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Recordable Media a Bigger Threat Than Filesharing? 682

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the everyday-evil dept.
Matilda the Hun writes "The Register is reporting on the RIAA claims that recordable media is more of a source of piracy than P2P networks. From the article: 'The RIAA's chief executive, Mitch Bainwol, last week said music fans acquire almost twice as many songs from illegally duplicated CDs as from unauthorized downloads, Associated Press reports. According to Bainwol, in turn citing figures from market watcher NPD, 29 per cent of the recorded music obtained by listeners last year came from content copied onto recordable media. Only 16 per cent came from illegal downloads.'"
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Recordable Media a Bigger Threat Than Filesharing?

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  • by bigwavejas (678602) * on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:49PM (#13324049) Journal
    It seems to me like the RIAA is stabbing blindly in the dark. They constantly shift their attention from one medium (for pirating) to another. Instead of focusing on the symptoms they should direct their attention to the cause. I know I'd buy more music (cd, mp3 or ?) if it was reasonably priced. $1 dollar/mp3 and $12.99 or more for a CD?? I'm sure they have some justification for the pricing, but... obviously something's amiss. I'm not advocating pirating music, but I do think until a happy "middle-ground" is found, this problem will not go away.
    • by garcia (6573) * on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:52PM (#13324093) Homepage
      It seems to me like the RIAA is stabbing blindly in the dark. They constantly shift their attention from one medium (for pirating) to another.

      They aren't stabbing in the dark at all. These have been slow and calculated moves! They have been planning on attacking the P2P networks, getting people to switch to legally downloaded media formats (which basically eliminate distribution costs as the RIAA doesn't even pay for it), and now they want to end recordable media!

      According to Bainwol, in turn citing figures from market watcher NPD, 29 per cent of the recorded music obtained by listeners last year came from content copied onto recordable media. Only 16 per cent came from illegal downloads.

      So, now that they believe that they have lessened the impact of downloaded music by finally "opening" up to the desire of the market and selling their wares, they have decided to turn their FUD campaign towards recordable media.

      Yes, we should all bend over backwards to the wishes, whines, and desires of a small group of "individuals" that are just trying to protect their financial interests, right? Why should we have any fair-use rights? That doesn't help the RIAA's bottom line does it... We need to be re-educated into believing that fair-use doesn't exist. If you want to play your purchased music on your portable player *and* use a CD you have to buy it twice! Once for the MP3 player and once for the CD player.

      DO NOT PURCHASE SONGS BACKED BY THE RIAA. It is only increasing their finances which are used to back legislation and smear campaigns to further erode fair-use rights.
      • by Overzeetop (214511) on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:06PM (#13324263) Journal
        Yes, we should all bend over backwards to the wishes, whines, and desires of a small group...

        Actually, I believe the RIAA standard line is that you just bend over.
      • by pete6677 (681676) on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:32PM (#13324583)
        Outlawing (or severely restricting) recordable media is likely going to be a lot harder for the RIAA than it was for them to buy laws against online file trading.

        It's easy to convince a bunch of middle aged senators that those evil computer hackers are stealing the labels' music because they typically don't have the greatest understanding of computers. But I'd be surprised to find even one US senator who has never copied an album onto a tape or received a copy from a friend. They will see that recording onto CD is the same thing, and will be a lot more reluctant to try to outlaw an activity that they know people have been doing for a long time.

        Since the home tape recorder did not kill the music industry and in fact helped it, legislators will have a much harder time buying the argument that recordable CDs will kill the industry.
      • Nice of you to say that we shouldn't purchase RIAA backed music...but you see, the problem is that some of us happen to like RIAA backed music. Not artists that sound like RIAA backed music, actual bands like Radiohead, the Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand, Pink Floyd, Four Tet etc who we like the music of, who happen to be backed by the RIAA.
        • Then maybe you should learn to put your values ahead of entertainment. Not to sound harsh, but this isn't going to work unless you stick up for what you believe is right.

          In my case, I believe in the public's fair use of media and the right for someone who owns equipment (e.g. computer equipment or audio equipment) to do whatever they want with it. I will not buy crippled computer equipment, and I will not support the companies responsible for WIPO, DMCA (US), C-60 (Canada) etc.
      • > DO NOT PURCHASE SONGS BACKED BY THE RIAA

        Actually, this is realistic advice.

        It requires *we* change, however: seeking out the best Indie music, promoting it, listening to it, supporting the artists, and developing our tastes beyond the ,ainline music industry.

        You know, there's a lot of great Indie music out there. I'm going to begin exploring some Indie artists and posting their music -- with permission -- to my weblog next month.

        Let's get after it. As the Joker said, "Let's expand our minds."

