BearShare Shuts Down, Pays Up... Though It's Not Clear Why

from the folding-up dept

Following the decision in last year's Grokster Supreme Court case, the entertainment industry started pretending the decision said something it didn't. The actual decision said that companies could be liable for copyright infringement if they somehow actively induced people to violate copyright law. The entertainment industry, however, just pretended that the courts completely outlawed file sharing systems -- and quickly sent threatening letters to a bunch of them. It looks like another one has caved in. BearShare has agreed to shut down and pay the industry $30 million -- which seems like a ridiculously high sum. This is made even more evident by the idea that BearShare could actually have a legitimate response to any lawsuit brought against them. For example, we've already pointed out that TorrentSpy is fighting back, and pointing out that (despite the entertainment industry's assertion) simply running a file sharing network is not illegal. As long as the company behind it didn't actively promote the illegal uses of the software, they're probably perfectly fine (though, the next court case will obviously determine that). It's understandable that the folks at BearShare didn't want to go through the hassle of a lawsuit, but it's unfortunate that they simply shut down and paid up -- as it gives the entertainment industry more fodder to go out and bully others. There's no doubt that BearShare was used for illegal purposes -- but the question is who is responsible for that use: the actual users or the software providers. It's worrying (though completely predictable) that the entertainment industry is succeeding in making people believe that the software developer is now responsible for anyone who misuses a software product.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Kevin Mesiab, May 5th, 2006 @ 2:04am

    Its like...

    ... suing the gun manufacturer because your neighbor shot your dog.

    Get real.

    A=A

     

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  2.  
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    J, May 5th, 2006 @ 2:27am

    Does this mean I can sue the entertainment industry since they are providing the music that people are pirating?

     

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  3.  
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    PaulM, May 5th, 2006 @ 2:46am

    sue the people with the money!

    someone spills coffee over you at McD's - do you sue them? No, 'cos they might not have any money - so you sue McD's.

    this seems to be the common pattern here. so in answer to Kevin M, yes, sue the gun manufacturers... sue the car manufacturers for drunk drivers...

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2006 @ 3:04am

    Re: sue the people with the money!

    sue ONLY the car manufacturers for drunk drivers ? why not sue the drink manufacurers as well while your at it ?! Blame anyone and everyone for stuff thats not their fault - brilliant idea.

    Its getting worrying that the music industry is allowed to get away with this c**p - the software developers have done NOTHING wrong

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2006 @ 3:42am

    NO! I have an idea! BLAME CANADA!

     

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  6.  
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    Grumpy Old Man, May 5th, 2006 @ 4:54am

    Canada

    We won't have to blame them, with the number of Canadian Artist that are leaving the RIAA, I am sure they are the next target of their attack dog lawyers.

    GOM

     

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  7.  
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    Mike, May 5th, 2006 @ 4:54am

    Sue Bill

    Instead of wasting time going after all of the companies behind the file sharing programs and sites, why don't they just sue Microsoft for providing a platform that allows these programs to run? If we just got rid of computers altogether, this piracy problem could easily be alleviated. There is no such thing as good technology since all of it can be used for illegal purposes. We need to go back to living in caves.

     

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  8.  
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    Brandon, May 5th, 2006 @ 5:05am

    Proper Analogy

    This is more like if you photo copied a piece of art and Snail Mailed it to someone. Could the original artist sue the United States Postal Service for providing the conduit?

     

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  9.  
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    Dylan, May 5th, 2006 @ 6:06am

    This is sad

    I think we should all do something about it, iv had enough of the rants. We need to stand up and say something, riot, protest, i dont care, just do something as a way of telling the RIAA to shut the he77 up. I really dont think that the piracy was takeing much money away from the actors and singers, I mean, even before they started to crack down on the piracy the actors and singers where earining millions of dollars a year, and for what? Something that they do well, something they have an aptitude for. The RIAA isnt sueing because piracy is costing them money, they are sueing because they are greedy. Its just sick, if I i had the musical talant to create a few songs and then gain so much money from it that i can afford large houses and fast cars I would just save all the money and live in a middle class suburb for the rest of my life without working and not care if someone pirated my music. They arnt really looseing money, they are just greedy, and they will do anything to earn more.

     

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  10.  
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    Wolfger, May 5th, 2006 @ 6:31am

    Breaking news:

    In an effort to keep all the profits for themselves, the RIAA is now suing successful artists for making songs so good that people are willing to break the law to obtain them. The RIAA maintains that if the artists did not induce piracy, the RIAA would not be losing so much revenue. Many artists, however, are not earning enough to pay the settlements the RIAA is demanding, and are declaring bankruptcy.

     

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  11.  
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    Antimatter, May 5th, 2006 @ 6:33am

    They're ruining their business

    If they keep shutting down network and websites like this, they won't have any customers to sue! How will they make money then?

     

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  12.  
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    ebrke, May 5th, 2006 @ 6:37am

    Re: This is sad

    There is something we can do--stop buying music from companies that are part of the RIAA. That's all we can do--vote with our wallets. If everyone did that, the problem would be resolved in a hurry. However, since very few people seem able to deny themselves anything, even in pursuit of a worthy goal, I'm afraid the future looks very bleak.

