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Music Media The Almighty Buck

US CD Sales Increase in 2004 398

Lindsay Lohan writes "BBC is reporting that CD sales rose by 2.3% in the U.S. in the year 2004 despite the growing popularity of legal digital music downloads through services such as iTunes. On the other hand, a BBC report from last July noted that pirated CD sales have hit a record high. Sounds like the RIAA should be going after the real pirates, not little Susie or Grandma."
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US CD Sales Increase in 2004

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  • damn! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:30PM (#11283580)
    stop buying them for christ's sake! now these idiots will believe that the frivolous lawsuits against 15-year-olds were successful.
    • Maybe. But I'm pretty sure p2p usage also rose this year, or at least stayed the about same []
    • Re:damn! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by raitchison ( 734047 ) <> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:03PM (#11283878) Homepage Journal

      Exactly, the RIAA is going to take this data and use it as PROOF that their legal assautls are working and that P2P piracy is 100% of the reason that sales took a dive to begin with.

      I remember a few years ago when the labels were bitching about declining sales and Napster, someone did a study and determined that if even the most ridiculously high estimates of P2P usage were true and counting that every downloaded song as a lost CD sale that P2P only accounted for like 20% of the drop in CD sales since the 90s economy bubble.

      In reality it was the economy that caused sales to drop, after all buying CDs is just about the most optional thing and the first thing to go when the .com that was overpaying you ran out of funding.

      Now the economy is on the upswing, and surprisingly people are spending more on leisure items like music.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        The recording industry cut production by 20%, hacked away all their low-volume artists, yet saw an 11% gain in sales during the HEIGHT of the Napster boom.
        We never heard an explanation for that. Hmmm.
        No one questions the RIAA on these issues. The big labels cut all their dead weight, low-volume artists, cut production, yet saw an increase in sales?
        I have a friend that works for a niche label, and he saw the changes coming, and was happy to sign some of these lower-volume artists as it strengthened th
    • "stop buying them for christ's sake! now these idiots will believe that the frivolous lawsuits against 15-year-olds were successful."

      Well it's sorta an inverse of the same standard Slashdot uses with Microsoft. When sales go down, it's piracy's fault. When they go up, it's because their campaign was effective.
  • Of course... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jtbauki ( 838979 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:31PM (#11283596)
    Hasn't the Music industry recorded record profits during the years when it CLAIMED that they lost MILLIONS to illegal downloads? It seems like the rise of p2p has coincided with profit increases for the music industry. I won't say it's a cause and an effect. But it's a drop in a bucket to them. Apple's success shows people are willing to pay, just not the inflated, over-hyped prices of the crap cds the RIAA has been coming out with.
    • Re:Of course... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by garcia ( 6573 ) *
      Apple's success shows people are willing to pay, just not the inflated, over-hyped prices of the crap cds the RIAA has been coming out with.

      Honestly, I really believe it has a lot more to do with easy of purchase and single track downloads more than the price.

      Albums for $9.99+ isn't exactly inexepensive when there is no tangible media. Most new releases at respectible outlets (not in large shopping malls) are 12.99 or so.

      People are still paying an overinflated price for crap that the RIAA puts out. Th
    • Re:Of course... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dciman ( 106457 )
      Exactly! And I feel that people downloading music legally or not actually incourages CD sales. I know it does for me at least. While mp3 quality is fine for my Ipod and headphones or listening to at work... or in the car, there is no way I want to listen to them on my stereo at home. So, I download some songs here and there, some through Itunes, some off bands websites, and some throuh P2P. When I find something I like and am interested in... I go out and buy the record. Why? some may ask.... well, I want t
    • You dont understand how it works. A company is out to make as much money as it can while playing by the rules. The rules protect IP from infringment; When infringment occurs, its considers lost money. It has nothting to do with the fact that they cd sales are at record highs, its has to do with the fact that they could be higher.

      Compared to piracy via P2P, Apple is only mildly successful. They are as well not making any money but using it to boost ipod sales.
  • by hattig ( 47930 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:31PM (#11283600) Journal
    And they prove that any drop in CD sales was purely because of the economic slump, when non-essential things like CDs and DVDs are the first things to leave the on-the-spot purchase habits of people.

    Or maybe the prices have dropped, making the product more desirable to the consumer.

