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Music Media

MP3 Testimonial 38

This is a bit different for Slashdot, but I wanted to post it anyway. Matt Terich writes " A few months back I was guilty of slamming the mp3 community for it's (stereotypical) lack of respect of an artist's copyright. You see, I'm in an unsigned rock band and well... was being extremely defensive (mostly against the "I can pirate music because CD's are too expensive" crowd.) Of course, I was flamed... and flamed... and flamed. There were, however, a few constructive posts from /.ers. After some serious thought I posted a few of our tunes in mp3 format at our site , and then put them up at mp3.com (to give it a try and see what happened.) Now we're getting email from people all over the country asking us for CD's and asking us to tour through their necks of the woods. It's nuts I tells ya. Anyway, just wanted to give shouts out to the site. We'll see what happens."
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MP3 Testimonial

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 1999 @05:16AM (#2015507)
    The /. effect has never been known to make anyone a rock star... yet. And I bet this guy's sysadmin has no idea what he's in for.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 1999 @05:21AM (#2015508)
    I would like to think that I am the typical MP3 listener... one who has a couple of songs that I have found out on the net, but with the bulk of my collection being ripped from my favorite CD's. Nothing like having a directory with ALL my Delerium songs cued up and ready to go. Piracy is a fact, but to me the big pull for MP3's is how easy they make it to listen to my favorite songs.

    and am I first?
    Vitriol (hey drew!)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 1999 @05:32AM (#2015509)
    And tried what they feared, and live to tell, then perhaps we could have a bit more understanding.

    Most /. posters should learn from this guy, it's far too easy to be negative and not be interested than to listen and try yourself.

    To you guys, good luck with your career.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 1999 @05:39AM (#2015510)

    Ok, there are always people who will collect hundreds of complete albums in mp3. I consider them on the same level of people that trade copyright software. I'm not saying they're jerks, that they diserve the death sentence or anything! :) I'm just saying whatever it is you think about warez traders, you should think the same about people who trade whole albums.

    But then you can also download MP3 to discover about a new band. I had never really heard a lot of depeche mode music. I got a some mp3s of them, I loved it and bought a few CDs immediately. So for that MP3 are really a help for both the artists and the consumers. Same for New Order. That was my big dive back in the 80s! :)

    The other reason I think mp3s are cool is to protect consumers against crap bands that will make one hit that's always on the radio and release a CD with that one hit and 90% of the remaining tracks on the album that completely suck. I've grown tired of bands like that...

    So I really hope MP3 sites will stay there, but they won't offer whole albums, rather just a few songs so you can get a taste of the band.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 1999 @05:40AM (#2015511)
    mp3's open up lots of new possibilities, both legal and illegal. As is the case with emulators, the press generally focusses on the illegal aspect, leading to the common perception that "all mp3's are illegal."

    I have many mp3 files of live recordings of the Dave Matthews Band (who view taping in the same way that the Dead do). From the media hysteria, I can imagine a situation where the IT people in my company scan HD's for mp3's and outlaw their use in the name of legal compliance. Incidentally, I own all of the DMB CD's, and will certainly be buying more, not less, due to the distribution of their music on mp3's. Not to mention being more likely to pay $$ to see a concert if I know that a group is really strong live.

    The cat's out of the bag. The RIAA can go ahead and support new encrypted schemes for the purchasing of "protected" works, fine. Hey, I'll buy some songs individually if offered for less than the price of a largely-mediocre CD. However, they can't take away mp3's any more than they could take away cassette tapes, DAT's, or CD-Rs...

    Glad to see the net & mp3 empowering those who want to be heard without selling their soul to the bean counters....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 1999 @06:00AM (#2015512)
    that copyrights are the biggest lie of this century, this percieved right does more to hurt the little guy than I can even say,
    we int the open-source software community are finding this out too...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 1999 @06:31AM (#2015513)
    I didn't listen to my first MP3 until last July. Prior to then, I had largely written MP3 off as just another lossy audio format. Then one day I saw a Joe Satriani MP3 ('friends' I believe) posted in a newsgroup. I thought, hey, I've seen this guy in Guitar magazines...maybe I should give it a try. I was impressed, both with the quality of the MP3 and with the music itself.