     

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  13.  
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    Axe, May 5th, 2006 @ 6:44am

    Is the focus on Target

    Although there are more than enough Anti-RIAA groups, what I haven't seen is anyone seriously take it to the lawmakers.

    Money buys everything in this country. Especially your freedom ( OJ Simpson, Robert Blake ). If there was an effective organisation with enough money to bribe the lawmakers than even the RIAA would buckle under.

    Until then we'll just have to keep taking it on the chin.

    Apropos. Is there any P2P network that hasn't been sued? I remember something recently on BitTorrent. Anybody know?

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2006 @ 7:06am

    DJ's and Producers know

    Screw the major label's go support your local vinyl record store!!!

    Get good music, that you haven't heard 1000 times in the past week.

    Also couldn't we go back to the old days... just put a FM antena in our computers and record off of the air... The the IRAA could go after the radio stations and shut them down too.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2006 @ 7:10am

    Re: Sue Bill

    Lolz limewire is a multiplatform p2p as well as(debatebly because alot of other uses) Torrents, shit i can actually thnk of very few JUST windows p2p networks, i know its everyones internet wet dream to sue bill gates until hes wearing rags then maybe zip down your fly and piss on him, but before you can do that you need to have a legitimate case, and you have utterly nothing with your arguement.

     

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  16.  
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    time for action, May 5th, 2006 @ 7:23am

    start the revolution

    As it has been said in anouther blog July 4 - Aug 4
    No one buy music or movies
    Dont rent them dont go to theaters

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2006 @ 7:36am

    Re: DJ's and Producers know

    Yes go after Radio Stations... They Share music... It's free to the listeners... It's recordable... Bring back the Casette Tapes!

     

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  18.  
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    Tom Townsend, May 5th, 2006 @ 7:41am

    Honesty

    If we can be honest with ourselves for a moment, isn't it agreed that the vast majority of users of BearShare are using it for illegal purposes? Doesn't that imply that the software has not proved itself to be useful for honest purposes?

    My feeling is that everyone who has commented here and the millions more whose opionions they reflect quite simply want to get free stuff and are unwilling to face the grim reality that people who provide good products are justified in getting paid for their work.

    Accept personal responsibility to compensate those whose work you enjoy. Just because it is easy and you can get away with it does not make it OK. It's as simple as that.

    Start the revolution indeed.

     

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  19.  
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    Rupert Kramer, May 5th, 2006 @ 8:12am

    Re: Re: Sue Bill

    he was being sarcastic asshat

     

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  20.  
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    Responsibility indeed, May 5th, 2006 @ 8:18am

    Re: Honesty

    Why is it Bearshare's Resonsiblity? They make a beefed up version of ftp software. Should the RIAA go after IIS(microsoft) or Apache or FTP server software makers because someone can download files from a website or FTP server?

     

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  21.  
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    Jim, May 5th, 2006 @ 8:36am

    Something for nothing

    What happened to the days when people just paid for the music they liked? What's the confusion here? To say that these file sharing companies are not promoting the illegal use of their software is irrelevant. What else are these sites for?

    How would you like to work and not get paid? Why don't all of you stop your whining and legally purchase your music? I guess many people think they are entitled to get something for nothing...

     

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  22.  
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    Andrew, May 5th, 2006 @ 8:52am

    Re: Something for nothing

    You miss the point... the technology is inherently neutral - the hammer and chisel that Michaelangelo used to create the David could be used to destroy it...

    I buy my music when I want to listen and do not steal it. Even with that said, though, these services have distinct value outside piracy and just because they can be used for that is no reason to close them down. Like a few others said - should we sue the car maker for the drunk driver? Or how about Ford - they make those Lincolns with big trunks, and you know the mob puts bodies in those trunks... we need to arrest the chairman of Ford for conspiracy to commit murder...

     

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  23.  
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    Tim, May 5th, 2006 @ 9:07am

    Re: Something for nothing

    Do you really think ANYBODY is not getting paid? Put a better product out there, quit price gouging and maybe this wouldn't be a big problem. I don't know too many people that wouldn't support their favorite bands if it was reasonably priced.

     

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  24.  
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    Kyrden, May 5th, 2006 @ 10:05am

    The principle of the matter

    So BearShare went down. Glad it's this one instead of another.... BearShare was so laden with spyware and other nuisances, if any one was to go, this was a good choice.
    Still though, I agree with the rest of you. Just as Google is not responsible for the ads that people and data people upload, BearShare and other P2P software companies are not liable for the data that people choose to upload and share on that network. The adage is old but still just as true, "Don't hate on me, I'm just the messenger" or "Don't kill the messenger for the message"
    This just goes to show that no matter how rich corporate America becomes, they still can never have enough. It's really no longer about money (we know this because they have it and don't stop). It's now about control and power of a market and group of people. This has to stop...

     

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  25.  
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    Stoneman, May 5th, 2006 @ 10:10am

    Re:

    an excellent comment..

     

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  26.  
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    Devil's Advocate, May 5th, 2006 @ 10:12am

    Re: Re: Something for nothing

    Did you miss the part where s/he said that there is no other proven purpose for the software?

    You claim there is. Elaborate and your point can be made much more valid.