    However, they'll just say that it is the result of their "anti online piracy" actions.
    • by mOoZik ( 698544 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:48PM (#11283754) Homepage
      How much higher would the increase have been had piracy not been a problem? No one can say for sure. But you can't state that file sharing has not had a negative effect as a result of a positive increas in sales.

      • I think that file sharing leads to greater purchases of music amongst people who have some money. I know that I download music, but if I see stuff I like in a shop, especially if it is on offer, I'll be much more tempted to buy it if I know it is good, because I want the actual product.

        It probably also means that tat won't get bought, and maybe greater sales of music are down to there being better music advertised to the consumer. Instead of pop tat, there is a lot more variety of music advertised these da
      • > How much higher would the increase have been had piracy not been a problem? No one can say for sure.
        > But you can't state that file sharing has not had a negative effect as a result of a positive increas
        > in sales.

        I'd like to see some evidence of this assertion. I'm very wary of things that seem at face value to be common sense, and I don't see any reason to buy this particular claim. The last album I bought (Brian Wilson's SMiLE) was purchased after I heard a P2P download of Heroes and Villai
  • Does Not Follow... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Raven ( 30575 ) * on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:31PM (#11283605) Homepage
    You say pirate CD sales have hit a record high... and thus the RIAA should be going after them. Umm. That's the same flawed logic that had the RIAA attacking Napster.

    What if it is the Pirate CD sales that are the primary motivator behind the 2.4% increase? Come on guys... be consistent. All methods of piracy can have some beneficial network effects on sales. All methods of piracy can ALSO cause lower sales under different circumstances.

    It is, in a word, wrong to deify music swapping online, but demonise pirate CD sales. They're both illegal... the only real difference is that one has a profit motive, and the other doesn't. But the actual level of illegality, under current law, is about equal. It's illogical to praise one and not the other, don't succumb to the same stupidity that is rife within the **AA.
    • I'm fairly certain CD sales are tracked based on unit codes/UPC's or whatever, which should be lacking on pirated copies. So...they won't factor into the CD sales figures. I think.
      • by The Raven ( 30575 ) *
        I don't think you quite got my meaning.

        A common refrain from those in support of filesharing is that the network effect ("Hey, this band is really good, listen to this!") that piracy makes cheap and easy can lead to increased sales of legitimate CDs. Thus, the RIAA should support filesharing networks because it is 'free advertising'.

        And yet, the same argument can be pointed at the makers of pirate CDs. They are like AOL CDs, a cheap way to try out a band you would not have blown $15 to listen to otherwise
    • All methods of piracy can have some beneficial network effects on sales

      ... just ask Bill Gates. If it were impossible to pirate Windows and Office, he'd lose his lock-in overnight.

      From their site: []

      Each year, the industry loses about $4.2 billion to piracy worldwide -- "we estimate we lose millions of dollars a day to all forms of piracy."

      And this is why they want $150,000 per song on your hard disk? Do the math. According to their own figures about piracy

    • by Heftklammerdosierer! ( 846009 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:49PM (#11283767)
      If I buy a pirated CD, I've already exchanged money for goods. There's basically no chance that I'll later buy a legit copy because I already have some physical media. If I download 2 or 3 songs (or an album) by an artist, and find their CD for sale at a reasonable price, I'm more likely to buy it than if I hadn't heard any of their music.

      I don't see why two things being equally illegal makes them morally equivalent.

      • by The Raven ( 30575 ) *
        This actually is the only legitimate reason I can see to distinguish the two types of theft. However... what about the person who gives his friends a burnt copy of his CD? Isn't that just as bad as the guy selling bootlegs on the street? I now have a physical copy, why should I go buy it?

        What if the guy on the street is selling at cost? Does that make it less bad for the copyright holder? Does it make him morally better? Compare this to the person running an FTP with a ratio... you have to upload 2MB to do
    • That's an important point.

      Napster-style piracy is not about money, but simply content. Using it as a metric against sales is probably foolish. There is a different relationship between music-sharers than between sellers/buyers.

      However, copyright infringement that involves a sale is an actual threat, because it is competition. In terms of sensible law and a legal strategy for the RIAA, it makes far more sense to go after profit-driven infringment. The average file-sharer is not competition, but a poten
    • by Spad ( 470073 ) <slashdot@spad.[ ]uk ['co.' in gap]> on Friday January 07, 2005 @06:25AM (#11286028) Homepage
      Under current law the level of illegality is totally different.