    By the end of August, I had bought five Satriani CDs. It's ironic that the RIAA has made quite a bit of money from me thanks to MP3.

    Since then, I've encoded almost my entire CD collection as MP3s. To pirate? No. To protect my investment!

    You see, the RIAA might have you believe that there is no legitimate reason to make an MP3 from a recording on CD. I humbly disagree. With my music collection in MP3 format stored on CD-R, I take the MP3s to work leaving my CD collection safe at home. Now, if someone were to walk into my office and steal my music collection (it's sad, but such things DO happen), all I have really lost was the time spent on encoding and the cost of the CD-R media itself. Contrast this with someone stealing 50 music CDs at $12 to $15 per CD.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 1999 @06:32AM (#2015514)
    I am an MP3 artist also. I agree that the mp3 format is very liberating at the present, but at the some point, one has to wonder how long this "free ride" will continue. In the same way that the US gov't prevented amateur radio and TV "hobbyists" from broadcasting earlier this century, we soon may find similar restrictions imposed on us as a result of the RIAA. Not that mp3s won't still be around after they get through with us, but maybe they plan on creating mandates for all FUTURE encoding technologies to include built-in copyright features, etc. So essentially, as the apparent quality of the music improves, so does the capacity for them to ensure that they get paid.
    I for one agree that the mp3 format is the best thing since peanut butter, and we must do everything we can to stop the RIAA money-whores from spoonfeeding us their shit.

    Adrian Henke
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 1999 @06:54AM (#2015515)
    Sorry to burst your bubble...
    but this is free as in beer, not free as in speech. I know because I'm also in Ms. America's Trash. ;-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 1999 @07:17AM (#2015516)
    I can see where this is a tough situation for the music industry.
    But how much of the cost of a CD goes into production/distribution?

    Most of my MP3's are from my CD's. And just about the only time
    I listen to them are when I'm working on my computer. I'd be happy just
    to buy the MP3's and forgo the cost of Production/Distribution.

    What do record companies do anyway?
    Promotion/Distribution/Production anything else?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 1999 @07:30AM (#2015517)
    I've done the same. I have over 2GB in mp3. The bulk of it is live material and pop singles. The live material isnt available for purchase, and the singles are most often the only song I like spanning a band's entire career. Am I going to buy a $15 cd for one song? Of course not.

    Though I've also done what so many others here are talking about. I've often times hopped on a website, seen a directory named for an artist I've heard a bit of a buzz about, and downloaded some as my initial exposure to the material. Sometimes I dislike it and delete it, but many times its helped me discover music I became a big fan of.
    Examples: I've never heard an Aphex Twin song on the radio, but I now have a few of his CD's. The same goes for Delerium, Joy Division, Tom Waits, I'm sure others which I fail to remember at this time.

    THE INDUSTRY HAS MADE MORE MONEY FROM ME DUE TO MP3!!!!! Yeesh, I feel better now... I sure wish they'd listen though...

    -Lars Morgan
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 1999 @07:39AM (#2015518)
    For two reasons:

    1) I've still got MP3's. I can keep the 8hz and mpg123 source around until the patent expires.

    2) I can also choose to avoid the big brand names. MP3s and other formats (Even non-encoded .wavs once I get DSL and a couple of those 100GB hard drives...) will still be available to the little bands. If I avoid the big distributors, they lose a bit of power. A lot of great music comes from small "Undiscovered" bands who usually stay undiscovered unless they really luck out.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 1999 @07:39AM (#2015519)
    Think about this concept of "free ride"! who is actually doing the free ride? those large corporations with all those expensive marketing campaign riding on the artist back?

    If there is one thing that will replace this sort of pure marketing inefficiency, the net will. The net will connect an artist directly (or alot closer), time and per chance wise, than any corporate marketing ever will in the enar future.

    why would an artist want to dream about selling 200.000 copies of a single album as one time shot (won't be republish again)

    or selling 1.000.000 copies of songs (not albums) and doing little tours and life performance by requests of audiances over his entire lifetime.