     

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  27.  
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    txjump, May 5th, 2006 @ 10:20am

    p2p

    the best analogy yet has been the postal service. its a network of people who deliver things with the aid of addresses and mailboxes. just like a network of computers that deliver things via addresses and folders.

    you and i decide to mail copies of books back and forth. none of the presses are sueing the postal service for providing p2p sharing. that would be crazy, esp since what you are mailing isn't anyone elses business.

    there are a billion illegal things mailed ... but nobody is asking to shut down the vehichle which delivers the illegal items. the people on either end of the illegal shipments are the ones responsible.

     

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  28.  
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    TomTownsend, May 5th, 2006 @ 10:26am

    Re: Re: Something for nothing

    Can't agree with you. If there were a tunnel used by crack dealers to bring drugs into the country, should they leave the tunnel open because it is neutral? Should the guys that dug it with full knowledge of its intended purpose not be held responsible?

    As I said earlier these programs may theoretically have a non-piracy value but that has rarely if ever been demonstrated in actual practice. Other channels used to exchange files legally (email atachments, for example) are sufficiently cumbersome that they make large-scale sharing impractical, but noone cares because large-scale file sharing is not needed in the legitimate realm under normal circumstances.

    Your example is silly, and really the only examples I have read that defend the neutrality argument are silly ('suing the gun manufacturer because your neighbor shot your dog', 'sue the entertainment industry since they are providing the music that people are pirating', 'sue Microsoft for providing a platform that allows these programs to run').

    Can someone come up with a good example? There are always two or more legitimate ways to look at a given issue but I haven't read anything reasonable to refute my point of view.

     

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  29.  
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    Thomas Townsend, May 5th, 2006 @ 10:32am

    Re: p2p

    The difference here is that with books, nothing gets duplicated. In the old days when someone shared something they had to give it up so that the other person could use it. With computer files they are duplicated.


    It's really a whole new world of ethics that we as a society have yet to come to grips with. Either the public morality must shift and decide that file sharing is wroing and generally avoid doing it, or we as a people need to decide that the old model of paying people for musical performances, software design, movie productions, etc, needs to change.


    If bands were on salary maybe noone would care.

     

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  30.  
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    Joe Baker, May 5th, 2006 @ 10:34am

    This lawsuit is illegal

    From another Techdirt article today:

    Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act talks about this very issue, saying that the service provider should not be treated as the publisher of offensive material
    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/ts_search.pl?title=47&sec=230

    "(1) Treatment of publisher or speaker
    No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be
    treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided
    by another information content provider."

    I think that pretty much covers it right there.

     

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  31.  
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    joe stacey, May 5th, 2006 @ 10:41am

    Re: This lawsuit is illegal

    this isn't a matter of morals. this isn't a matter of "this is wrong" or "this is not wrong". this is a legal matter.

    try looking at the law. if they broke the law, they are liable. if they didn't, they're fine... it really is black and white.

    as we all know, the RIAA bullies you until you give in... and the court systems charge you for that bullying, so it's obvious that bearshare just gave up early..

     

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  32.  
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    JJ, May 5th, 2006 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Something for nothing

    You are an idiot and I believe you work for the RIAA. Let me explain a little thing called "Open Source" programming. I write Linux code/patches and distribute it to the masses. One of the ways I do it...P2P! There's your legitimacy. If you need more, you should back away from your computer and get out of Bill Gates' lap. moron.

     

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  33.  
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    txjump, May 5th, 2006 @ 10:48am

    It's not a silly example. It does emulate the very nature of p2p. There are other files you can get, files that are not illegal and people do share them, albeit not at the ratio that they share illegal files.

    But I can say there is more junk mail in my mailbox than legitimate mail. While junk mail is not illegal it is often questionable as to the tactics and wording. And a few years ago credit card companies got in big trouble for the contents of their mail. There were more credit card offers in my mailbox than legitimate mail. Doesn't mean the post office should be held responsible.

    I'm not saying that people should get something for nothing but I don't agree with going after the p2p creators.

     

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  34.  
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    txjump, May 5th, 2006 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: p2p

    The difference here is that with books, nothing gets duplicated

    my example said copies of books.

     

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  35.  
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    joe stacey, May 5th, 2006 @ 10:51am

    the fact that bearshare was LADEN with spyware/trojans/etc got me to thinkin'... maybe there was something bigger that bearshare was hiding.. and they just wanted the investigation to stop before it went any further..

     

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  36.  
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    Thomas Townsend, May 5th, 2006 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Something for nothing

    There's a fine bit of logic and reason that we all can learn from.

     

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  37.  
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    Tired of the blackmail, May 5th, 2006 @ 11:02am

    Craziness with the RIAA

    OK I agree we are tired of the blackmail the limiting of our freedoms to do what we please with our purchased products. I BUY MUSIC! I dont steal cars but I would never buy a car if the manufacturer could dictate to me who used it or who I could sell or give it to. I think the issue is we are not happy but we don't have a plan. We need to as consumers make it known to the RIAA that we will not only boycott but send letters to the artist and or companies that support the unsavory tactics that they use.

