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Microsoft study says CD (music) anti-copying measures doomed
"computer technology evolving too quickly"
Robert Charlton

 7:06 am on Nov 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

Story here. [abc.net.au]

According to Microsoft's researchers computer technology is evolving too quickly for the music business to keep up.

The research team thinks there is only one way to beat the file sharers - by competing on their terms, making music cheap and easy to buy.

I'm posting another story on MS software profits here [webmasterworld.com]... The MS study didn't comment about software profits. Releasing buggy software is probably not a bad anti-piracy strategy... you've got to register to get it to work. ;)



 5:11 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

"The record cartel has robbed the public and the record artists for years"

I've heard this one before. It is true that artists to get shafted often but that is because they are ignorant of what they are getting into.

And let's face it, when Britney appeared on the scene I don't think we can expect could expect her to be fully versed in the laws the music business. But then that's why they pick them so young!

If an arist has any longevity they usually get their payback on the labels, and once their contracted albums have been completed, bail and write the stuff they really wanted to. Which in some cases means you never hear of the artists again in others, means the you get the real truth.

dvduval - If you think that when artists and music publishes pay money to the like of RIAA or the Harry Fox agency in the states, that it's just about tax, then you are misinformed. Think about trying to collect royalties overseas; about trying to regulate it when you, as an artist, are told by a company in Japan that they are producing 100 copies of your CD on their word (honest guv). I think you'd like something a little more concrete? no, well that's where those people come in.

Downloading music might be "killing the music" industry but it is also opening people to sounds could not have imagined. That's a good thing! It's just I wish they'd sort their act out and come up with a common agreement for online licensing so we could get away from the blame game and move to effective licensing and listening!

I never resented buying records, nor have I felt robbed by record companies. For CD's well perhaps some kind of breaks should have been given to new artists when this medium was introduced so they could feel as though doing their own promotional push would not cost the earth.

That's my money's worth.


 7:27 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

The California Supreme Court handed Hollywood's antipiracy efforts a setback Monday, ruling that a Texas resident who posted controversial DVD-cracking code online can't be sued in the Golden State.

Interesting how the recording companies will file the suite thousands of miles away and hope for a no-show and a default judgment.


 7:52 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

all these arguments seem to be based on the idea that there is a one size fits all recording artist/deal/label

it doesn't work like that...music piracy doesn't hit the big labels all that hard...it doesn't hit the big acts all that hard...the people it hurts are the bands that are marginally profitable for a record label who have now been dropped and can only record if they can raise enough money themselvesm and who are now reliant on luck for distrivution...and the listener who is losing the opportunity to hear those bands

if you want a music industry that consists only of repackaged nostalgia, manufactured soulless pap, and the occasional home produced and hard to find gem, then go ahead download away

there will be massive changes in the music business over the next few years due to the changes in technology...but file sharing isn't driving that, it's simply making it more difficult for anyone with genuine talent to be involved in the process


 8:32 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Maybe I have missed something but i read a lot about how how file sharing has made music cheap, but yet it is still illegal and stealing is it not? Just becuase you can murder people, or break into houses and steal things doesent make is legal yes?

You're right, it is stealing, and it is illegal.

I think what makes this situation so intriguing is the "you got what you deserve" factor.

At least in the USA, the record labels are seen as being dishonest, ruthless, and money-grubbing. We've all heard the stories of rock stars who were bullied into signing long-term, low-pay contracts before they were famous. The labels make millions on the album sales, and the artist makes next to nothing.

We, as consumers, also feel like we've been screwed with high album prices and low-quality music. How many of us have paid $17 for a CD only to find one decent song on the whole thing? Tack on to that sky-rocketing concert ticket prices, and you have a mad customer base.

The whole MP3 / Napster phenominon is seen by a lot of people as "payback" for a century of back-stabbing by the record companies. After years of screwing the artists, and over-charging the public, the tables have now turned. As a result, many people are willing to "look the other way" where the legality is concerned.

