase in income, demand drops off...
  • I think that's true, but I wonder how much they could really cut the cost of CDs. Everyone knows that CDs are cheaper to manufacture than cassettes

    There you go. Cassettes cost like $8.99 and they are profitable. CDs cost less to make, but cost nearly twice as much? There's a problem there.
  • Actually, homophobia is

    irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals
    according to m-w.com. Insofar as prejudice is a form of discrimination, it could be argued that equating homosexuality with bad behavior is a form of homophobia.

    Also, homosexuality is not a "handicap" any more than heterosexuality is. At one time it was classified as a "disorder" in the DSM, but not since 1973.

    And furthermore, the "homo" in homophobia isn't Latin, it's Greek, and it comes from homos, which means "same" in Classical Greek. I would guess that the word, which has been around at least since 1969, is not "PC", but was probably created by doctors and psychologists to describe a psychological condition.

    And finally, you can't necessarily deduce the meaning of a word from its Greek/Latin roots, anyway. Take "hydrophobia" which, from its roots, means "fear of water," but in actuality, is a medical term for rabies (more specifically a symptom of the disease, in which exposure to liquids causes the subject to suffer involuntary throat spasms).

  • by sqlrob (173498) on Sunday June 03, 2001 @04:21AM (#180541)
    What I want to know, is how much of this is due to the "tax" on blank media? How many people, seeing this tax, now feel they have paid for the privilege to download the music?
  • those of you Win32 users who miss the Scour app, there's an alternative: Morpheus [streamcastnetworks.com] i've been using it for a while now, and can find (almost) everything i need with it...

    as for us Canucks downloading more mp3s, when you factor in CDs that cost about $25 or more after taxes, downloading your music collection suddenly appears a LOT more appealing.

    as for calling us 'immoral' or whatnot for 'stealing' music, ask the Industry what happened to their promise of lowering CD prices? and how about giving the artists a fair percentage of the profits?

    they can kiss my northern butt for all i care.

  • by kryptkpr (180196) on Sunday June 03, 2001 @05:40AM (#180544) Homepage
    That same CD, upon coming to Canada, gets marked as an "Import" and suddenly becomes $40CDN (~$25+ USD). Add to that our amazing 15% sales tax (Ontario), and they're wondering why we choose to download music from the net, as opposed to paying OUTRAGEOUS prices for it?
  • A spokesman of the record business in Sweden said a few weeks ago something like this :

    We have seen a 5 % drop in sales, it must be Napsters fault, so we must raise the price to compensate for the loss.

    This is absurd.. why do they think people care to search and download music from the net ? Because its expensive! Here (.se), a full cd costs something like 170 SEK, (17 USD). If the raise the price more, its even more profitable to download the music, and they have to raise prices even more.

    If a CD cost like 5 USD, i doubt piracy would be an issue anylonger. Napster didnt create the need, the need created napster !

  • Thanks for the link to the figures.

    I plotted the number of CDs shipped along with a linear fit (using R [r-project.org]) and put it in a postscript file [www.uio.no] (I'm not going to have it there forever).

    It is quite clear, it is a linear trend, with quite a lot of variation. I'll do a brief Analysis of Variance on the linear fit in a seperate reply (damn, why can't I have the PRE-element?).

  • Damn, I couldn't get the analysis of variance past the lameness filter. Anyway, it's a really good fit, at a p-value of 0.0005114 it means, pretty much, you wouldn't go looking for anything else than a simple linear growth.
  • Here's some background, useful for Canadians and non-Candians alike...

    In Canada, March 19, 1998, Part VIII of the Copyright Act came into force. Until then, copying any sound recording for almost any purpose infringed copyright. Part VIII legalizes one such activity: copying of sound recordings of musical works onto recording media for the private use of the person who makes the copy.

    Specifically, the Copyright Board says their ruling "does not legalize (a) copies made for the use of someone other than the person making the copy; and (b) copies of anything else than sound recordings of musical works. It does legalize making a personal copy of a recording owned by someone else."