      Sharing copyrighted material for free is a civil offence and could land you a fine.

      Sharing copyrighted material for profit is a criminal offence and could land you in jail.
  • Inundated (Score:5, Funny)

    by chevybowtie ( 96127 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:32PM (#11283614)
    I guess you beat people over the head with the same 50 artists, you can eventually convice them to like it.

    Time for a revolution!

    • No one has ever stopped you from listening to the music you want to hear, especially in the last 10 years. It's all out there, each and every genre, for you to find, listen to, and enjoy.

      I think a lot of people confuse the music business (mainstream radio, CDs, MTV, etc) with music in general (available music, concerts, etc). Sure, there's going to be a lot more emphesis on that which is being sold by the business, but it's not like the rest isn't out there to be found and enjoyed.
    • I guess you beat people over the head with the same 50 artists, you can eventually convice them to like it.
      Unless somebody hits the button for the wrong song during the "live" performance, or worse you let them actually "sing" live in front of 70,000 people; then people won't like it. The Orange Bowl halfime show trainwreck even overshadowed the game.
    • Yeah, so we can get bludgeoned with 50 different artists following a new formula.

      I don't need a revolution which ousts a bunch of artists I don't give a rip about for a new set that I don't want either. Replacing Brittney Spears with Wierd Al isn't going to enrich my musical experience. It'll just change the jokes I use to talk about popular music. I need a mechanism to easily find bands like Collide [], Abney Park [] or Gossamer which are going to be considered junk by many but which I personally think are grea

  • Surprising (Score:5, Funny)

    by pnevin ( 168332 ) * on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:33PM (#11283619)
    That's not the sort of editorial comment I would have expected from Lindsay Lohan.
  • 2 things (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dancin_Santa ( 265275 ) <> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:34PM (#11283635) Journal
    1) If you think that the RIAA is sitting on its hands and just letting the largescale music pirates get away with ripping them off while only targetting "Susie and grandma" for litigation, you're quite mistaken. They spend quite a bit of money to seek out and take down these largescale pirates. Unfortunately, some Asian countries are more hospitable to the pirates than others, so policing it is a difficult job.

    2) It seems to me that the year-long push by the RIAA to associate P2P filesharing with stealing is paying off, though only to the tune of 2% or so. If they can convince enough people that piracy is a crime, then it is guaranteed to boost actual sales of CDs at the expense of filesharing.

    People are generally good and are willing to follow the law. The RIAA's push to make people aware of copyright law has finally made some progress, but also consider that music artists have also become generally better lately than they were in say the mid-late 90's. Of course, the increase in sales corresponds more to the anti-piracy push than to the improvement in music quality (Good music can still be pirated as easily as bad music).
    • Re:2 things (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:57PM (#11283835)
      Thank you for admitting that I'm a good person. Whew, without your endorsement I don't know what I'd have done. Maybe become a crackwhore or something.

      When I download some songs and say to myself, "Hmm, maybe this artist's entire elbum doesn't suck", then go out and buy the ridiculously overpriced CD, I'm not just being a sucker: I'm being a LAW-ABIDING sucker.

      I'll sleep so much better now.

      Fuck you and your Devil's advocacy.

      When consumer-level (read 'us') audio tape became a reality, the **AA trundled out assholes such as Elton John to weep and wring their hands, and claim they'd go broke. Instead they got even richer.

      When consumer-level (read 'us') video tape became a reality, the **AA trundled out more assholes to weep and wring their hands, and claim they'd go broke. Instead they got even richer.

      Now that digital music is the current reality, and future, they do the same shit, while still getting richer.

      They are a pack of irredeemably parasitic scumbags. They cannot be defended or excused. Their time is over, and the sooner the blood-sucking leech whores just curl-up and fucking die, the better.

      As I said earlier, fuck your Devil's advocacy.
    • Re:2 things (Score:3, Insightful)

      by liangzai ( 837960 )

      Unfortunately, some Asian countries are more hospitable to the pirates than others, so policing it is a difficult job.

      Most CD stores in China are pirate *only*. In these stores, you can't find a single legal CD. The only stores that sell genuine stuff are the malls, since they need to have a somewhat credible reputation. But even they carry pirated material occasionally.