    We need to pick particular days and not buy music from artist who are part of this process of abusing consumers and send e mails and tell them that we would have purchased your CD but... you are involved with an agency that strong arms your consumers therefore you are on your own and if and when we listen to your stuuff it will be on radio FREE radio and not XM. I am not feeling warm and fuzzy about the music industry trying to big brother me.

    So if anyone knows of an organized boycott and response let me know if not lets talk about putting one together.

     

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  38.  
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    Todd, May 5th, 2006 @ 11:13am

    Go ahead, blame the software...

    Cool - so if I rip and post a bunch of protected songs and then send them to my MSN account - the RIAA will shut down Microsoft? Excellent!

     

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  39.  
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    txjump, May 5th, 2006 @ 11:16am

    Re: Go ahead, blame the software...

    Cool - so if I rip and post a bunch of protected songs and then send them to my MSN account - the RIAA will shut down Microsoft? Excellent!

    Funny! Lets see if we can get AOL users to do the same!

     

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  40.  
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    Mike (profile), May 5th, 2006 @ 11:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Something for nothing

    As I said earlier these programs may theoretically have a non-piracy value but that has rarely if ever been demonstrated in actual practice.

    I think any number of bands that used such platforms to build a name for themselves would disagree with you...

     

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  41.  
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    txjump, May 5th, 2006 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Something for nothing

    I think any number of bands that used such platforms to build a name for themselves would disagree with you...

    For him to understand this and to believe it he would have to use the software. He has probably never seen the bands that are legitimately listed on the p2p websites or the links in the app dialogs that show the artist.

    His assumption is that all files shared through p2p are illegal. Which, as we have said, is not a valid assumption.

     

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  42.  
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    Thomas Townsend, May 5th, 2006 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Something for nothing

    A fair point. However, my guess is that these bands and others who use thuis software for that excellent purpose have made it clear that the public is welcome to propogate their wares. Big name musicians etc have made it clear that they do not hold this view.

    Don't get me wrong - I am pro-democracy, pro-public freedom and public rights. But I have not read anything that dispels the idea that piracy violates these very principles by stepping on the toes of those who provide various forms of electronic content - these people deserve to get paid for their work. Bearshare, like Napster before them, knowingly and willingly facillitated piracy on a large scale. They knowingly and willingly violated the rights of those who made it clear they wanted to get paid.

    I don't think that getting paid for your work constitutes a bad economic system. I think that this is a system which has built-in sustainability, balances itself, and produces corruption but also justice at least some of the time.

     

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  43.  
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    fu riaa, May 5th, 2006 @ 11:43am

    do the math folks if everyone shares only say 1 song each and theres over a billon users on at any on given time the riaa would have to sue everyone that is sharing one song .. good luck in suing the world i think they will run out of money if everyone that shared one song fought the courts or at least made it worth their time and money // but i do support my local bands by going to thier gigs

     

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  44.  
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    Mike (profile), May 5th, 2006 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Something for nothing

    Bearshare, like Napster before them, knowingly and willingly facillitated piracy on a large scale. They knowingly and willingly violated the rights of those who made it clear they wanted to get paid.

    No. They provided a system, like FTP, the web, or email that made it possible for misuse to occur. The people who knowingly and willingly violated the rights of musicians did so by sharing music on such a system. It's an important distinction.

    I don't think that getting paid for your work constitutes a bad economic system. I think that this is a system which has built-in sustainability, balances itself, and produces corruption but also justice at least some of the time.

    Well, yes and no. Getting paid for your work is a good economic system -- but you have to recognize the basic economics at work here. With digital goods, the marginal cost = $0, and as your economics lessons taught you, if that's the case, as the market gets more competitive the price will get pushed towards $0 *anyway*. In other words, charging directly for digital products isn't a long term sustainable business model, no matter how you look at it.

    There is no *right* to get paid. There is only a right to try to sell a product... and then the market decides how much they're willing to pay for it.

    So, if the price is getting pushed towards nothing and people still want to get paid, the real issue is coming up with other business models -- which is exactly what many artists are doing. They're recognizing that they sell entertainment, not the specific music itself. The music acts as a promotion for additonal things, such as concerts, sponsorship deals, merchandise, CDs (some people do like having the tangible product) and even access to the band.

    This isn't to say that the people using Bearshare for illegal purposes didn't break the law. It is saying that the music industry needs to recognize the basic economic reality they face... and understand that they can embrace it and build a bigger market for themselves. If they stop thinking about *selling* music, and turn the price = $0 equation around, they could recognize that the music is a promotional good, and rather than a price =$0, they have a promotional item whose COST = $0. That's a huge benefit for them. It lowers the cost of promotions.

    They just need to figure out what they're promoting. Some bands have figured this out. Others will get it eventually.

    But, to hold back this innovation by saying we need to enforce an outdated system of FAKING scarcity so that the price no longer equals zero is an economic inefficiency that will eventually be a historical remnant.

     

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  45.  
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    bubba lipshitz, May 5th, 2006 @ 11:50am

    Re: Honesty

    humphhh...fuck you, towel head

     

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  46.  
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    txjump, May 5th, 2006 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Something for nothing

    So because some geeks dreamed up software for sharing music files and the software later became legitimately useful for other files, it should be illegal?

    The original intent does not negate its current legitimate usefullness.