    You may want to look at the Goverment of Canada Copyright Board backgrounder [cb-cda.gc.ca] (see point 2, specifically) and allowance for private-use copying [parl.gc.ca].

    This is one reason why (for first-generation, private-use copies) Canada is a better place to use P2P than the United States.
  • Hmmm...Napter does well, CD sales do well. Napster is emasculated, CD sales begin to slip. Now, I realize one cannot prove causation from this, but if they are going to use the "Napster is to blame" game, then they should work it both ways and realize that by their logic, when Napster is rocking their sales improve.
    I can provide some supporting evidence: a survey conducted by a cable music channel here in Australia. The big result: "86% of all respondents said that they HAD purchased a CD album as a direct result of downloading free tracks from it". There's an article about it here [smh.com.au].
  • by GemFire (192853) on Sunday June 03, 2001 @06:10AM (#180558) Homepage
    "But if you think CDs are three times too expensive, just by 1/3 the number of CDs!"

    That is what the problem is - people, whether they are using Napster or not - are buying fewer CDs. Because of Napster, the blame is not placed on a product already too expensive so people are buying less of it. They accuse Napster of stealing their profits.

    In the 80s, when Videotapes first came out they ran about $80 each. People didn't buy very many - they rented and copied (or waited for HBO.) When the price came down to an average of $20, the sales tripled (at least!)

    Currently, I spend an average of $20 per YEAR on CDs. I used to spend (when they averaged $12 per CD) about $30 per MONTH on CDs. This has everything to do with price. If a CD were $5, I'd probably spend even more money, but for $20 each, I'll just listen to my older music and the radio - very, very few CDs are worth $20 (the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon CD is $20 - you can get the entire movie for hardly anything more.)

    Drop the prices - increase the sales. Raise the prices - increase the downloads. It is really that simple.

  • by dropdead (201019) on Sunday June 03, 2001 @09:35AM (#180568)
    After years of growth they complain when sales growth is not as large as the year before. The record companies need to relize at some point the twelve year girls can only by so many pop albums and angry teenage boys get bored of the same rap/rock sound.

    Growth and increasing profits are not a right. A free economy raises and falls. Maybe all those MBA's should take take first year economics over again.

  • by empesey (207806) on Sunday June 03, 2001 @05:50AM (#180571) Homepage
    Just like time, this is all relative. Canadians may see a 6.4% drop in sales, but with the exchange rate, Americans see it as a 4.8% drop.

    This figure gets even lower as you approach the speed of light.

  • by vitamino (210402) on Sunday June 03, 2001 @05:20AM (#180572)
    If a CD cost like 5 USD, i doubt piracy would be an issue anylonger. Napster didnt create the need, the need created napster !

    I think that's true, but I wonder how much they could really cut the cost of CDs. Everyone knows that CDs are cheaper to manufacture than cassettes, but there are lots of other things that contribute to the price. Engineers have to get paid for their work of recording the music, and advertising and promotion is very expensive, too. Add to this compensation for the artists, and 17 USD doesn't exactly seem very exorbitant to me.

    If a record doesn't sell, then they lose money, even. The more popular music ends up subsidizing the newer less popular music. I don't claim to know very much about the industry, but how much can the record companies really afford to lower the price?

    Then again, if sales are slipping, could it be they put out one too many lousy records?!

  • by Hooky1963 (215931) on Sunday June 03, 2001 @08:33AM (#180577)
    Not that I'm sort of idealist/anarchist but the whole RIAA/MPAA crap has turned me off a lot. I used to go to the HMVs and Tower Records here in Toronto and buy at least 5-6 CDs per month.

    Their lawsuits and their paranoia has rubbed me the wrong way. So I personally send the companies a message that they will hear, by not buying their products.

    I've never used napster but I have fished for mp3s on the web when I wanted to hear a song. In the past I'd shell the $20 (CDN) for a CD even just for one song. Now I can't be bothered.

    I do respect artists and I still buy CDs of music that I think is worth it. But I will never again buy a CD unless I really want it. Or a DVD for that matter.