It's not right, but it couldn't happen to a better industry.


 9:33 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have a collection of close to a thousand CD's I have collected over the years. I also have a collection of downloaded MP3's, maybe around 800 specific tracks.

I can't help but notice the thousands of dollars I needed to spend getting 1, 2, 3 tracks off whole CD's because most of compilation CD's are full of filler. Storing these CD's is a nightmare, requiring actual CD storing furniture to occupy my already small condo. It was always another nightmare actually getting, if at all possible, the music I wanted. Most of the music I ever want always ends up being from somewhere else in the world. So by the time I get it, distributers; record store "IMPORTED CD" pricing, and import duties imposed on the CD's make them prohibitively expensive. Not to mention the limited selection in a local HMV or Tower is mostly pop I dont want in the first place. So if I dont have a store that caters or can even order on request the music I want, whether it be foreign music or hard to get domestic, but I can down load it off the web, I see a problem in the retail concept.

I have the exact tracks I want. I can experiment with music styles and foregin music that I would have never been able to before and even in different languages. My CD's in the car CD stacker arent 10 CD's with a combined 14 songs I like - its ONE cd with 14 songs I like because I could compose it myself. Plus it all sits neatly in my hard drive (about a gig or so, not a big deal when you look at that gallactic size of drives lately). They are all instantly accesible, no fumbling around with CD's, worrying about scratching the CD surface, etc).

Online services that provide any track from any label, internationally, for a set per track fee (example .50 - 1.00 per track) or alternatively a monthly subscription. I then compose my own CDs, and am a happy camper. The online services that offer the most wealth of tracks is the winner, the customers are all winners BECAUSE THEY ARE PAYING FOR WHAT THEY WANT. It is much better in concept countries like Japan which sell music more on a "singles" basis rather than an entire bloated album. That should be applied to the online retailing of the music. I realise there are services similar in concept like PressPlay. But they are not a winning solution as they bog down the consumer with rediculous price and download metering and the requirements of propritery software and a limited to "pop" collection of potential tracks to download.

Comments are welcome.

[edited by: visca at 11:18 pm (utc) on Nov. 26, 2002]


 9:58 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Online services that provide any track from any label, internationally, for a set per track fee (example .50 - 1.00 per track) or alternatively a monthly subscription. I then compose my own CDs, and am a happy camper.

I'd subscribe, and I'm not even a huge music fanatic. Roadblock there is getting the labels to give rights to distribute their music to one central entity...


 10:04 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Looking at my cd collection, which runs into the thousands, I also resent being called a thief. It's a shame the record industry choose to refer to their customers in this way.

What is happening is the record industry is witnessing the death of an outmoded business model. In their inability to deal with this situation, they rely on outmoded legislation. Too late. Horse. Bolted. It's over.

I look forward to the new model. The distribution channel isn't owned by anyone and the artist and fan can mutually benefit, far more so they they ever had before. Sure, there are copyright issues. But that "problem" will be overcome, probably by the law of supply and demand. Why bother "stealing" something when it's as cheap as chips?

Calling people thieves isn't going to stop progress. It's merely obfuscation.


 10:22 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

My conscience is clear. When I make a copy of a cd, I donate 5 bucks to the artist. That way the artist gets more than what is offered by a record company for that particular CD and I don't monetarily support the oppression of the music industry. We both win. :)


 11:00 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

A law that is unenforceable is no law at all. A law that the majority break can not stand the test of a vote.

Music industry ... find another way.


 11:22 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Good idea keeper

The last time I donated to the Stones, Mick and Keith fought over who should "get more".

In the future I am sending a single dollar to each band member...I hate bickering.

BTW...how do you donate to the roadies and sound engineers?


 11:38 pm on Nov 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

how do you donate to the roadies and sound engineers?

By buying concert tickets :)


 1:25 am on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

My only problem with this is the U.S. Copyright Laws,
chiyo often refers to.