    • by goldspider (445116) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (97ekardra)> on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:57PM (#13324147) Homepage
      No middle ground will be realized until both sides of this issue grow the hell up.

      The RIAA uses unprecidented strongarm tactics to essentially preserve their outdated business model in law. They charge very high prices for CDs, restrict their usage, and then wonder why their customers aren't happy. Grow up.

      On the other hand, you have a multitude of excuses for piracy. The "copyright infringement isn't theft" is my favorite, as it in no way justifies breaking of the law. I also hear that music sucks these days, and it's not worth buying. Yet the same people fill their hard drives with this "crap". That's hypocritical. Grow up.

      So where's the middle ground? One side wants too much money, and the other side doesn't want to pay anything. Good luck with that!
      • " The "copyright infringement isn't theft" is my favorite, as it in no way justifies breaking of the law."

        LARCENY - Illegal taking and carrying away of personal property belonging to another with the purpose of depriving the owner of its possession. The wrongful and fraudulent taking and carrying away by one person of the mere personal goods of another from any place, with a felonious intent to convert them to the taker's use and make them his property without the consent of the owner.-Lectlaw [lectlaw.com]

        Copyi
      • The "copyright infringement isn't theft" is my favorite, as it in no way justifies breaking of the law.

        So... when is breaking of the law justified? For a significant period of time, the return of runaway slaves to thier "owners" was the law in the United States. Law or no law, a lot of brave people risked incarceration [wikipedia.org] to smuggle these people to freedom, and ultimately the law was changed.

        Maybe $12 CD's aren't quite as morally repugnant as slavery, but "the law is the law and you should follow it whate

        • A more apt example might be Prohibition. An activity which had little moral repugnance to most of the population was illegal for a time, but finally became legal. Certainly people who sold alcohol during Prohibition were breaking the law, and I doubt few would try to argue that "beer wants to be free." In 1933, when Prohibition was lifted, all the people who were breaking the law by going to speakeasies were suddenly on the right side of the law again. Were they justified in breaking the law before 1933? No
      • The "copyright infringement isn't theft" is my favorite, as it in no way justifies breaking of the law. I also hear that music sucks these days, and it's not worth buying. Yet the same people fill their hard drives with this "crap". That's hypocritical. Grow up.

        How about the taxes I pay on every blank CDR and every GB of my hard disks? With these taxes, I help the funding of associations like the RIAA without listening to their crap.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:33PM (#13324603)
        Except, of course, the 12 year old the RIAA sued.

        "Piracy" increases sales! Roger McGuinn(sp? The old "Byrds" band from the 60s) said outright that "piracy" via the old, dead Napster revitalized his career. The labels had writen him off.

        This is the REAL reason they want to kill P2P, not "piracy." P2P DOES affect the labels bottom line.

        Now, this sounds like a contradiction, but it isn't. The majors have radio sewn up (see "payola"). The radio plays what the RIAA labels tell it to.

        But there's a new kid - P2P. If I download Metallica, I'm likely to buy Matallica. However, if I download someone not on the radio, they don't get that Metallica sale because I already spent the fifteen bucks on two indie CDs.

        It's not about lost sales to "thieves," it's about lost sales to the competetion.

        P2P is to the RIAA what FOSS is to Microsoft: a possible monopoly breaker. You can see why they hate it.
      • Middle ground (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Andy Gardner (850877) on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:48PM (#13324804)
        So where's the middle ground? One side wants too much money, and the other side doesn't want to pay anything.

        Lower prices?

      • by pla (258480) on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:49PM (#13324817) Journal
        No middle ground will be realized until both sides of this issue grow the hell up.

        Who wants middle ground?

        I buy quite a lot of CDs (20 to 50 per month). The RIAA could consider me one of their best customers (even with over half my purchases going to indie labels), except that I deliberately buy only used discs. Why? The RIAA has basically shot themselves in the foot, in three ways:

        Technologically, I loathe DRM; although I have yet to find a disc I can't rip, the mere fact that they would try to prevent me from using music I buy (and spare me the "owned-vs-licenced" semantic BS - to the typical consumer, if I pay cash for a physical product that doesn't have a return date on it, I "own" it) however the hell I want, very much offends me.

        Politically, I don't like the bullying tactics of the RIAA, nor do I like their constant attempts to legislate their business model into what amounts to perpetual profit for no further work input. Although I can't hurt them all that much, I certainly won't help pay for their war-on-the-little-guy.

        Economically, the most simple, they charge too much for no good reason. Do they have that right? Yes, certainly, they could charge $500 per CD if they so desired. But perception matters quite a lot - Even nonhuman primates will petulantly turn their noses at a known bad deal ("tolerable" vs "preferred" food as reward for doing something, when they've seen someone else get the preferred reward for the same task). Tapes cost around ten times as much to manufacture as CDs, yet cost half as much? Keep your lettuce, and stack your damned colored blocks by yourself!