    Now I just rent from blockbuster if I really want to see a movie, instead of considering buying it. Or grab a MP3 from the actual artist's site. I even let my friends borrow my CDs/DVDs and make copies or VCDs. We have some sort borrowing-circle going on. All I care now is affecting the record/movie companies' business.

    Companies have to realize that consumers will only take so much and they start walking away.

    I was a legitimate and good customer for CDs and I've stopped because the bullish antics of the RIAA. Hell, I'm Canadian, isn't the RIAA an "American" organization which affects my choices?

    Hooky1963

  • Not to mention the Slashbot scaling factor that needs to be applied: when recording industries report increased sales, as they've been doing for the most part, it's proof that illegal file sharing is in the best interest of the labels. For that matter, we got a study about a week ago where self-reported data on whether a non-random sample of Napster users would pay a download fee was hailed as conclusive evidence. But when decreased sales are reported, it's time for from the statistics-never-lie dept.

    Reminds me of the episode a year ago where Fred Moody claimed that Linux is inferior to NT because it has more BugTraq entries. Slashbot wisdom promptly declared that more bug reports were actually a positive sign because -- well, I can't remember how the logic went but it's here [slashdot.org]. Then a few days later it turned out that Moody had summed all bugs in all tracked Linux distros and that Linux has many fewer separate reports than Windows. Slashbots: Windoze sux! Look how many bugs it has!

    Unsettling MOTD at my ISP.

  • 5 bucks? That's not much. Remember you are paying for content, not for the price of the media. Of course it's cheap to make the actual CDs, but what about the music? Manufacturing is not the only cost, my friend. Some artists may take a year (or more!) to make an album. Granted, that's not all hardcore 40 hours a week work.

    At my company [affinix.com], we just finished an RPG for Gameboy Color. It will probably sell for $30. I wish we could sell it for more though, considering the amount of time/work/energy it took to make. As is, we'll probably break even on expenses. Did you know the cost of producing a cartridge is less than $1? That's just the manufacturing cost. When you start piling on the expenses (employees, outsources, publishers, middlemen) it gets out of control.

    You never know, some of these CDs you speak of may actually be worth much more than 17 dollars. Our game is worth well over $30, I can tell you that much.

    -Justin
  • by Private Essayist (230922) on Sunday June 03, 2001 @07:45AM (#180594)
    ...last year CD sales were up, and Napster was going full-steam ahead. This year Napster is seriously hamstrung and CD sales begin to slip.

    Hmmm...Napter does well, CD sales do well. Napster is emasculated, CD sales begin to slip. Now, I realize one cannot prove causation from this, but if they are going to use the "Napster is to blame" game, then they should work it both ways and realize that by their logic, when Napster is rocking their sales improve.
    ________________

  • by Scoria (264473) <slashmail.initialized@org> on Sunday June 03, 2001 @09:25AM (#180605) Homepage
    You can't find anything on it anymore, not even obscure music, because the filters are set to filter just about every song that the RIAA likes or any song that has a title which remotely resembles a RIAA title.

    A good working alternative to Napster is KaZaA [kazaa.com].

    • just by 1/3 the number of CDs! You'll survive, believe me. If everybody feels as you do, the prices will come down.

    Er, in which alternative universe? In this one, we're already seeing record companies threatening to raise prices. To be honest, I do agree that in the long term you're correct, but it looks like in the short to mid term we're in for a rough ride - screwed if we buy, screwed if we share.

    • If the copyright holder doesn't do a run of the copyrighted material within (Say) three years of the last one, they obviously no longer value the copyright and the copyright should fall back to the public domain

    Back to the public domain? In the case of written works, copyright generally reverts to the author, who can then do as she wishes with it. Any reason to do it differently with music?

  • by teambpsi (307527) on Sunday June 03, 2001 @04:31AM (#180617) Homepage
    I save all my AOL and other "recyclable" CD's on a big dowel. It makes for interesting "art" when light shines through it.