    It is jsut a shift of mindset with internet rerouting the fatal data barrier of corporate marketing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 1999 @08:18AM (#2015520)
    It's not the MP3 format that is the problem, u can still rip CDA format and copy it. I agree with many when they said that MP3 is just the easiest way to get ALL their favorite music and play them. I do listen to MP3s and I'm still buying CDs, I never bought pirate MP3 CDs, and even I wanna do, I'll buy the CD too. So the real problem in man, not any media format.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 1999 @08:50AM (#2015521)
    The music industry has long been dominated by large companies, and you may not know it, but about 99% of the songs you listen to on the radio have been put through a screening process by a bunch of top level idiots who think they know what everyone likes. Of course, then the media blitz takes over and lot's of top 50 charts pop up--music stars sign big contracts to produce what the big companies want them to produce. It's a big music machine, pumping out songs like boxes--with precise dimensions required. This should hit home with all of the slashdotter's out there, because we can draw a parallel between the situation in music and in computer OS's, applications, and hardware. Just as in computing, large corporations in the music industry use FUD tactics to either scare or beat small organizations into submission. In the whole picture: Who's fighting this corrupt biproduct of capitalism? Well obviously on the computer side of things we are..But, we now have an important tool to join the fight against corruption in the music industry as well--the mp3. Small groups or artists, trying to use their creative talents in the form of musical production, can now get their message/expression out to the public w/o going through the music factory to be processed, boxed, and shipped. This is truly a revolution--we are creating a coffee house on the web--except there are an endless amount of musicians ready to line up and play! Musicians need to make money, no doubt about that--and now that they have a media source, the web, --they can employ several tactics to make that money--sheet music on the web, general donations, chat withe the artist..etc. And obviously, the recorded versions will never beat going to see a live performance, which the mp3's will act as advertisements for. Thus, both the artist and the listener can benefit from this situation. What will happen to large corporations? Well, obviously they will lose quite a bit of money, however, they can end up funtioning like they should have all along, just a tool for putting together great music--i.e. a studio. It all comes down to this: A guy walks down the street humming a tune, everyone else on that street can hear it--the web is the street and everyone is playin.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 1999 @09:29AM (#2015522)
    just recently i've started downloading more and more mp3's... some of which i do not own cds to (ok almost half of them) BUT half of those i've downloaded are either things that haven't been released for years (where the hell am i gonna find the Alpha Team remixes of Speed Racer on cd?) but about half of all i do not own, i have had on tape... oh yeah, and i'm too lazy to convert my cd's to mp3 sometimes... takes around as long - find it, get the programs running (which can be a hell of a task in windoze sometimes) and rip them, then encoding takes forever... about twice as long as the song is...

    plus i've bought so many cd's for one song... its rather a ripoff...

    just looking at my collection right now, i'd say that i have about 2/3 of these songs on cd (bought)... not too bad for a nights' downloading (56k people - 15 mp3's make a night)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 1999 @09:32AM (#2015523)
    How, exactly, do you picture the government telling me in what format I should encode data that I own, and to whom and how I should distribute it using bandwidth I pay for?

    The only way to regulate the contents of the network is to regulate the network itself -- and that's proven to be sufficiently insurmountable so far. I'd imagine if somehow The Man were to find a way to impose his law upon the wire, the technology would simply move out from under the government's bootheel.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 1999 @09:32AM (#2015524)
    you cannot put a price on art, it must be free..
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 1999 @10:38AM (#2015525)
    I don't know about the rest of the world, but down here in Australia I pay 25c per megabyte. So to download the average MP3 "album" costs between $15 and $20. Even the most expensive albums from the stores are never more than $29.95, and the typical local band has CDs for $10 to $15. And for sales you can get good CDs for no more than $20.

    Downloading MP3s isn't worth it, unless it's just a sampler from a band I've never heard before. I'd much rather hear an mp3 sample then go buy the CD from the store. Of course, I'll then convert it to MP3, but that's just because having the song held on computer is far more convenient. Artists should not be afraid of MP3. It's still cheaper to buy a pre-pressed CD, especially if you're not in one of the top 40 (puke) $29.95 artists.