        So, who wants a middle ground? I say, Screw the RIAA. Let 'em go under. The artists will still create, they just won't have so many mob-affiliated middlemen taking a cut of the till. And thanks to the internet, the artists can actually do just that, in a manner far more effective than the old standby of offering tapes/CDs for sale at their concerts.



        and the other side doesn't want to pay anything

        No, one side wants too much control, and the other side wants the same "fair use" rights they've had all along. I consider the "money" part of this issue the least important.
      • Well said. I've stopped buying CD's, because I don't want to give any more money to the bloated corporate entities that overcharge for music while they screw the artists. I buy my music on iTunes now. The next step is to get a direct pipe from artists to net distribution without involving the record companies at all, something that promotes new music through user reviews and ratings, and links tastes through similarity (people with your tastes also liked...) This last part would be a natural for Google.

        On t
      • Finally! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by lasindi (770329)
        You are one of the few people on Slashdot who are thinking reasonably about this issue.

        They [the RIAA] charge very high prices for CDs, restrict their usage, and then wonder why their customers aren't happy. Grow up.

        Yes, but there is a perfectly ethical and legal way to fight this: simply don't buy the music. If Ford charged ridiculously high prices for their cars, don't buy them. But that doesn't mean that you now have a right to go steal these cars (yes, I know it's not perfectly analagous, which is
    • Today the RIAA reported that the root cause of their piracy problems was their pricing scheme. When asked how to deal with the issue, they said that they were going to make music more affordable, so that it cost less time and money than the time and effort to pirate it.

      In other news, 42 inches of snow fell hard in Hell today, to the surprised residences. A sweet scene of tortured souls being allowed a break to run out and have fun due to the little known "Snow Day" clause that let them have the day off.
      • Re:In Other News.... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by shark72 (702619)

        "When asked how to deal with the issue, they said that they were going to make music more affordable, so that it cost less time and money than the time and effort to pirate it."

        Although you were being sarcastic, that is indeed major part of their strategy [belproject.com] (and more here [boycott-riaa.com]). The record labels can indeed walk and chew gum at the same time, and they've acknowledged using -- in their own words -- a "carrot and stick" approach. This certainly makes sense -- if you owned a retail store and you noticed that y

    • by shark72 (702619) on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:17PM (#13324411)

      "I know I'd buy more music (cd, mp3 or ?) if it was reasonably priced. $1 dollar/mp3 and $12.99 or more for a CD?? I'm sure they have some justification for the pricing, but... obviously something's amiss."

      Amazingly enough, at $12.99 per CD, record companies typically net significantly less than 20% at the end of the year. If you were to plot the net margins of all the companies from which you buy goods and services, CDs would be on the far left of the graph. Choosing to pay or not pay for CDs is one thing, but it's not accurate to state that CD prices are "unreasonable" if one also happily buys food at the supermarket, clothing at the mall, PCs (including parts and accessories), and countless other items from industries that typically enjoy net margins well in excess on what the record industry relies on.

      The "but I only pay $0.25 for CD-Rs, so $13 for a CD is an outrage! Bok bok bok!" kids are missing the deadly difference between gross margin and net margin. The $13 you pay for a CD covers all the operating costs (salary, overhead including shrinkage, advertising) of the retailer, as well as the distributor (5% right there, if disty margins are the same in the record industry as they are in the computer peripheral business), and must cover the cost of shipping, returns (an educated guess is that it's about 10% in the record industry), price protections (probably another 10%), co-op advertising (another 5% - 10%), the salary of everybody at the record company and studio who worked on it in some way, royalties for the composers and songwriters, and of course the COGS, which are about 25% of the sell-in price to disti. This is why even at low-overhead indy record labels, a CD must sell about 10K pieces before it breaks even (that number is said to be 100K for the big RIAA companies).

      In short, simple bromides like "CD prices should be more reasonably priced" won't cut it. I've no doubt that you and others would like them to be cheaper (I wish lots of things were cheaper) but a sub-20 point net margin is certainly reasonable in our economy.

      As for online music sales... Apple has sold 50 million tracks, and the online music industry is growing logarithmically. It may be hard to convince them that their product is not "reasonably priced." The biggest mistake we can make is thinking the enemy is stupid. You can bet that Apple and the record companies have done the requisite surveys and research on elasticity and demand to know that $1.00 is the right price to charge, and that charging $0.90 or $0.80 will not result in higher net revenues. I know I sure wouldn't buy more if they were a dime cheaper -- I don't lose any sleep over a buck a track. I'll take your word for it that you would, but Apple's research appears to indicate that there more consumers like me than you.