      I don't see how the **AA is going to police this... in the minds of the Chinese, there is no such thing as immaterial rights. Everyt

  • by Heftklammerdosierer! ( 846009 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:35PM (#11283639)
    The RIAA should just sell their CDs for $5 through shady looking guys on the street.
    • Hell, if they sold CDs for $5 from normal looking guys in normal stores, I would buy a ton. I'd probably be more inclined to purchase music I was only sort of interested in, and if I didn't like it, then it would be no big loss. But at the price CDs are currently, I can only afford to buy music that I already know and enjoy.
  • by poptones ( 653660 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:39PM (#11283675) Journal
    "Little Susy or grandma" might not be the crux of the problem, but "real pirates" are just as likely to be the guy living next door nowdays. They may not be running processing plants like the mob, but I've seen plenty of "village geeks" selling downloaded movies and CDs. At the call center where last I 9-5'd there were several people with fast home connections and DVD burners who regularly sold downloads to other employees on the floor.

    This was not just onesy-twosey stuff. Any given week I'm sure one fellow sold 20 or 30 CDs at five bucks a pop. Multiply this by 1000's of businesses across the country and it's easy to see how it can really add up.

    What amazes me is people really cannot tell the difference (or don't care) between a real CD and a POS CDR burnded from MP3s. I would be indignant about the pirates SELLING this stuff, but given these people are buying something akin to a cassette tape all you can really say is "it's their money to waste."
    • You know what?

      The MPAA and RIAA should say, "We know we're suffering some from piracy, but it's bad PR to go after teenagers and bad strategy not to go after large pirates. So here's what we'll do: we won't go after anyone only downloading our materials for their own use. If it's already on the servers, oh well.

      "We will, however, go after people who upload the material (willingly or by default [this includes BitTorrent]) or who distribute the material for others, and press criminal charges if they request
  • what do you expect? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    With all the lawsuits and crappy content flying around, the only way I can stock my MP3 collection is to buy CDs and then resell them on eBay! That's two sales right there! Or sometimes I just take 'em right back and tell the dweeb with the KoRn T-shirt that they won't play in my Dell. I bet they resell the same CDs 3-4 times! Burn 'n' Return baby!
  • grandma...."grandma got run over by a RIAAndeer...." comes to mind.

    The added benefit of suing the lil' guys is that they don't have enough money to fight back....but have just enough money to make a settlement worthwhile....especially when they don't have too many middlemen to pony up to.

    Either way, they can't say that downloading is really hurting them any more....they are still selling more and more and the fact that they aren't focusing their attention to real pirates...and yet manage a gain in sales..
  • by texasfight ( 833973 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:42PM (#11283713)

    Those numbers don't look so good if you compare the growth in CD sales to the sales of video (VHS/DVD's) software, or to the economy as a whole:

    Video: Consumer Electronics Association: [] DVD Software Sales Benefit: Although movie-ticket sales fell one percent to $9.2 billion in 2003, consumer spending on the purchase or rental of video software (VHS tape and DVD) rose 18.2 percent to $22.5 billion, according to DEG. DVD accounted for 72 percent of total home video spending.

    Overall Economy: CNN [] The economy has expanded at rates exceeding 3 percent for the past six quarters and seems poised to keep growing. The White House last Friday estimated GDP will expand 3-1/2 percent in 2005.

    • I think the rise in movie profits has more to do with the change in the format from VHS to DVD, all the movie companies are re-releasing all their classic movies onto "special edition" DVD's and thus people are buying them.

      however Cd's havent changed format and there's no reason to buy all your old favorites again. Maybe when DVD-A or SACD takes off we'll see a big spike in music sales too.
  • Better music? (Score:2, Interesting)

    There probably was just better music last year than in previous years. Ok, so maybe only 2.4% better but improvement nonetheless. /didn't buy any CDs last year. Long live iTMS!
  • by ShatteredDream ( 636520 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:46PM (#11283746) Homepage
    The RIAA's members can always lean heavily on their customers' consciences to go legit when they download a 128k mp3 from Kazaa, but if they buy a perfect replica of the album they have no reason to suspect that they will buy a legit copy. Almost every pirated copy that is sold is a sale that has to be totally written off. Few customers would probably even know the difference. With file sharing, there is always the hope that the user will go legit.
    • Quite the contrary. The reason I don't buy any RIAA CDs is because they're total bastards. The thought that my money is contributing to lobbying efforts against both my interests and ideals will give me too way too much of a nagging conscience to ever enjoy the thing I bought.