     

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  47.  
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    David, May 5th, 2006 @ 11:58am

    Re: Proper Analogy

    Great Analogy. This can also include the Public Library System which have Photocopy machines on site and/or computer access on site, which allows the copying of books. You can also take your laptop and burn cds. Instead of going after the acutal pirates for profit, RIAA goes after the 13 year old who downloads a cr@p full of music and only listens to 1/10 of it. Instead of creating a buzz for "original" cds loaded with extras that cannot be obtain via filesharing, RIAA is biting the hand that feeds it.

     

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  48.  
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    cb, May 5th, 2006 @ 12:10pm

    Code Desiphered

    R- Real
    I - Idiots
    A- After
    A- ALL

     

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  49.  
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    txjump, May 5th, 2006 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Something for nothing

    ... - but you have to recognize the basic economics at work here.

    very eloquently said; however, the people running the riaa apparently have not taken macro or micro economics ;)

    if you want to get paid for something, you have to figure out how to market it and price it so that people will buy it.

    the wrench here is that for decades, music was done one way and then came along that darn new technology stuff that the masses have embraced.

    customer mentaility has evovled with technology, and so must the marketing and pricing. its just that change can be painful and resisting the change seems to be the easiest way out of having to invent a new system.

     

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  50.  
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    Jim, May 5th, 2006 @ 12:57pm

    Whatever

    I am simply concerned about musicians and composers getting ripped off. If file sharing has a legitimate use beyond music piracy, wonderful. All of you who download music without paying however, should either get a job or borrow some money from your mommies and go to your local music store!!!! I am not defending the record companies or music biz execs in any way, but musicians and composers deserve to get paid for what they own. If the argument is to leave file sharing software alone, (because of it's legitimacy) how do we keep music from being stolen?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), May 5th, 2006 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Whatever

    I am simply concerned about musicians and composers getting ripped off. If file sharing has a legitimate use beyond music piracy, wonderful.

    Right, so the way for them to get paid is to come up with a better business model, such as the one I outlined above.

    If the argument is to leave file sharing software alone, (because of it's legitimacy) how do we keep music from being stolen?

    Again, read the business model I pointed out above. Musicians stop selling *music* and start selling additional products around the music: concerts, sponsorships, merchandise, access, CDs etc... and let the music act as free promotions.

    Then people get to hear more music, and the good musicians still get paid.

    And nothing gets "stolen".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Joe Smith, May 5th, 2006 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Honesty

    File sharing may not be costing the recording industry anythng. In our house the kids have been known to download songs, the adults do not.

    The fact is however, that the kids seldom listen to the songs they have downloaded and have CD's for their favorite music. The adults never download and buy CDs from time to time.

    The overwhelming reasons for the drop in music sales, if there is a drop, are:
    1. people have more choices. My kids spend their money on video games not CD and their time playing games not listening to music
    2. most of the music is crap. How many times can you listen to dysfunctional Black American youths sing about engaging in violent crime or prostition and still find it entertaining. At least when I was a kid the songs were about doing recreational drugs which we could all participate in and relate to.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Artist, May 5th, 2006 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Re: Whatever

    How does a songwriter get paid from merchandise? How does a singer with a young child who wishes to limit her touring support the child if she can only get paid by touring? And please don't say they could always pursue different professions, because then we all lose by not getting to hear their art.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Jim, May 5th, 2006 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: Whatever

    There is nothing new about your business model. Musicians have been doing those things from the beginning of the recording industry, although I can see a need for artists to market recorded music more creatively to the consumer (bypassing the record industry machine).

    What do you do for a living? Can I use your service without paying... Or walk into your store and take something off the shelf and leave?

    The music "is" the product.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Jim, May 5th, 2006 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Re: Whatever

    There is nothing new about your business model. Musicians have been doing those things from the beginning of the recording industry, although I can see a need for artists to market recorded music more creatively to the consumer (bypassing the record industry machine).

    What do you do for a living? Can I use your service without paying... Or walk into your store and take something off the shelf and leave?

    The music "is" the product.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Mike Mixer, May 5th, 2006 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Proper Analogy

    I don't think the analogy works with a photocopy.
    The real allure of digital downloads of music or anything else is the your copy is fundamentally exact
    in all pespects to the original. you would have to copy a painting molecule for molecule, which is a very tall order, to achieve the same accuracy in a physical
    object. This is of course the root of all of the recording industries holy war. Never in history has the means to make high quality reproductions that are identical to the original in every way been so cheap and available. I remember seeing record stores being closed because they were selling copies of hit records made by pirates the costed 4 bucks a pop.
    if it costs 50 cents to make a copy now I would be surprised

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), May 5th, 2006 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Whatever

    How does a songwriter get paid from merchandise? How does a singer with a young child who wishes to limit her touring support the child if she can only get paid by touring? And please don't say they could always pursue different professions, because then we all lose by not getting to hear their art.

    And we all lose out if an artist can paint something great but can't get paid for it... but unfortunately, that's life. Some people can make money doing things, others can't.

    As for songwriters, that's easy. They should be paid-for-hire jobs. If someone wants them to write a song, pay them to write it. Most people work that way. Very few people help build a widget and then demand to get a % of the profits.