The copyright law in 1790 was for 17 years. When the coverage lapsed, it became public domain.

Today it is 70 years after the death of the creator, and works owned by corporations are protected for 95 years.

I believe the founding fathers of this country intended to protect the creator for a reasonable time, then allow the rest of the nation to benefit from it while the creation was still worthwile. This is a crucial point that a lot of people forget.

With the 1998 copyright laws, we have great losses of opportunities.

Of course, the copyright law is a double edged sword. Do you recall GIF, or ZIP(a specific variant)? Both are copyrighted, result? PNG & JPG on graphics, and several new compressions obsoleting the copyrighted material.
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear chiyo, happy birthday to you!
Oops... Copyright violation.

I am not as elequent on describing why the current state of Copyright and Patent laws are a farse, but you can search for "Lawrence Lessig" on the big G, and he can give you some background.

Pisces Mortuis Solis Quae Natant Cum Fluctum


 1:45 am on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

What I queried was why downloading copyright material is seem to be "accepted" as something quite acceptable when it is in fact an illegal act.

Ummm... pretty much every web page is copyright, are we committing a crime everytime we view one?

But more seriously, even copying copyright material is often perfectly legal - there are fair use exemptions in the US, for example, which allow copying of CDs to tape for private use in (say) the car, and some other countries have even stronger user rights.


 2:00 am on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

This thread seems to be dominated by paralegals, lawyers, constitutional scholars, and those who've read their share of John Grisham novels. At this point can we just agree that we disagree?



 2:32 am on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

Like what has been said for years now, the Net has offered a new evolution into how information is exchanged. Whether something is legal or not, people have now become accustomed to searching for free information. That's why the Net is where it is at today. Free Mail. Free Live Chat. Free News. Free whatever.

Google, for example, has become the #1 search engine because it offers relevant results, well most of the time, under many searches. Conversions on traffic from Google were horrible before they pulled in so many partnerships. Still is horrible in some cases. Why did people flock to Google from all the other search engines? Simple, they didn't have to deal with all the spam and ppc listings that flooded all the rest. Free and relevant information. That's what they wanted.

People looking for free stuff is not going to end, its just going to keep going up and up and up. As time goes by, more and more people are going to become more adapt to searching for software cracks and mp3s. Joe Surfer's status is about to be upgraded to advanced level. No longer will you have the stupid AOL user. Well ok, some will always be around ;) but you know what I mean.

Of course many people out there will follow moral standards when regarding theft, but 10 times as many will become desensitized to it.

The old way of living either gone now or fading away.


 3:26 am on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

Here, here Lawman! Let us review these posts in a few years and decide who was closest to the truth.


 3:34 am on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

I doubt the law will have much to do with solving this particular problem.

This "problem" will be solved by market forces.


 7:01 am on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

If the market forces solves the problem the way they are doing with the environment, we are looking at a very bright future (Order your 100 SPF sun block lotion today!). Just move where the laws are more lenient, right?


 8:01 am on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am afraid I find this thread rather sad to say the least.

On the one hand we often have threads with a title like "Someone stole my site" and then advice from all and sundry about Cease and Desist letters, complaining to the ISP, and so on, along with anecdotes from people how they have been successful in dealing with these thieves.

And then, on the other hand, we have thread like this one where, despite advice to the contary, some people still think that copying or sharing music to which they hold no rights is OK because "that is the way things are going".

Make no mistake, Copying a Website, Copying a CD, Downloading Music, Sharing MP3s, and so on, to which you have no rights to do so, are ALL breaches of Copyright and are therefor Illegal. That is a fact and is undeniable! You may not agree with the law but that is the way it is. Period.

The issue of whether the Publishing Companies and ripping of the Artists is another matter altogether and, quite frankly, only concerns the affected Recording Artists. If anyone here thinks they are putting one over the Publishers by stealing music rather than buying it, they are not, they are simply stealing from the artists.