      • by chefmonkey (140671) on Monday August 15, 2005 @05:10PM (#13325077)
        Admittedly the data points are becoming harder to locate, but I'm going to assert "complete and utter bullshit," based on the relative costs of CDs and Cassettes (which are much more expensive to manufacture, by the way).

        Here's one datapoint for you [wwbw.com]; you can find others. (For example, "The Very Best of Kenny Rogers" on Amazon: $5.95 on tape versus $9.95 on CD). Based on what I've seen, margins on CDs must top 50% -- unless record companies take a significant loss on cassettes.
        • "but I'm going to assert "complete and utter bullshit,"

          Out of line.

          "(For example, "The Very Best of Kenny Rogers" on Amazon: $5.95 on tape versus $9.95 on CD). Based on what I've seen, margins on CDs must top 50% -- unless record companies take a significant loss on cassettes."

          Yeah, my guess is that the cassette version has been price protected (that is, the record company issued a credit to Amazon to help them sell it down). Not a huge demand for Kenny Rogers cassettes any more. Price protectio

    • I'm sure they have some justification for the pricing, but... obviously something's amiss. I'm not advocating pirating music, but I do think until a happy "middle-ground" is found, this problem will not go away.

      So quit whining and act like an adult: if you don't like the RIAA's tactics, put your money behind someone who treats you better. I'm currently having a minor love affair with MagnaTune [magnatune.com] [1] but suit yourself.

      Just quit pretending that it's someone else's job and that you can have it all without

  • sneakernet (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BWJones (18351) on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:49PM (#13324052) Homepage Journal
    When you are talking about significantly large amounts of data (hundreds of GBs to TBs) it is actually faster and cheaper to put it on a hard drive and FedEx or (insert your favorite delivery company here) and ship it. Bandwidth is not free (even for those in Universities where a portion of our indirect costs go to pay for bandwidth) and when you factor in time required to transmit GB to TB of info, it is much more efficient to use "sneakernet" or "shipnet".

    This of course is leading many folks who deal with large databases to look at options such as moving the application to the data rather than pull data through the network. What does this mean for the media companies? It may eventually have an effect rendering the methodology much like that of the current TV/radio paradigm in that large repositories of media will be constantly available waiting for an application to travel to the database to query and assemble your media request.

    • by justforaday (560408) on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:52PM (#13324088)
      How do I set up my file handlers to deal with this sneakernet thing?
    • "When you are talking about significantly large amounts of data (hundreds of GBs to TBs) it is actually faster and cheaper to put it on a hard drive and FedEx or (insert your favorite delivery company here) and ship it"

      Damn kids and your fancy "hard drives". In my day, when we pirated music we did it with a stationwagon full of 9-track tapes.
  • by gbulmash (688770) * <[semi_famous] [at] [yahoo.com]> on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:50PM (#13324053) Homepage Journal
    This is why every audio tape had a hidden copying tax, a small royalty, legislated into the price, which had to be remitted by the manufacturers of the tapes to ASCAP to be redistributed to artists. I'm not entirely sure, but I think there is a similar sum legislated into the price of video tapes.

    ASCAP was lobbying for a similar tax in the '90s on Digital Audio Tape (DAT). Propably the argument against adding it for burnable CD/DVD media is because it's so often used for data... thus the numbers... to justify their position.

    • You can read about the Copyright Board's Private Copying 2003-2004 Decision here.
    • My Philips CD burner will only burn music to CD-R blanks which are marked in a certain way and which are formally certified for music use.

      Those blanks are more expensive than data CD-R blanks because the music industry already gets a cut.
    • by JonN (895435) * on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:00PM (#13324184) Homepage
      You can read about the Copyright Board's Private Copying 2003-2004 Decision here [cb-cda.gc.ca].
    • I don't pirate movies (no tv) or music (my purchased cd collection is already too large) - so please don't subject me to a tax to cover your inability to stop a bunch of guys stealing your material.

      Personally, I'd like to see the RIAA get their deepest, most desperate desire of locking down all their media and making anyone who wants it pay full price. And I wish them success in offending their best customers by making criminals out of them.

      Allowing them to succeed in offending their customer base i

      • so please don't subject me to a tax to cover your inability to stop a bunch of guys stealing your material. ... Perhaps then we'll see a FSF/GPL of music able to take roots.

        Oh, and a tax would be the surest thing to kill such a Free-Music movement - because suddenly the Free/Open Music would be forced to subsidize the labels.