    I suppose other people have cheaper bandwidth, or one of those unlimited accounts. And I guess that MP3s are much cheaper to exchange between friends. But surely this is no different to bootlegging of tapes.

    MP3s helps those relatively unknown bands selling $10 CDs. I first heard about Liquid via MP3, then found out they are Australian based, and straight away bought their $10 album and went to their gig at a local pub. The bands it hurts are the people like Five and Steps and Backdoor Boys. Bands that sell crap at overinflated prices and will soon be
    in the $5 bins when they stop being "popular". It is in the music industry's best interests to keep such bands unheard of by any means but CD because nobody would ever want to buy this crap once they get past puberty.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 1999 @12:21PM (#2015526)

    ah crap.

    The RIAA has quite clearly stated that the problem with MP3 is they do not know how to break a new artist with this format of music coexisting. I don't understand their rationale, but I do know that the general public is rather sick of listening to the same god awful song on the radio. Maybe music prosperred and started selling ungodly amounts of music when they kept playing the same song over and over in the 70's, but it doesn't seem to work in the 90's.

    In the 90's its about variety. You want to break new artists, tell the damn commercial stations to stop playing the same songs. I am forced to listen to radio beneath 92.1 MHz (mainly because my hooptie only has AM/FM radio). But its pretty obvious that what the younger generation wants is a lot of music, not a lot of one friggin' song. I think the frat boys might have a problem with that, but then again they've got their head so far up their anus they don't know what light is.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 15, 1999 @02:55PM (#2015527)
    I bought "from the choirgirl hotel" and "when i woke" recently after finding mp3's of "spark" and "ecstasy"...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 16, 1999 @05:43PM (#2015528)
    My collection of 100 cd's was stolen about 3 years ago (including a couple of rare bootlegs)... if only I had known about mp3s then, I could have had them all backed up, and still be able to listen to my favorite music.. my solution thus far, being a poor college student, has been to download mp3s of the albums I once had, but the rare stuff is literally impossible to find or buy.. Now, whenever I buy a cd (which I do a lot less frequently, now), the first thing I do it rip it and archive it on cd-r
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 17, 1999 @01:21AM (#2015529)
    I downloaded and listened to the tunes available on the sonic website and despite being an 'electronica' fan, I was not impressed. If I liked the tunes I had heard I would have purchased them, as I have done for many bands I've heard first on MP3.

    So I would disagree with you there is nothing wrong with MP3 or the pirating effect, it just that your music sucks.

  • by palpatine ( 94 ) on Monday February 15, 1999 @06:54AM (#2015530) Homepage
    GNU Public License, "copyleft", is a form of creators' explicit expression of will over intellectual property, thus a form of copyright.

    You are right about GPL being a copyright, but it's essentially a copyright designed to curtail the other copyrights by making its own little world without copyrights. In other words, as long as you are within the little world (release under GPL), copyrights don't really exist. GPL is there because other copyrights exist--if copyrighting weren't common, then GPL would definitely not exist.
  • by gavinhall ( 33 ) on Monday February 15, 1999 @09:47AM (#2015531)
    Posted by Mr. Assembly:

    I didn't have a clue or care about mp3 until yesterday. I thought that it was just another format that sounded like AM radio out in the desert or scratchy realaudio. I decide on a whim to see what all the fuss was about and downloaded a player. Well needless to say I am convert. I can see why the RIAA are really peeing their pants everyday.
    It is not hard to remember a new format scaring an industry. Look at VHS videotape. When that first came out the studios were crowing big time about home videotapers. Now it represents the majority of income for any movie, and allows the public access to movies not in general release, and lesser known movies also.
    It seems that there will always be a group of people that don't give a second thought to stealing intellectual property, whether it is selling cracked copies of photoshop, posting game cartridge code, or giving taped copies of cds to friends.
    Mp3s could level the playing field. No longer do you have to be "a star" to get your music listened to. It seems to me that's what freedom of speech is all about. I think that the founding fathers would be proud.
    Don't record companies know that I understand that it costs them only $.35 to press a cd? The other fifteen dollars go to people who put their greasey hands on it just once between the store and the studio.
    The biggest crock is that with a few exceptions none of the money really goes to the musicians. I remember one Christian music artist lamenting this very fact five years ago. Finally her and other lesser known artists will get paid fairly for the work they put forth.
    I got to be honest - I think that the industry is shouting "pirates!" only because they see the writing on the wall. The consumer will be demanding value and choice in a free marketplace.
    As a consumer of music I would like to see music that is out of print accessible again, and I would like to hear music that I might not normally hear. Mp3 could make that dream live. I certainly would be willing to pay for it also.
    I got to be honest, I am too lazy to hassle with pirating cds and would rather pay on some secure server somewhere for somebody to send me a copy of some legal music. And I would like to have a copy of my favorite music off different albums, but you know I don't have the time to do it and would rather go to somebody's web page and pay them a few bucks and have them do it for me. And maybe they could let me pick up a one or two new tracks while I am at it from a similar genre of music that I am interested in - and if I like it I'll buy the whole album.
    You know I downloaded this "house beat" music and I don't normally listen to this music but this tune is catchy. I just might keep it and listen to it once in a while. I don't think I will buy their album as I prefer classical music. But I think that it is catchy enough that I will take it into work and let others listen to it - I'll tell them the web page so they can go to buy the album.
    Another thing I would like is that with the death of vinyl the dust jacket died too. Sure there are those tiny little pamphlets that come with cds - but those sure are small. I might would buy an album if it had some more biography about the music and its inpiration, maybe the artist could explain the music and tell how it was made - maybe I could see some pictures of the studio session. Sort of a "directors cut". Throw in music videos (DVD ROM??) and I would go to the store again and pay $20.
    Do you know what the real kicker is?? I keep on getting these adds for "12 albums for one penny". I don't want to buy a bunch of stuff if I only really like one of the tracks off each album - even if it just costs a penny. Why not give me 12 mp3s for a penny if I agree to buy a couple of albums??????
    Phill Kennedy
  • by krynos ( 1706 ) on Monday February 15, 1999 @05:56AM (#2015532) Homepage
    About half of the 100+ audio CDs I have are because I've heard the MP3 of songs on the respective CDs... Other ausio CDs are due to listening to them in stores or at friends houses... However, when there is only one or 2 good songs on one CD, I'm sorry but I won't buy the CD. If I could buy individual songs for a reasonnable fee I would... Same things for CDs that almost impossible to find or would cost more than 30$CDN for one CD, except rare cases.
  • by Robert Bowles ( 2733 ) on Monday February 15, 1999 @05:27AM (#2015533)
    Subject says it all.
  • by hime ( 5963 ) on Monday February 15, 1999 @04:40PM (#2015534) Homepage
    Hmm. I still find there are too many people willing to pirate music solely for stupid reasons - "buying music on CDs is so old - MP3s are the future" is actually something someone I know from IRC said once.

    Sonic Therapy [sonictherapy.com] has MP3s from both its artists available, be we don't seem to be getting a groundswell of support yet. Heck, you can even order our current releases online. Ah well. Maybe we'll see the magical effects of the MP3 bonanza eventually. I know it's not cause our music sucks.
  • by Honeylocust ( 6024 ) on Monday February 15, 1999 @06:04AM (#2015535) Homepage
    For years record sales have been dominated by big companies with huge marketing power. Mp3 puts marketing power into the hands of small bands, making it possible for them to decide how they'd like to make money of music rather than have the big record companies tell them how. The Greatful Dead ran the most successful live show in history while letting tapers record and copy their concerts freely. Other bands might sell their records in MP3 form or give away a few songs and sell CD's. There's no guarantee that they'll be successful, but for the first time they've got a chance to try without selling their soul to an A&R man.
  • by Signal 11 ( 7608 ) on Monday February 15, 1999 @05:15AM (#2015536)
    Nice to see some support out there.

    When will the RIAA realize they won't win?