Many people here work in the affiliate marketing area and well aware of the problem of Parasiteware, Scumware, Theifware, whatever you want to call it, where webmasters work hard to build a site that will generate them an income only to have that income snatched away at the last minute by these programs that redirect sale to comapnies and people who did not build the applicable site.

If you copy/share music, than you are doing the same thing, you are stealing music from the artists and thereby denying them fair income and compensation for their efforts.

And if you still persist on doing it, then SHAME ON YOU!

To clarify a few points:-

-- viewing a webpage is like listening to music, not illegal. Copying either is illegal.
-- downloading shared music is not like radio. On Radio, copyright and performance royalties are paid to the composers and artists, usually from advertising income.

I have no doubts that the way music is marketed and sold has to, and will, change. However, until that day comes the laws are in place and we should behold those laws.

Make up your minds folks. If you think sharing music is OK, then please let us all know your URLs so we can all copy your websites. Or, to put it another way, next time you are thinking of download/copying/sharing/whatever, just think to your self "How would I feel if someone stole my website?"

Case Closed.


PS., How do I know this? I am a Composer/Recording Artist who earns part of his living from Royalties. I am also a web publisher who earns part of his living from the income derived therefrom. Subsequently, I am very, very, very aware of copyright laws.


 8:20 am on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

woz..yes..but you forgot the CRUICAL thing why this all happened - prices.

also what commonly happens in discusions like this is that peopel forget about REAL situations and talk "in theory". so your comparison about website theft and music theft is only valid in theory.

whcih one for you could be more guilty - the guy who is rich and our of arrogance goes ,eats at mcdonnals and then runs not paying OR mother who has no money and her child is starving.she goes and steals some food to feed her baby.not out of arrogance but due to survival. in both cases it is THEFT! but reasons "behind" the theft are different.you jsut cant say "theft is theft". you cant talk about theory when the praxis and the real word is not like this. (ps : i am not saying starving mother isthe same people who downlaod music - i just used it to demonstrate "theft" and that we can talk just "in theory theft is theft")communism is perfect - but only in theory!

you know that winnona actor who stole the clothes - she will have to pay in thousands of dollars for this.rich girl stealing out of "pure thrill".and she gave all clothes back so nothing lost. if they would catch the mother from above exampel i am sure she would not get such a big "punishment" - in theory both are THEFT - but there are things like "relieving circumstances"(sorry i am not sure if this is the right word).

well, tell me would you buy webhsoting or domains so much if the prices were even HIGHER than let say 5-10 years ago! tehnology is here,cost is totaly minimal but webhost would raise and raise the prices! because there is NO alternative so they can do whatever they want. can you iamginer paying webhsot 100's dlars every months now? or paying 70$ for domain? especially if you would KNOW that you could get hsot for 9$ per months and domain 8$ but THEY choose to rip us off becasue "there os no alternative"?

all said in this thread ,we go round and round we came back to the first post:

The research team thinks there is only one way to beat the file sharers - by competing on their terms, making music cheap and easy to buy.

listen to microsoft,thy spend "millions" to research this :)
- i think they said it smart (though it is litle late now).

here is my suggestion: artist selling their mp3's on their website,asking for some small doantion or better pay some money for every son you downalod.(they can offer songs very cheap sicne it goes directly to their account) if you love the artist you wILL support them.the same is with humanitarian help - you are more willin to give help if you KNOW who gets it rather than just donating money to some big organization!

i am NOT saying theft is ok -i am just saying that you cANT talk "only in theory" - if we would do this then evrything what is against the law is BAD!

cmon it is so obvius - if everything would be good then there would be nop criems liek this."riots" come after something is terribly wrong with the system.i see this like a "PAIN" in human body - it hurts you but it is indicator that soemthing is wrong.bigger the pain , more wrong it is. BUT is pain bad? well, every normaly inteligent person here would know that pain is CRUICAL for survival - imagine feeling no pain(if you think this is cool, imagine walking several hours with broken leg, not noticing anything is wrong). p2p is pain the the riaa's a$$! it hurts liek hell but it is indicator that things has gone seriously wrong with music industry! pain is not therefor kill you - it is to help you realize you are on the wrong track. however if you ignore all the pain you will die eventually.all those years of "smoking,drinking,partying.." is now showing to music industry too.

jsut my 2 cents.