  • The RIAA mindset (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LordKazan (558383) on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:50PM (#13324054) Homepage Journal
    "Anything we don't have total control over is a threat to our business model" - RIAA
  • hmmm ... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:50PM (#13324055)
    I download the media through filesharing then burn to recordable media. That makes me public enemy #1
  • by goldspider (445116) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (97ekardra)> on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:50PM (#13324056) Homepage
    Is that in America's near future?
    • Is that in America's near future?
      Possibly, but the US already charges more for "Audio" CD-Rs than for "Data" CD-Rs so that someone in the recording industry can get a kickback on the hunch that blank media is being used for copyrighted material. Maybe they figure people are buying the cheaper data CD-Rs for music so they're not getting as much as they could be getting on want more.

  • Just one more reason why, no matter how voluminous the Internet becomes, it will never replace sneakernet. Now where'd that floppy get to?
  • by harrkev (623093) <kfmsd@harrelsonf ... minus physicist> on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:51PM (#13324073) Homepage
    In other news, the RIAA has concluded that people are the biggest threat to the recording industry. They are proposing legistlation that will allow all people to be shot.
  • clunka-clunka-clunka (Score:3, Interesting)

    by yellowbkpk (890493) * on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:53PM (#13324107)
    ...the sounds of the 48" dual lawyer-guns on Battleship RIAA rotating to their new target.

    What good are our fair use rights if the RIAA keeps blank media out of our hands?

    Imagine a world where you have to go to the "ghetto" to pick up your black-market, vintage 32x Imation CD-Rs...
  • Bias? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by beanlover (710167)
    First sentence in TFA:

    The Recording Industry Ass. of America has acknowledged that P2P file-sharing is less of a threat to music sales than bootleg CDs.

    Anyone think this is on purpose?
  • by Sibb (907810)
    So does that mean that since I can't get Chumbawumba's Tub Thumping out of my head because it's so damn annoying, that my mind is subject to a fine by the RIAA? When will the idiocracy stop?!?
  • Oh sure (Score:5, Funny)

    by Approaching.sanity (889047) on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:55PM (#13324124) Homepage
    Blame the media.
  • So did the Compact Cassette kill live music?

    Or did live music kill the Compact Cassette?
  • I read the articles linked to (and those linked to from the linked-to articles, ad. nauseum), but none (that I saw) said how these numbers are collected. Are there polls asking, "How many CDs have you illegally copied in the last year?"
  • We're just going to get copies of "All of Recorded Music."

    You'll go to your friends' house, pick up your copy of All of Recorded Music, and there you go.

    We'll have government "get tough" policies against illegal ownership of "All of Recorded Music."

    "Congradulations, you have just stolen $10,000,000,000,000 worth of music," they'll say.

    But everyone'll do it, anyways. At least have easy access to it.
  • by johndierks (784521) on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:56PM (#13324138)
    RIAA is reported to be lobbying heavily against the speaker industry. "According to our studies, 100% of illegally obtained music is enjoyed through speakers." said RIAA spokesman, Steven Jones. "We implore congress to move quickly to protect artists from the criminals wandering the streets, listening to illegal music through speakers."
  • by confusion (14388) on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:56PM (#13324142) Homepage
    100% of piracy is a result of people/companies releaseing copywrited works.

    Whether it's recordable media, p2p, thumb drives, magic crystals, or something else, the cat is out of the bag, and there's no going back. Time after time after time efforts to counter the problem are thwarted very quickly. Honest people are going to be honest, (but with the try before you buy advantage) and bad people are going to be bad.

    This reminds me of the story of Sisyphus. It's time to stop pushing the rock up the hill and start looking for new business models!

    Jerry
    http://www.cyvin.org/ [cyvin.org]
    • There are several alternative business models being tried. Apple's iTMS is one, though I have yet to see a major artist try the iTunes-only route. Even those songs have a "CD hole", but the first step to eliminating the CD hole is releasing music only in its DRM'ed form. I betcha that sooner or later Apple will reveal that there are songs you can download that it will refuse to let you burn. That's one new business model.

      I didn't say you were going to like it. I just said they were working on it.

      There'
  • Spin Spin Spin (Score:2, Insightful)

    by saur2004 (801688)
    To push through mandatory DRM crap through congress.
  • Bullshit! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GecKo213 (890491)
    The more I hear about the RIAA and the MPAA complaining about piracy the more it irritates me. Bullshit!

    I'm waiting for the day that they want to start charging us for humming or singing a song that we happen to have heard enough to have it memorized.

  • by starseeker (141897) * on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:58PM (#13324165) Homepage
    OK, I have an idea. Let's stop with the stealing of music, and let them do whatever they want to stop us from copying it. There's a simple answer - don't buy it. Instead, create and listen to free content.

    Let's get behind iRATE radio, and really get it into shape (http://irate.sf.net./ [irate.sf.net] As a piece of software, from the user end I must confess its user interface leaves a lot to be desired. It's unpolished, unfinished, and has a variety of major missing pieces and flaws. BUT.

