Friday, July 25, 2003

Music Wars scene 7
In which the Rebels are offered a compromise and Napster rises from the dead
As Myself has always advocated, a pay for play structure, (agreeable by the RIAA), is about to come into reality, as more that a few companies prepare, based on the success of Apple's iTune, to offer music downloads for a charge:
A crowded field is gearing up to offer single songs for sale, including retailers and, and leading Internet service providers like AOL Time Warner's America Online.
Others likely to compete are a re-launched Napster, the song-swap pioneer that was idled by copyright infringement litigation in 2001, and Apple itself, which even competitors credit with demonstrating the power of an easy-to-use system and competitive pricing.
Wow, the resurrection of Napster, the revered one that started it all, rising from the grave to return to P2P land, after being killed off by Darth Vader Hillary Rosen and the RIAA. Tre` Obi-wan. The real question is wether or not the public will embrace this paradigm. Myself will venture to say that yes this succeed, but only if A) the DLs available encompass what the public wants. It's not just the current hits that people want, past hits, Jazz, classical, and even foreign language tunes are heavily DL'ed also and these must also be included. B) Current P2P apps are not able to achieve true anonymous P2P, which would put the Empire back at square one. C) Quality. One good thing about this is that now one must pay for each song, the quality will improve. We all know that the sound quality can often times be very poor, songs can be cut off, volume levels vary, but it was free so you lived with it. But if Myself is going to pay for DLs, the quality had better be good. Myself would argue that the reason most people DL music knowing full well that it's illegal is that no one thinks they will be the one to get caught. It's "the RIAA can't sue 50 million people" meme and in one sense they are correct, it's akin to having unprotected sex with a one night stand, yes you might catch something or get pregnant, or get caught cheating (for those married/commited), but its a chance you take. If the dice comes up craps, well as Super Chicken once said: "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it" SQUAAWK!

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Music Wars scene 6:
In which the rebels petition against the Empire is denied
In a futile attempt to stem the growing shadow of the RIAA lawsuits, Sharmon Networks filed an anti-trust suit, which was denied:
Sharman Networks, the company behind the popular Kazaa file-swapping software, cannot pursue a suit accusing record labels and movie studios of antitrust violations, a federal judge has ruled.

In the ruling, dated 2 July, US district judge Stephen Wilson dismissed Sharman's argument that major entertainment companies have colluded to drive potential online rivals out of business, saying the company lacks any standing to make such a claim.
This was a feeble attempt to counter-sue the RIAA and had a slim to none chance of succeeding, but Myself supposes that it had to be tried, if the rebels can pre-empt the coming storm of lawsuits, it would have seriously hamstrung the RIAA but alas it was not to be.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

obligatory war post (the real war)
Uday and Qsay presumed dead We got them. Yup, shot them dead as Michael Jackson's carrer. There's going to be one VERY RICH Iraqi who collects the reward. Apparently offering a reward of $15 million worked in spite of Myself's cynicism. Now there have been questions, some very stupid such as, we need more proof, to some a bit more measured, such as, why not try to take them alive? Because unless we are going to torture them I don't think they will sell out their father. Some general who sees the writing on the wall, sure, but as Raed points out:
just to tell you that i would be really dissapointed if Uday and Qusay were really killed in Mosul. this is just the easy way out for them. they should have been humiliated in public, images of them handcuffed and being pushed around.
And then be killed in some excruciatingly painful, horrible way. Capturing them to answer for what they did would have been better. Myself would argue that letting the Iraqi people dispense justice rather than having the World's Police U.S. do a Judge Dredd impersonation would have been a better way to show the Iraqi people we are not their new Mullahs. He's not very happy about this and about things in general, he also doesn't seem very grateful, and I don't blame him. However, I also feel that capturing would have been best, dead is is still good.
Music Wars scene 5:
In which the King of Pop Battles the RIAA
The saga continues, as a bill is introduced in congress to make uploading one song to a P2P net a FELONY. Yes thats right felony, oh and also Myself almost forgot to mention the $250,000 fine.
Legislation to make illegal file swapping a felony was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday by John Conyers (D.-Mich.) and Howard Berman (D.-Calif.).

The bill carries penalties of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for uploading a copyrighted file to a peer-to-peer (P2P) network.

The bill assumes each copyrighted work put on a P2P network was copied at least 10 times for a retail value of $2,500. The total retail value would make swapping a single file a felony.
Myself sees a math problem here: copied at least 10 times for a retail value of $2,500. So one copy of one song is worth $250? Not even. How about 100 times? That would make one song worth $25? not on your life. One tune is worth $1, at a maximum. I think the assumption should be 2,500 times? Regardless this is draconian any way you spin it. Interestingly all articles Myself has read indicate the crime is uploading, when in reality a user on the P2P net doesn't actually upload the file in the sense that one allows others to pull it from your drive, it's a passive upload if anything, but Myself may be interpeting it wrong, or maybe the article writers don't fully understand the mechanics behind a P2P net. Hey even Michael Jackson thinks it's a bad idea, "I am speechless about the idea of putting music fans in jail for downloading music" quoted Jackson, so it must be bad right? Can I get a Heee! Heee! and a toe spin. But wait! announces that they will offer music downloads for as little as 70 cents per song. Myself told you so.

In an actually very related development (as opposed to the usual non-sequitirs you get from Myself) Developers who said I don't give a shit have announced that they will be incorporating privacy-protection measures in its newest versions, presumably to keep the RIAA out of your business. Although these versions of Kazaa are not affiliated with Sharman Networks, original developers of the Kazaa P2P app, they will work on the Kazaa P2P net. Myself told you so, again.