[edited by: JonB at 9:28 am (utc) on Nov. 27, 2002]


 8:38 am on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

With respect Jonb, this is not a life and death situation. You won't expire if you don't have music.

We need to seperate the law from the market.

If people think prices are too high, then they need to do what they can within the law to change the prices by contacting your country Government, complaining to the Publishers, contacting the Musicians unions, and so on.

However, just because people think prices are too high is no justification for stealing the music. As I say, it is not the middlemen that are being disadvantaged, it is the Artists themselvs which can only have a detrimental effect on the industry as a whole.

>by competing on their terms, making music cheap and easy to buy.

Exactly, use the same technology, legally.

Again, think how you would feel if someone stole your site.



 8:51 am on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

If people think prices are too high, then they need to do what they can within the law to change the prices by contacting your country Government, complaining to the Publishers, contacting the Musicians unions, and so on.

woz, no one succeded so far with this. you jsut cant get them legally or with complaints! how exaclty you think we could achieve something - there are milliosn peopel in the world and US that think prices are way to high - but nothign was ever achieved - prices still go up!

somebody already stole my website - i was not happy of course! but as i said yor example is not valid becasue those are two totally different things and with A LOT of different bacground.i used my example above to demonstrate that there are diffent kinds of theft and especially different REASONS for theft.i used mother example becasue it was frist thing that came to my mind.winnona example is better maybe.

you cant jsut say "i make money with website,they make money with music". that is simplified compariosn since you just dismissed my comparioson with "food and music".as i said ..in theory you are correct but not in praxis.

yes, ican live without music ..but so can you without website money. i am sure you were douing fine before you were doing web biz.

>Exactly, use the same technology, legally.

that is what i agree too! see my last suggestion how artist could get money!i would support my artist that way.artist need to get money DIRECTLY not through all those money grabing organizations.


 9:01 am on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

"On Radio, copyright and performance royalties are paid to the composers and artists, usually from advertising income. "

It's the advertising income that is used to pay performance royalties as distinct from mechanical royalties which are granted per manufacturing unit.

If there was not advertising there would not be any money to pay the performance royalties, they would still have to be paid.


 9:44 am on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

I can remember the days of a band called Crass who had to set up their own record label in order to get published. None of the major labels would touch them. They would have absolutely revelled in the concept of file sharing and donations.

The web provides a means for bands who will not produce enough profit for the major labels to consider them to make their music and make enough of a living to continue doing it.

The real issue we have here is the technology for micropayments which is developing but is not yet fully matured. Once micropayment technology matures we should get to a stage where approproate payment is possible.


 11:36 am on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

Never mind the blame and the guilt, there is clearly something that must change, as if all music is free, the artists will not make money, and so different ones will emerge. (Probably to ones with loads of money, and not much talent! :)).

So what is the solution? Seems simple enough to me:

Lower quality, fast download music is made available by the record companies free... that way, we can listen to a CD, and then decide to buy it or not. Most of us will of course buy it if we like it, as we now hate listing to "shallow" or poor quality sound, as we are used to a full, richer noise.
Those who want free, can have it. The quality will be poorer, but most will be happy.
A small number will still file-share high quality music, (file size) but it will be hassle, with a risk of getting caught and fined. As has been said before, this has been happening for years, and cannot be stopped. As a Kid, I copied LP's (Oh that old!) and I would never have bought the LP's at the time, as I could not afford them. (All those cassettes sound so flat today, yuk!)