    I use it quite a lot, because it has something that few other programs have. CONTENT. Legal, free content. Much of it I don't care for (the same could be said of normal radio, for that matter) but the more people involved, the more attention it gets, the better a) the software will get and b) the content will get. As more people prune out the truly bad and things get more interesting, it can (maybe even will) snowball.

    I think iRate, or some fork thereof, needs some major improvements, granted. They need to:

    a) Update their music selection algorithms, give users a choice of algorithms and a way to indicate genra preferences, and provide a default download pack of the highest rated music to start with (don't start new users with the worst or random, start them with the best! any marketer can tell you you've gotta hook them before you can reel them in.)

    b) For goodness sake make the interface modern and more useful as a music player! Model it on iTunes, or whatever other good ones are out there(Rhythmbox isn't too bad) but get off the feature starved java interface.

    c) Hook in bittorrent with some kind of legal download only constraints, and give content creators the opportunity to distribute their music using this system if they license it under creative commons terms.

    d) Have an elected membership which reviews songs BEFORE they go on the bittorrent network, and have them either give it a yea or nay. Then have two options - the filtered bittorrent, with music that has at least undergone minimal quality control, and the unfiltered madness :-)

    Let's show the commercial world that community spirit still exists, and can survive on its own. Open source did it for software, now let's do it for music. Sure it might be harder than for software, but who would have bet on open source 20 years ago? Let's give it an honest to goodness shot, and see if it can be made to work.
    • by garcia (6573) * on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:11PM (#13324317) Homepage
      OK, I have an idea. Let's stop with the stealing of music, and let them do whatever they want to stop us from copying it. There's a simple answer - don't buy it. Instead, create and listen to free content.

      Thanks, at least someone has been paying attention to what I've been saying all these years! Do not buy music that is backed by the RIAA. Only support the bands that allow the free distribution of their music.

      There are already plenty of torrent trackers and listing services out there that do exactly what you propose (and I have listed them before). The "madness" you claim might exist, won't. Artists are still taught to believe what the RIAA is feeding them and it will likely never been overflowing like you hope.

      e-tree and dimeadozen along w/various others already take care of the tracking and listing. We just need more bands to allow the trading of their content.

      If the RIAA gets their way and either taxes recordable media out of the realm of usefulness or somehow gets it so protected it violates fair-use, then we need to bring back the P2P networks and get people to realize that there are viable performers out there that are releasing their stuff to the public for free!
    • Actually, I think it'll be easier for music than for software.

      Open-source software exists against a background of closed-source software. Many people who work on open source have day jobs writing closed-source software, or get to open-source part of their work while closing the parts that are specific to their clients. The most successful bits of open source, Apache and Linux, are heavily subsidized by large corporations that also write closed-source software.

      Open source has done well, but it's far from r
  • what a joke (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bugi (8479)
    The recordable media "problem" was solved years ago by bands such as the Grateful Dead.

    That means p2p as a problem is a joke, and old-guard music distributors are so self-absorbed they pay attention to only themselves.

    (IOW, just because a narcissist has a bullhorn doesn't mean he's right.)
  • by PhYrE2k2 (806396) on Monday August 15, 2005 @03:59PM (#13324173)
    C'mon- is this a joke?

    "acquire almost twice as many songs from illegally duplicated CDs as from unauthorized download"

    Wait? Really? So when people copy 16 tracks on an album compared to downloading 1, the numbers of the former exceed the latter? They say this so they can go after yet another target- writable media. Though how many of those tracks get listened to? When people download their favourite song, they often don't download the whole album (though some do).

    So now the RIAA has a new target now that they've lost economies of scale attacking P2P... then they'll go after P2P again. Joy!

    This is useless.

    -M
  • I've always wondered: If the *AA has the ability to track these illegal activities, be it themselves or through another company (in this case, NPD), why can't they go after the big distributors?

    Yes, the RIAA has filed a good number of suits, but there is "obviously" still a lot of illegal file sharing going on, indicating that either one million people have five different songs each, or that a few hundered have a few thousand songs and the other million download from them. I'd put more money on the later, i
  • ftfa: According to Bainwol, in turn citing figures from market watcher NPD, 29 per cent of the recorded music obtained by listeners last year came from content copied onto recordable media. Only 16 per cent came from illegal downloads. Legal downloads accounted for four per cent of music acquisitions, while official CDs accounted for almost 50 per cent of the total.

    how do they get these numbers? seriously. anyone?

  • Lets take this seriously for a minute. Duplicating whole CD's is one thing -- you get, what, 12-18 songs of variable quality? Which songs are good and which ones are bad are very subjective, down to person-to-person!!! This very reason is why folks like paying $1/song through iTunes, or are going P2P -- they want specific songs. Why pay for 18 songs when all you want is two or three at most?