  • by bug ( 8519 ) on Monday February 15, 1999 @09:46AM (#2015537)
    The number of CDs that I purchase has easily doubled, if not tripled, since I was exposed to MP3s. While I won't say that I don't have a bunch of tunes in MP3 that I don't have the CD for (enough negatives there?), I'm still supporting a helluva lot more artists now than I was before, and a much greater diversity of artists as well. Almost everyone that I have talked to who uses MP3s has had the same experiences.

    Perhaps RIAA should quit acting like a bunch of pricks like usual and do a little bit of analysis on the sales before and after MP3s became popular. Betcha they increased. My faith in RIAA doing something smart (not even necessarily "the right thing", just smart for their own profits), however, is somewhat less than complete.
  • by nuxx ( 10153 ) on Monday February 15, 1999 @05:22AM (#2015538) Homepage
    I don't have much of a tie to the music community except through the local industrial/goth scene here, but I can't think of how many times I've been streaming MP3s (via shoutcast) for friends who ended up going out and buying the disc. How do you know if you like somthing without hearing it first? One of the biggest reasons for this in this area is the proliferation of mainstream commercial radio and a lack of local/import/independant radio shows. It's just too hard to introduce others to the more obsecure aural pleasures out there without the use of MP3s or mixed cds.
  • by orignal ( 10769 ) on Monday February 15, 1999 @06:04AM (#2015539)
    As a result, I found out that I bought a lot of albums from bands I've never heard of before. Rammstein for instance. I downloaded 2-3 Rammstein MP3's and I was hooked. I bought 2 albums. I did this for quite a lot of artists and bands.

    The recording industry got more money from me since I collect MP3s than ever before. This can't be wrong! (From their point of view)

    This is exactly what's happening to this band.

  • by K. ( 10774 ) on Monday February 15, 1999 @06:54AM (#2015540) Homepage Journal
    Well, that's one way to get your site on slashdot.

  • I agree with this guy's comments about the ability of MP3's to get your music out there.... I am an unsigned artist too, with few hopes of getting my music heard - but now I've got people from all over the world listening to my music! That's pretty damn cool. Hey guys! Don't forget about another great site - www.Brainkick.com [slashdot.org] - The Unsigned Artists Consortium.....
    It's not as big as MP3.Com, but the music there is quality stuff.

    Cybergrrrrl (Siobahn Hotaling)
    http://www.mp3.com/music/Folk/9117.html [mp3.com]
  • by johnnnyboy ( 15145 ) on Monday February 15, 1999 @07:07AM (#2015542) Homepage
    Just like another /.er here I too bought a rammstein CD. Even some other less know groups such as Beborn Beton, Apoptygma Bezerk and you can't beat Frontline Assembly. I was introduced to their music from some pirated MP3s. If I were to really on just the radio I would never even hear their music. I now spend more money on CDs than ever before.

  • by Industrial Disease ( 16177 ) on Monday February 15, 1999 @01:00PM (#2015543) Homepage
    Heard a report on NPR a few months ago about the record companies cutting back on the production of singles. I think they got some anonymous source in the recording industry to admit that usually, the single would be the only song on the CD that anyone would want to hear. Forcing the consumer to buy an entire CD full of garbage to get one good song is a concious decision on the part of the recording industry goons.
  • by snapper ( 127129 ) on Monday February 15, 1999 @05:24AM (#2015544)
    I'm glad to here a mature admission like that and wish you all the success in the world in your music. I truly believe that with the efforts of sites like mp3.com and others that the music industry will take a different path. New and unsigned artists now have an opportunity to have their music heard by those who would never have had an opportunity to be exposed to their music before. Record labels can now scout for new talent without leaving their office and many struggling musicians will have their hard work pay off through this kind of exposure. There is plenty of room for a legitamate use of the mp3 format, other than for piracy (I own a fair collection of these myself I must admit) and I applaud the efforts of mp3.com to make this happen. I happily enjoy listening to original artists off of this site and would love to give my money to someone who hasn't signed away their soul yet for multinational rock tours, mtv, movies, etc...

    Keep the faith!

Single tasking: Just Say No.