      Perhaps if they stop suing people and lobby for sane copyright laws (like a 14 year term with mandatory registration and repealing the DMCA and all other related legislation) and wait a few years, I might reconsider my boycott, but I
  • Can't win... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cheap Imitation ( 575717 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:47PM (#11283751)
    I don't think the consumer can win.

    If sales slump, **AA will blame it on piracy, and use it as justification to enact even more legislation to protect their profits.

    And if sales rise, they'll use it as justification that their methods are starting to work against piracy, and consequently we need to make them even stronger.

    • That is one of the most cynical comments I've seen in a long time. Unfortunatly I'd bet it's true. Which meeans that this sad system needs fixing, desperately. Gee I think thats an ongoing theme here. Maybe the geeks are right. Now how do you get the Congresscritters to pay attention?
  • by Paladin144 ( 676391 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:48PM (#11283755) Homepage
    But I can't believe Lindsay Lohan subimitted this article. That is so COOOOOL! I can't believe that she reads /.

    Hi Lindsay!! I luv u!!!

    I went to your site and "rocked out" to the intro, and then i saw nothing but PINK! My eyes actually screamed in pain. I heard them. I shit you not.

    Please Lindsay. Redesign your site... for me?


    And show me your knockers. :-)

  • by Bimo_Dude ( 178966 ) <bimoslash@theness. o r g> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:48PM (#11283758) Homepage Journal
    This [], titled "Music piracy 'does hit CD sales'" seems to contradict the parent (US CD Sales Increase...), yet they are both on BBC. From the piracy article:

    The report, for the country's National Bureau of Economic Research, studied the habits of 412 students.

    Hmmmm.... they studied the habits of students. Aren't students usually short on money but have broadband on campus? This is hardly a realistic "sampling" of the population, so therefore cannot be taken seriously.

    So which is it?

  • by dj42 ( 765300 ) * on Thursday January 06, 2005 @09:49PM (#11283765) Journal
    Part of the goal of the RIAA and MPAA is, naturally, to instill fear in those who might KNOWINGLY accept, purchase, download, etc. pirated materials. This creates stigma towards those that do (sort of like anti-smoking ads in the past couple decades).

    This affects the demand for pirated materials which in turns lowers the economic viability for pirates.

    The real issue for the RIAA / MPAA is getting all the "not sure if it's really wrong, I do it sometimes, I still buy occasional CDs and DVDs but like to try them" crowd over to the "It's wrong." view. Until they can do that, no amount of efforts will slow piracy down because so many people are doing it, and OK with doing it, that there is a serious strength in numbers.

    The crux of the matter is, and will always be, people give their money to companies for often irrational reasons. If more people contributed to artists and things they liked and enjoyed directly, we wouldn't need oppressive middle-men grasping at straws to retain their distribution powers.
  • Honey, rather than visiting Slashdot don't you think you should be working on your OWN CD sales?

    Or is this the new career? Would explain why we never see you anywhere without the Sidekick I guess...


    You think this is something? Click here [] ;-)

  • ...pirates the RIAA actually have a chance of catching Grandma.
  • by Iron Clad Burrito ( 231521 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:06PM (#11283902)

    Sounds like the RIAA should be going after the real pirates, not little Susie or Grandma."

    I would mod your article -1 Redundant. We've been saying that for two years plus.
  • by krbvroc1 ( 725200 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:13PM (#11283950)
    I love these articles because they are so misleading. I don't believe there is a strong correllation between sales and piracy. Sales are higher because the economy is doing better. Could they be even higher if there were no pirating? Perhaps, but I would consider it a small subset of people who would have bought something but didn't. Most people downloading stuff would never have bought it in the first place. If the record label lowered their prices that would also increase sales. Thus lower prices == piracy. ;)

    The fundamental flaw is that in order to exaggerate their losses they come up with absurd calculations like loss = num_files_shared_last_year * retail_price. That is absurd.