    The only way I've done that was to get a CD with "King Fu Fighter" on it, and it turns out there was another versi
  • by renard (94190) on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:03PM (#13324218)
    Keep your eyes on this one, folks. What the RIAA et al. are telegraphing here is their intent to introduce copy-protected CDs into the US market in a big way over the next year (ie. holidays 2005). In order to bulldoze over consumer's objections, they will need to maintain a constant drumbeat of "piracy, piracy". At the same time they will put the squeeze on retailers to refuse return-requests from buyers who find the latest album won't play in their DVD/Car stereo/Mac computer, and who are pissed.

    Long term, they will be looking to get a tax on blank media introduced through their pet Congresspeople, just as in Canada. Don't expect it will let you rip & burn to your heart's content though... it will be framed purely in terms of payback for all that consumer misbehavior.

    -renard

  • Hmmm, interesting abbreviation by the Register. Usually Association is abbreviated Assn., but this seems more appropriate.

    Anyway, what nobody has mentioned (and since I rarely buy pop music I don't know about) is that iTunes (on Macs only...the article was unclear) regularly bypasses Macrovision's copy protection schemes. Does EAC have problems with these "protected" discs, or is it just WMP that MV is out to jinx.
  • by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:06PM (#13324254) Homepage

    Because Phillips makes CD recording equipment for consumers which allow you to pop a CD in your player and record it on another drive in the same device.

    And they don't sue Philips for contributing to "piracy" because Philips as a company is bigger than the entire US music industry.

    From the Philips Web Site:

    Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is one of the world's biggest electronics companies, as well as the largest in Europe, with 159,709 employees in over 60 countries and sales in 2004 of Eur 30.3 billion.

    Whereas GLOBAL music sales were worth $32 billion USD in 2003.

    Same reason they don't sue Sony for making the same sort of consumer devices.

    Why the massively larger tech industry feels compelled to bow down before these morons is beyond me. Tell them to take a fucking hike.

    The Mob certainly is telling them that.
  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:06PM (#13324256) Homepage Journal
    The RIAA got busted for price fixing. They then paid their debt to society buy giving crap CDs to schools and Libraries.

    This is the same RIAA that sells our children Devil's music!
    Where is the extreme right when you need them??
  • I wish these mendacious little sh*ts would get their story straight. Is unsanctioned copying over the Internet the biggest threat to their industry or not?

    Or is it CD copying?

    Or is it Asian counterfeiting rings?

    Or is it little green men from Ganymede selling replicators on the black market?

    C'mon, guys, if you want the "theft" meme to be taken even remotely seriously by intelligent people, you need to at least keep your story consistent.

    Schwab

  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:11PM (#13324314) Homepage
    Hey, WTF?

    Whenever I buy an "Audio CD-R" or "Music CD-R" the price includes a royalty payment. The royalty payment is set at 2% of the manufacturer's revenue (not profit, revenue) and deposited with the U. S. Copyright Office, which in turn pays it into other funds in a complicated way.

    According to the RIAA's own frickin' website [riaa.com], two thirds of it goes into a "Sound Recordings Fund" administered by an entity called the AARC which distributes it to artists, and the rest gets distributed to copyright holders.

    So how the *&$%&! is this piracy? What's their beef, anyway? They're not getting enough? It should all go to the RIAA instead of some it going to artists? Nothing should ever be copied by anyone, no way, no how?

    I mean, just what is their problem?
  • Dog bites man (Score:3, Insightful)

    by opencity (582224) on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:14PM (#13324358) Homepage
    Every working musician has known this since Napster. Unless you're so succesful you've become a corporation (Metallica) file sharing is actually good for your business: free publicity. What is devaluing corporate music (besides quality control or lack thereof) is kids burning disks.

    If, for some reason, teenagers want the new Korn disk, they pool they're money and buy one, burn two. Can you blaim them when a little pile of digital plastic is $17 at retail?

    While it's old news on /. that the new digital free for all is probably good for actual players (and bad for the corporate lawyer types ... choak ... sob ...) what isn't noticed is the audio techs that are now out of work. It's easier to make records with engineers and assistant engineers helping, but, as every professional engineer has found in the last few years, those days are over. There is no corporate money to pay some guy to set up expensive microphones all day on someone elses record. The recording studio industry of the 20th century is going the way of the hat makers.

    These days, rather than raising the money and paying to record and mix in a dedicated room with some professionals, I track and mix most everything at home.

    Good or bad for the music? You decide (probably both). Like it or not that's how we're going to do it now.