    The point is the business models are changing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), May 5th, 2006 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Whatever

    There is nothing new about your business model. Musicians have been doing those things from the beginning of the recording industry, although I can see a need for artists to market recorded music more creatively to the consumer (bypassing the record industry machine).

    Yes, there is something new about the business model. In the way I describe it, they start using their music for promotional value to *increase* the value of those other things. Also, I just gave you a quick version, but there's many more things they can do well beyond what is done today. For example, there's one band that has started its own travel agency to help fans travel with the band around the country. I'm not saying every band should do that, but it does show that bands are learning how to be creative in their business models.


    What do you do for a living? Can I use your service without paying... Or walk into your store and take something off the shelf and leave?

    You read Techdirt every day for free, don't you? We've figured out a business model that lets you do so. So, yup, you can use our product without paying. If you want us to create special content for you -- then you pay for us to create that content, nothing more. It's just like any other work-for-hire job. Companies pay us to create content, but we don't put limitations on what they do with it and we certainly don't demand a piece of the profits from what they do with that content.

    So, yeah, don't try to tell use we don't live by the same rules we spout. We do every day, and we're damn successful at it.

    Finally, no matter how many times people insist that copying a digital file is the same as "taking something off the shelf and leaving" it's not. Even the Supreme Court has said so. Nothing is *lost* in that case. I still have the digital item. That's the point. The marginal cost for a new version is zero... and thus the price gets pushed to zero over time. That's basic economics.

    You can ignore it if you want, but economics has a way of winning.

    The music "is" the product.

    Yup, just as the makers of buggy whips had that as their product once also. The point is that any reasonable person looks at the economics and the trends and recognizes that the market for music alone as a product disappears.

    But that's not a problem because there are a TON of other business models... many of which are doing quite well for bands.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Jim, May 5th, 2006 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Whatever

    Perhaps you don't understand the concept of royalties and residual income. It doesn't matter that "most" people work in pay-for-hire jobs. There are copyright and publishing laws put in place to protect certain types of work.
    When performers/musicians play live, THAT is a pay-for-hire job. What is so threatening to you that some people build "widgets" and continue to make residual income? Is it because you live in a career where that's not possible and you're jealous? Just pay for your music.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Jim, May 5th, 2006 @ 2:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Whatever

    Truly great musicians don't have time to start their own travel agency.. This is a tired and stupid argument....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), May 5th, 2006 @ 4:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Whatever

    Perhaps you don't understand the concept of royalties and residual income. It doesn't matter that "most" people work in pay-for-hire jobs. There are copyright and publishing laws put in place to protect certain types of work.

    No, I understand the concept very much. My point, as I've stated repeatedly, is that the market for such things is going away. That's simply what's happening. You can pretend it's not or focus on laws that try to pretend it's not... but it is.

    When performers/musicians play live, THAT is a pay-for-hire job. What is so threatening to you that some people build "widgets" and continue to make residual income? Is it because you live in a career where that's not possible and you're jealous? Just pay for your music.

    No. I do pay for my music. I've never downloaded a song illegally in my life. I have a large CD collection and I continue to buy CDs all the time (though, from independent artists).

    I'm not "threatend" at all. If people want to try to continue making money that way, they certainly should go ahead and do so. All I'm pointing out is that the market is clearly telling them it won't be possible for long. I'm trying to *HELP* them see other business models so they can continue to make money (in many cases MORE money) by adopting these new business models sooner, rather than later.

    As for my career? Are you crazy? I work in an industry where most of our competitor DO use that model. It's absolutely possible for us, but we're aware enough how the market is changing that we're leading the charge with a different business model -- and we're doing damn well with it. Better than our competitors who are shutting down and laying off people...

    So, I'll try it again slowly: I'm not saying that the musicians have to do this. I'm just saying if they stay the course, there's not going to be any market for them. So they're BETTER OFF adopting this new business model that lets them get EVEN MORE while making their fans EVEN HAPPIER.

    It's a total win-win situation. There's no loss involved. Why are you so threatened by it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), May 5th, 2006 @ 4:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Whatever


    Truly great musicians don't have time to start their own travel agency.. This is a tired and stupid argument....



    Wow, did you seriously misunderstand my comment that much? I even spelled it out for you. I wasn't saying everyone needs to start a travel agency. However, I was just pointing out there are plenty of business models that the music can help sell. And, I'm not saying the musicians themselves are the travel agents, but that something like the travel agency makes enough money that it's worth it to have the musicians doing music FULL TIME.