    I was watching C-SPAN last night and saw the confirmation hearing of U.S. President Bush's new Commerce Secretary. He was asked by Sen Gordon Smith (R-OR) how he would handle the copyright violations and IP issues that are crippling our innovative entrepreneurial spirit. I believe thre new Commerce Sec nominee has been CEO of Kellogg company. Wasn't that the company who was price-fixing cereal some time ago? Does anyone remember?
  • No sh*t! (Score:5, Informative)

    by los furtive ( 232491 ) <> on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:22PM (#11284031) Homepage
    I just got back from a trip to South-East Asia, and in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos it was rediculous how every single music store sold bootleg CDs. Mostly stuff downloaded from the net (lots of 'best of' with tons of typos), but in high-end/high-quality cases. Especially the stuff I saw in Louang-Prabang (Laos). They were dirt cheap, $2-$5, and I heard they were even cheaper in VietNam, although I didn't make it out there. If you want even more flagrant copyright violations, when I had satelite tv in Cambodia they were playing Swordfish on one of the channels and it was the exact same DivX screener that I'd downloaded when it first came out in theatres...with the same animated logo scrolling across the top right and everything. How crazy is that?
    • In Turkey people also sell a lot of bootleg CDs and Video CDs. I could have gotten VCDs for the same price I would have paid for just the blank CD-Rs when bought in Central Europe.
  • by telstar ( 236404 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @10:24PM (#11284040)
    picture []

    Pretty much all you need to know to understand why CD sales dropped for a few years, then rose again in 2004.
  • Economics of Piracy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by log2.0 ( 674840 ) on Thursday January 06, 2005 @11:12PM (#11284333)
    I have been thinking a bit about the economics of piracy lately. Anyone who knows a bit/lot ;) about economics, please comment.

    Now, when were talking about digital media, the price to reproduce the good is very close to 0. So we can think of the song/movie/whatever information as being free to reporduce. Now, the RIAA/whoever sets the price of the song/movie to something that is much higher than 0, causing a price floor. If I remember correctly, in my micro-economics class, the teacher said that when you introduce a price floor, black markets emerge. Does this "justify" the online piracy or at least explain in economic terms why it exists?

    Of course, I could be confused and have it all wrong :)
  • linsay lohan, wait, don't asnwer that, I don't REALLY care!
  • The economy was up in 2004... therefore CD sales were up as a matter of trend. As the economy improves, so does disposable income and sales of just about everything.
  • It takes a lot of CDs to fill and Ipod..... An awfull lot...

    That and circut citys 9.99$ for any cd made the price right for me to start getting some more music....
  • ... piracy is good for the industry to some degree, as it brings to mind works that might then be bought. Otherwise its out of mind...

    How do I know this?

    Its simple, back in teh napster days beginnings a co worker had put together some 80's popular song CD and many ofthe works I liked and thought of getting a copy from him, that I might better be able to find the albums at the record store... something for the sales clerks to hear and help me with..

    But IP shit hit the fan about that time and I lost intere
  • by Genda ( 560240 ) <> on Friday January 07, 2005 @12:28AM (#11284760) Journal
    It's now clear and obvious (as it always was in spite of the FUD), that the intent of the music and motion picture industry (and the larger media conglomerates that own and manage them) has never been to prevent piracy. In fact it's not even about maximizing profits.

    The behavior is perfectly consistent with the abuses against all IP being waged by corporate entities and their legal minions, in the pitched battle to own, control, restrict, and monopolize all human knowlege, invention, and the freedom to create. In a world that has substantively shifted to an information economy, the owner and controller of all IP is king.

    We're all quick becoming pawns in a war between human freedom and self determination, and corporate design. The science of shaping opinion, controlling the masses, and disinforming entire nations for fun and profit is run riot directly over the ethical and social designs of our forefathers. We are confronted with the conundrum of the successful operation that kills the patient, and in this scenario, you and I are the patient. Either, collectively as a people, we get some backbone, and a whole lot more intelligence, or we can expect to obsolete ourselves in the next several decades.

    This is simply one more expression of our own ignorance, the worst of our animal nature, run amock. The beast that blindly grabs for the reins of all human enterprise is without foresight, mind numbingly stupid, infinitely self absorbed, and manned by men with the conscience of politicians. It's up to us (that would be not only the person writing these words, but also the people reading these words), to lay down new laws, build new barriers to barbarism, and set the stage for the next 200 years of human development. The alternative, is a furture shaped a lot like the fossil record for all of us naked apes.

  • by El Camino SS ( 264212 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @02:55AM (#11285425)
    Pirates of the Carribean DVD... $18.

    Pirates of the Carribean Soundtrack... $18.

    That is why few purchase CDs anymore.

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10