    My long term goal is to make a "disc-gun" like the kind you had as a kid that would fling the disc out. Given that the metal content of the disc itself is just sprayed on aluminum in most cases there isn't much for creating something magnetic -- directly. However you might be able to get something to superconduct in order to fling it like a rail gun ;)

    Otherwise, some combination of air-cushion (like and air-hockey table concept) could work -- start by spinning the CD up and then kick it out!

    the whole apparatus could be mounted on the back of a pickup truck for "urban-assault" -- i think i'm seeing a weapon for Unreal or Quake!

    ...but don't try this at home kids.....

  • The tax actually doesn't amount to much (I can still get blank CD-R's for under 50 cents CDN$ if bought in bulk), but effectively, Canada's laws DO allow for legal mp3 sharing. Section 80 of our copyright act states (note this isn't verbatim):

    Canadians can copy music they own to a blank medium, like an audiocassette or videocassette. So long as it's for personal enjoyment, copying is legal. Copyright owners - the record companies - receive a portion of the proceeds from blank media sales.

  • The retail store gets $17 gross income.

    Close enough, though.

    I question the relevancy of this breakdown. If they really only cleared $0.59 per CD, they'd add a buck to the price and probably double their profit after the slight decrease in sales it would cause.

    More likely, they make something close to the store's markup (in cleared profit) on real hits from undervalued artists (which they hope for with every release, of course, but rarely get), such that doubling their profit/CD would increase the price to $25 or more, sharply reducing their sales (which hurts a lot worse than just not getting the "profit"). At those prices, the break-evens might lose money and the moderate losers might not sell at all.
    --
  • There is a little flamewar a few threads up where someone replying to this post [slashdot.org] says that

    Did you ever think maybe the media presents a single sided view of murder? Maybe it's alright too. The meida [ sic ] means nothing in this, YOU know you're stealing and THEY know you're stealing...
    You have forgotten that murder has been an abhorrent act for thousands of years--long before the invention of the media. This whole Napster issue is much more complex. With Napster-like software and PayPal-like software, the world doesn't need to give billions of dollars each year to the leeches in the recording industry. The media, of course, sides with the industry and particularly the industry's trade association: the RIAA. Don't forget that a CD is a medium, a newspaper is a medium, a television news station is a medium, and that the plural of medium is media. Got it? Now explore Who Owns What [cjr.org], courtesy of Columbia University, so that you can find out why Big Media has such an incentive to show only one side of the story--their side.

    There is an appropriate quote, from Wilson I think: "A journalist's job is not to tell the truth. A journalist's job is to write sensational stories that sell newspapers."

    Here are a few issues that Big Media chooses to ignore in order to do their jobs:

    1. The profit margin on a CD is much higher than on a cassette. Why are they gouging the consumer?
    2. When the RIAA goes to court or Washington, they speak endlessly about protecting the rights of the artists. However, when a recording company signs a contract with an artist, nothing could describe the transaction better than the metaphor of anal rape (no lubrication, of course).
    3. Music sales are indisputably dropping. Shouldn't that be expected in the time of increasing unemployment and collapse of the dot-bomb industry?
    4. For many years there has been an increase in the number of stores selling used CDs. These are bought from individuals (hence the "used" moniker) and sold for a drastically lower price. It is possible now for the same number of CDs to be sold while the sales dollar figure plummets. This can take place in America or Canada.

    To further disillusion you, I am providing this link [projectcensored.org] to interesting stories that Big Media censors by under-reporting. Most of these stories are important in the grand scheme of things. Putting these stories on the front page would be detrimental to Big Media's primary goal, which of course is to maximize their shareholders' profit. Bookmark the link and come back to it next year to see what you missed in 2001.

    To summarize, the recording industry is no longer needed. Because America is a banana republic, yet with a much more esoteric manner of palm-greasing than your typical banana republic known as "campaign contributions [billionair...orgore.com]", the industry is not giving its dying breath. Instead it is struggling by any means necessary to outlast its timely demise. Judging by the support in this sid, I think their means are working.

Work without a vision is slavery, Vision without work is a pipe dream, But vision with work is the hope of the world.

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