    This isn't that complicated.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    garfalk, May 5th, 2006 @ 6:56pm

    stupid cases

    i'm going to sue the keyboard and mouse manufacturers for giving me carpal tunnel.
    i'm going to sue the monitor/tv companies for giving me bad eyesight.
    i'm going to sue video game makers for making me have adhd.
    i'm going to sue my teachers for giving me bad grades.
    i'm going to sue my girlfreind for leaving me.
    i'm going to sue the house makers for puting the wall where i hit it everyday.
    so on and so forth.

    all of those are stupid, and if things like this keep on going, they are going to become reality.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    brandon, May 6th, 2006 @ 5:13am

    Re: Re: Proper Analogy

    While I agree from a moral stand point, from a legal one your argument is too hard to defend. We would have to say;"The post office can be fascilitators of illegal material so long as that material falls under a quantifyable quality". We would then have to also assert that if the reproduction quality of the peer-to-peer sharing was not high quality (when converting a file, you obviously can use various file sizes), then it would then be acceptable. We would have to draw a correlation between, say, the amount of pixels in a photocopy to the file size of the wma, mp3, what have you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Brandon, May 6th, 2006 @ 5:29am

    Let's Just Be Consistant

    Ok, if in your heart of hearts, you can pass this test, then you are free to come down on any one who shares music. Suppose you buy a CD at BestBuy. You then go home, and burn it to your own computer solely for convience reasons. You would NEVER consider sharing it on a peer-to-peer service, because that is wrong. Now, the original ends up in your car an you are listening to it on the way to work. Suppose your wife turns on the computer and is in the mood to listen to the same CD. To be consistant with your argument against sharing, she MUST first call you and make sure that you are not listening to it at the same time as to avoid DUPLICATION. Or if a friend borrows a physical CD, you first say "sure, just let me delete it from my ipod first, then you are welcome to it"

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    scot, May 6th, 2006 @ 8:30am

    Getting free music justifies paying $40 a month to your internet provider who allows scum bag web site developers to ladden our computers with pop ups, spyware, unwanted porn, and all the other malicious stuff that we have no control over. Sue the internet providers and the web hosts!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Jo Boy, May 6th, 2006 @ 10:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Proper Analogy

    "The post office can be fascilitators of illegal material so long as that material falls under a quantifyable quality"

    Ok then, let's just change the analogy from photocopying art to photographing with your shiny new 10 Megapixel camera some of Ansel Adams photographs. Hmmm might even turn out as better quality!

    When the technology becomes available, the dinosaur industries must adapt and change their buisness model like Mike has been trying to tell you anti-PTP peeps.

    The recording industry has created a biz model over the past 100 years that has basically brainwashed people with the idealogy that because you've made a great song you deserve millions for it! It's a big load of c*#p! Artists historically have starved, earning the big bucks is a relatively new phenomenon on the grand scale of art and human history! Did Michelangelo make millions off of David? No! And yet that piece of art has made more people happy that "Achy Breaky Heart" ever will, so why does Billy Ray Cyrus deserve to live in a mansion when Michelangelo did not? This is the great lie of the music industry and a part of what helps it to self perpetuate.

    You make music because you love it/have a tallent for it. The biz model is adjusting to where it historically should be.

    BTW, I have over 400 legitimate paid for CD's in my collection and add to it all the time. I have not used a PTP program since Napster was shut down, but am thinking about getting one ever since the Sony Music root kit fiasco.

    I recently purchased a Coldplay CD that won't play on my computer without installing something?!? So the obvious thing is to download some mp3's of the tracks as I have legitimatley paid for their use but am restricted from listening to them on my computer?

    Oddly enough this is why I did not go to the Coldplay concert. I hated the fact that they did this to me. Wake up musicians you are only shooting yourselves in the foot!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    poopy, May 6th, 2006 @ 9:41pm

    Re: p2p

    you go princess !!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    Sean, May 8th, 2006 @ 6:59am

    Strange

    They seem to still be around as their website is fully functional and willing to accept money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2006 @ 8:46am

    bearshare was for noobs that had no clue how the scene worked and was a joke form day one Im glad they are shutting down there worthless services,

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    GetSome, May 16th, 2006 @ 2:24am

    The price of a cd is less than a penny to manufacture and were paying an average of $15.00. I feel hosed. I dont belive anyone should get a free ride nor do i expect myself and others to pay for the ever increasing rise of cd's. The software (Bearshare) is like the radio, just digital. We have all copied music back in the day off the radio to casette tapes. Was there a problem then, NO! The problem now is the RIAA hasn't seen really seen a profit decrease but, see's a potential profit increase and they are pursueing it as opposed to coping tapes off the radio where their was no potential profit gain.

    As stated earlier Greed, Greed, Greed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Sorry for the grammar errors if any.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    blunted, May 18th, 2006 @ 9:46am

    lets sue cisco and microsoft

    Lets sue microsoft for allowing users to share files from their computer and install p2p programs. then lets sue Cisco for allowing illegal data to be crossed over their devices. Then lets sue the ISP's for bragging about dowload speeds and giving us the portal to download.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    george collin, May 20th, 2006 @ 9:56am

    Erm... what was Bearshare supposed to do? Check every file that is being shared to see if it is in violation of a copyright law? That would be impossible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    Regular Bearshare User, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Honesty

    I use bearshare all the time and I don't sell what I download it's for my enjoyment. What's the difference if I download off Bearshare or record it on my DVR from the music channels or make a tape from the radio. Tech they are all illegal in the eyes of RIAA. Artists don't make money from selling CDs it comes from concerts and touring. The only people making the money are the azzholes sueing. Information is free. Pirate on..And for every program like bearshre they shut more and more open, you can not stop sharing. Besides someone had to have payed somewhere down the line for those songs so we are just borrowing what has already been paid for.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    Fred, Jun 17th, 2006 @ 10:11pm

    Re: stupid cases

    My biggest qualm about the whole illegal download issue is the fact that recording artists are setting records every year for sales. If you really like an artist you buy their album, if you just like a song you’ll download it. The artists and companies who sign them are not hurt in the slightest. Sales show constant growth through the internet era which proves there is no issue. When an artist has to buy 5 cars instead of 6 because of a drop in sales, well then there might be a problem! But even then, I think they will get by….