    Aside to any audio techs still reading: I recently heard of an auction where a Studer 2" machine went for 8 grand (!?!?). I heard after the auction or I'd have a Studer in my living room.
  • by fallacy (302261) on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:15PM (#13324364)
    Err, how come RIAA are only (close-mindedly) pointing the figure at recordable CDs as the source of piracy? Are they a memory-selective organisation to not remember those little spinny analogue things which contained an antiquated media called "tape"? Hell, given that one of the RIAA's original tasks/roles was to define standards for not only tape, but (gosh!) CDs (Source: RIAA entry @ WikiPedia [wikipedia.org]) then aren't they indirectly to blame for such a allegedly pirate-friendly media?

    They also need to be careful with respect to DRM. As the article states, it's only really the Microsoft platform that supports DRM and thus, ironically, by employing such copy-protection schemes will likely cause some buyers to return their CDs for a refund, and therefore loose the money for the artist, given that a lot of people do not necessarily listen to music straight from the CD. I'm an example of that - my (non-computer) CD player bearly gets a look in these days. I buy a CD not only for the sound quality but to ensure that I pay what I get for (sort of a backwards sentence!) However, I will then rip it to OGG etc for use on my computer and portable music player and the CD then gets stored away.

    I download music. I find it a great way to discover different bands etc. If I like the music I buy the CD. Yes, I actually go out and buy that dangerous media of CD. If I don't like the music, it gets deleted there and then.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for payment to the artists etc. I fully support it, which is borne out in my buying of the music if I like it. However, it's the overstated/exaggerated comments by the RIAA that really annoy me and lead me to believe what a generally screwed up world we live in at times. If the RIAA are so concerned about ensuring that artists receive their relevant monies, then do the RIAA soley follow this practice/creed outside of the music industry (only buying FairTrade [fairtrade.org.uk]products, for example)?
  • by erroneus (253617) on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:34PM (#13324604) Homepage
    Look. At some point the law, and everyone else needs to say "SUCK IT UP RIAA because that's who you're doing business with!"

    It doesn't matter how the RIAA is to be compensated for anything anyone does that infringes on their profit model. Whatever compensation they are given, it will never be enough because they will continually lie about the damage being done until everyone that hums a tune to themselves has to pay for each note in a song!

    People will do what they do. They are making more than enough money and if they decide the business isn't profitable then let them LEAVE the business as surely someone else will pick up that ball and run with it under the current conditions.

    If the RIAA wants to "tax" our blank media, then they'd damn well give us a carte blanche to make all the "illegal copies" we want without fear of prosecution since we'd be paying for our crimes in advance of our committing them.

    That said, the RIAA knows their customers and the people at large. They should just forget about it and leave their profits where they are... they're "good enough" damnit.
  • by rolfwind (528248) on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:42PM (#13324718)
    I'm sick of the complaining from the RIAA. I've been hearing it since forever - will our generation ever turn our backs to big media completely and force their artists to go into other distribution methods (for their long term good as well) in our lifetime?

    I know it's an idealistic thought - but now the technology is available and the internet makes it technically plausible - I would think it'd be only sweet poetic justice that it'll do them and the companies behind them in.

    It sickens me when I think that they'll still control music in 20,30,40, or 50 years with their righteous airs and the arrogant expectations that they should sell more every year no matter what garbage they push.

  • by twigles (756194) on Monday August 15, 2005 @04:51PM (#13324851)
    I stopped using CDs years ago. I now have a 200 gig external hard drive, and when that gets too small I'll buy a 500 gig one. If I want to pirate something I'm going to damn well do it, and I'll do it 30 gigs at a time while I go eat a burrito with my friend.

    These clowns need to start charging much lower prices like the guys over at allofmp3.com. They don't have to match those prices, but $1/song is stupid.

    I WANT TO PAY FOR MUSIC! And I'd rather have it be completely legit than have to go to some quasi-legal Russian site. But they can shove their high prices where the sun don't shine.
  • Can't do it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DynaSoar (714234) * on Monday August 15, 2005 @05:51PM (#13325481) Journal
    "The RIAA's favoured solution appears to be copy-protected CDs"

    But playing those are illegal according to the DMCA. Playing them converts the signals into audio line level, which does not contain the copy protection scheme information. Any device which removes the copy protection feature is a violation of the DMCA. Every CD player does this as a matter of course. No CD player transmits the protection scheme along with the audio signal.

    It's right there in the law. Putting a copy protected CD to its intended use is against the law.

    The RIAA is suggesting people break the law.

  • by aphor (99965) on Monday August 15, 2005 @09:15PM (#13326855) Journal

    If anyone who can afford an iPod can afford to carry a digital recording studio in their pocket, then the barrier to record live music will be low enough for quality recordings of good live music to flood the market. A musician or band can then build up a following and promote themselves with cheap (free) downloads. By the time musicians need major distribution, they will not have to sign crappy boy-band contracts because the P&D will not be able to claim there is a risk that the band will bomb.

I use technology in order to hate it more properly. -- Nam June Paik

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