Now, the thought of downloading loads of songs, wasting time...when I can buy a CD for 6.99 and have it delivered tomorrow...

The music business needs to look for opportunities, not threats!

My tuppence :)



 1:49 pm on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

Much money is made by controlling market distribution channels. These distribution channels quite naturally create "pinch points" which can be monitored and policed. Successful business people have known and employed this model since the beginning of commerce.

Digital music on the web is opposite to controllable product distribution. Some method will emerge to control distribution and it will surely not be a volunteer-honesty-pay-if-you-wish system.


 2:48 pm on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

The idea that free music will lead to a few rich artists dominating everthing is NOT A PROVEN THEORY.

If anything, the monetary threshhold will be reduced, because a band doesn't need to pay for 10,000 CDs, they simply serve up MP3s. If the music is good, people will listen, including concert promoters, leading to more gigs and income.

I think people are missing the point:
The age of the record deal as we know it is coming to an end.


 3:11 pm on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

I agree dvduval, because the distribution is not in the control of a few, "the record deal is dead" and we are likely to see an expansion in the industry.


 8:38 pm on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

Copying a CD, Downloading Music, Sharing MP3s, and so on, to which you have no rights to do so, are ALL breaches of Copyright and are therefor Illegal. That is a fact and is undeniable! You may not agree with the law but that is the way it is. Period.

Quite possibly, Woz. But so what?

Change, by definition, occurs outside the status quo, quite often outside the presiding legal framework. Is the current law serving the interests of the people and the musicians or is it serving the interests of big business? If it's the later, then expect a consumer revolt. The law, in this case, may well be wrong, or incorrectly applied. Whatever. The masses are voting with their hard drives for change.

The record industry has two choices: change with it or die. Your lawyers cannot help you now.


 11:37 pm on Nov 27, 2002 (gmt 0)

You know what I find interesting -- nobody has mentioned anything about independent musicians; the people who make music because they enjoy it and simply want to share it with others. I hardly listen to any of the mainstream music (other than what plays on the radio) that is in question with most of this thread. A lot of the music I listen to is freely downloadable, made available by the artists themselves. The reason being that the music industry is dominated by "pop". It's not really music anymore, it's almost purely a product. I realize that I represnt a VERY small minority, as far as my choices of music go. But my point is that serious musicians do NOT need middlemen to produce quality music, nor are they driven by greed.

Remember when the internet was just catching on? Most people still bought stuff at big-name retailers back in 1994. But now, anybody who can use the web can start a store with a little research and not a lot of money. In a way, the internet has leveled the playing field, enabling small "mom and pop" operations to be competitive with the big players in the industry. In the "pre-internet" world, this would have been very difficult to pull off.

I think sharing music on the net, via P2P or web, allows a lot of quality musicians who would otherwise be overshadowed by the big "stars" get more exposure. They have a genuine desire to make music, to be heard...they don't do it because they hope to filthy rich.

In my own opinion, the only time a copyright of music or some other "artistic intellectual property" should come into question is when a 3rd party is using this property for generating a revenue. That means that the millions people who download the music because they like it and just listen to it for pleasure are not subject to any 'copyright', because they are not selling it or using it in a production.

The internet levels the playing field in many instances, if you think about it. The internet is a society within society -- fully digitized. On the internet, everyone has an equal opportunity for achieveing -- I could see how big industries would want to prevent this. It's time that the industry stopped whining about this form of competition and accept the fact that they'll need to offer a higher quality product or service, else they'll be forgotten.

Just another perspective. ;)

-= SsZERO =-


 3:42 am on Nov 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

In many businesses technology is making middle-man type firms less and less relevant.Record co.s are simply middlemen, i.e. they don't -create- anything ...only buy rights.In the future I see artists hiring agent-types who will look after the interests of their client exclusiviely(unlike record co.s), handle marketing etc.

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