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Brad, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 3:43pm

    It's The Least They Can Do!

    Hello my name is Brad and I am a soldier in the United States Army. I don't get to spend a lot of time away from whatever base I am stationed at due to the fact that we simply aren't given that leisure. So I spend most of my time on my PC downloading music and movies to help pass the time. Now to be completely honest with you after serving this country for three years with another one still left to serve I feel it is my right to download shit free of charge. I am one of many who put their life on the line so that the rich singers and actors can live comfortably in their big ass mansions without worrying about being attacked by a foreign government/terrorist organization. So I truly believe the least they can do is allow me to enjoy their music or movies without having to pay for them. That's all I have to say about this issue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 27th, 2006 @ 9:24am

    edonkey is next hopefully

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    chelsey stokes, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 7:32am

    bare share

    every time i type in FREE bare share it comes up my card number

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    chelsea, Jul 5th, 2006 @ 7:33am

    i hate bare share its crap

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Aug 5th, 2006 @ 8:15pm

    Re: Re: Something for nothing

    Looking in the past, I don't recall the recording industry being aghast when Edison invented the gramophone, or when some other tech invented the amplifier, the microphone, the CD, the cassette, etc. Nope, they took all those technology advances in stride.

    Digital recording, for example, allowed them to re-sell all the music we'd already bought on LPs to us again on CDs, for the increased fidelity.

    But along comes a technology that works against them, and out comes the hammer. Seems to me that the recording industry, overall, has benefited a great deal from technology. And they probably under-compensated the technology inventors every time. However, when the technology starts to work against this bloated industry based on (now) fake scarcity, they don't want to go back to the way it was when artists actually had to perform for a living.

    Recorded music, as Mike said, is no longer scarce. It has a marginal cost of 0. What is scarce, is live performances, and myriad other things that creative entrepreneurs and artists might think of selling. As an industry, the administration and overhead is bloated and probably needs to shrink over time. The artists, in the long run, will actually benefit, because they can use the new medium to access the public directly, instead of having to partner with the RIAA.

    This technology will eventually be seen as good for Artists, bad for the bloated industry, and good for consumers.

    Technology is neutral. It can do both good, and evil. It can work for you, or against you. Tough sh#t. As Mrs. Garrett taught us, you take the good, you take the bad, you take the rest and then you have the facts of life.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    identicon
    Remote Support Software, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 2:24pm

    Surprised By BearShare burning once.

    I was disappointed but not surprised to find that Bearshare allows one burn to a CD from the desktop then prompts for cash when trying to perform a second one. Of course, I didn't do any homework before trying the software. I just heard the name thrown around and thought it was the way to go. It was great...until the second write attempt.

    I could understand why they're doing this with thteir software since the lawsuit, they have no choice.

    I'll just have to find software that does. Media Player 10 is good but two burners installed in my computer and niether is recognized by the software. After checking on this problem I realized that there are alot of people who are also having similar problems with Microsoft desktop Media Player 10.


    Remote Assistance Software - - Software for Remote Desktop Support

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    identicon
    Remote Support Software, Oct 2nd, 2006 @ 8:50pm

    Surprised By BearShare burning once.

    Why stop bearshare and not every other peice of software that can burn CD's. This is the part I'm finding hard to believe. If the rules apply to bearshare then why don't they apply to all the others.
    I guess one answer could be that they are an easy target. Since bearshare is used to download software having the ability to just burn it right to a cd was I guess too much for the record industry to bear (no punn intended).
    Anyone could still burn cds on thier desktop after downloading just by getting other burning software and just burn the files. It's an extra step to take but the record industry doesn't stop alot of people from doing it.

    Thank you,

    Remote Support Software -|- PC Remote Support Software -|- Remote Desktop Support Software -|- Remote Assistance Software

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    anonymous caller, Feb 7th, 2007 @ 11:23pm

    bear share

    Just a comment on bearshare or the whole gnutnella network.. Why doesnt law enforcement totally ban any per to per server from being allowed to have any child porn on it at all?? That would be a very good way of keeping it off of otherwise curious pedophiliac types. It is on bearshare like stink on you know what. Anyone could download it, anyone could get busted for it, and big time busted. It's crap it is so available yet cops are busting down doors of not so bad people....its bull crap.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    identicon
    John Amos, Mar 8th, 2007 @ 3:54pm

    cds

    how do you burn cds on bear share

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    identicon
    The Hing, Dec 20th, 2007 @ 1:44pm

    I have to thank Bearshare for paying the music industry all the royalties that we owe the artists for downloading their music thru bearshare. Thats one less lawsuit I have to worry about.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    identicon
    sexy jimbo 1, May 4th, 2008 @ 5:15pm

    friends

    i made some great friends on bare share people and now i have lost them i very dissapointed will never get them back

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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