Update On Choruss: Universities Not Talking, Mysterious 10,000 Students Still Nowhere To Be Found

from the still-waiting... dept

We've been pretty big critics of the music tax concept, that was being pushed by Jim Griffin's Choruss along with Warner Music (who had hired Griffin to create this program). Of course, we've only been able to criticize what bits and pieces have leaked out from those who have seen Griffin's presentations. That's because, despite a busy conference schedule, Griffin never seems to publicly describe what Choruss really is. So, every time we hear some new info about Choruss, and explain why it's bad, we get angry emails from Griffin calling me all sorts of insulting names, and insisting that I've mischaracterized Choruss. So, we ask for more details, and we don't get them. Instead, we're given amorphous descriptions about how it's "an experiment." But what is the experiment? Well, it will be lots of things. As soon as we narrow in on an example, however, and explain why it's bad, we're attacked because the plan might not include that particular example. But we haven't yet heard an example that makes sense.

Griffin had agreed (as part of an angry email) to answer questions from the Techdirt community, and we obliged by sending him a long list of questions. Griffin had some personal issues to deal with over the summer, which was totally understandable, but we still haven't heard any answers. I'm beginning to wonder if we ever will.

But the biggest question I had was if he could explain who the "tens of thousands" of students were who Griffin told a conference in June would be using Choruss this fall semester. It seemed odd to find out that so many students had signed up for something when we still weren't being told what it was. As the fall semester started, we asked to hear from students who were using Choruss, and got silence -- which seemed odd. Apparently, it's because those tens of thousands of students hadn't signed up for the fall.

However, as a bunch of you have sent in, now the claim is that six college campuses will be testing Choruss this spring semester, but Griffin won't say who they are and the campuses won't admit to participating. They claim that they're afraid of backlash from folks like us -- but that makes me wonder. If the concept is so good, why not stand up and defend yourself for being a part of the program? If you can't defend the reasons for testing the program, it makes me wonder why you're doing it in the first place.

The article at the Chronicle of Higher Education provides a few new details that don't sound particularly appealing. Rather than (as some had suggested earlier, but since Griffin never made it clear, we just don't know if this was ever true) a system that would let students share files freely under some sort of blanket license, it sounds like "yet another limited music service." It will allow unlimited downloads, but you have to use the Choruss service (again, perhaps the article is wrong, but that's what it says). Similar services have been tried on various campuses and failed, so we're curious to hear what's so special about Choruss that will be different.

It still seems like Choruss is trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. We're seeing more and more smart musicians put in place business models that work. They work in a way that lets fans choose to send money to the artists they want to support directly, without a big middleman. Choruss appears (from all we've heard) to be an attempt to set up a big middleman that will take big chunks of money and then use some magical process to figure out how to dole it out. But why do we need that overhead? The market is figuring stuff out. It doesn't need another middleman.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 2:06pm

    Ruckus 2.0 to the (non-)rescue!

     

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

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 2:29pm

    I hear Spotify is quite popular with the kids. Why not use that?

     

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

  3.  
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    davebarnes (profile), Nov 6th, 2009 @ 2:39pm

    Experiments

    The USA is an experiment. Mostly good.
    The Soviet Union was an experiment. Mostly bad.
    Choruss is an experiment. I will leave up to you to decide: good or bad.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 2:43pm

    John W Campbell Quote

    History does not always repeat itself. Sometimes it just yells “Can’t you remember anything I told you?” and lets fly with a club.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 3:15pm

    Ashamed?

    Griffin won't say who they are and the campuses won't admit to participating.

    I wonder if that might be because they're ashamed of themselves.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 3:21pm

    It does seem possible that Mr. Griffin might send an email that could be viewed as having an underlying "angry" tone, but I rather doubt that he would engage in "calling me all sorts of insulting names"; unless, of course, disagreeing with you is deemed to be "calling me all sorts of insulting names".

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 3:24pm

    Re:

    Hi Mr. Psychic, can you give me the lottery numbers for next week?

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 3:28pm

    Why would student users pay to participate when they don't have to in order to share files? On a campus there are even more options, since so many people live there or spend large amounts of time there. You can just hand a CD, DVD, or flash card to someone in person. For stuff that current students don't have yet, they can just have their siblings or friends back home obtain it. It's a much less restrictive process.

     

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  9.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 6th, 2009 @ 3:35pm

    Re:

    It does seem possible that Mr. Griffin might send an email that could be viewed as having an underlying "angry" tone, but I rather doubt that he would engage in "calling me all sorts of insulting names"; unless, of course, disagreeing with you is deemed to be "calling me all sorts of insulting names".

    Have you ever dealt with Mr. Griffin. I do not wish to publish private correspondance, but a sampling of what he has sent me.

    "you are simply a fraud"

    "a pile of crap"

    "you lie intentionally"

    In another email he called me a "nut."

    I would consider those insults, do you not? Griffin has also done worse to others: http://www.p2pnet.net/story/26046

     

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

  10.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 6th, 2009 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Re:

    Oh separately, in another email, he admits to insulting me on purpose: "But I need to alert you like a toreador to a bull to get you to pay attention and hone in on what is happening. If it means hitting upside the head with an insult I'll do it...."

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 3:57pm

    Having read the linked article I was pleased to note the absence of anything that even remotely resembles an insult.

     

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

  12.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 6th, 2009 @ 4:24pm

    Re:

    Having read the linked article I was pleased to note the absence of anything that even remotely resembles an insult.

    Accusing Jon of hate speech? Of encouraging violence? You don't consider that an insult? You have a very strange way of looking at things. Especially for someone who has yelled about how "immoral" most of us are on this forum.

     

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  13.  
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    Peggy Marton, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 4:54pm

    middlemen

    I think middlemen have been the basis of a lot of our troubles in this country and the fewer the better. We would have a much more intellegent population if they had to find things out for themselves instead of paying someone to find it for them. Just the process of research to find something you want to solve some problem takes many brain expendatures. I think that is what simplify means - eliminate the middleman.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 5:44pm

    Re: Re:

    "Especially for someone who has yelled about how "immoral" most of us are on this forum."

    If you say so then it must be true, even if it is not.

    As for the "hate speech" reference, my reading was a disagreement over what people are permitted to post, with Mr. Griffin opining that some of the poster comments were inappropriate and the other gentleman taking a position akin to an absolutist view of the First Amendment.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 7:12pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you say so then it must be true, even if it is not.

    Hey Jim, welcome to the show!

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 8:13pm

    Passive-Aggression Doesn�t Wash Here

    If you say so then it must be true, even if it is not.

    Classic wank.

     

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

  17.  
    icon
    www.eZee.se (profile), Nov 8th, 2009 @ 7:43am

    More eyeballs needed

    Hey!

    Nice article Mike, the only problem we see with it is that this issue is not getting enough publicity, we though we would help in fixing that:

    http://ezee.se/articles-blog2/2009/11/08/move-over-nigeria-we-have-a-new-contender/

    Chee rs!

     

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

  18.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 9th, 2009 @ 6:42am

    ROFL ....

    Silly little middle men ..... the efficiencies that have crept into every other industry are finally creeping into the media distribution industries.

     

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

  19.  
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    Mechwarrior, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 6:53am

    Re:

    Sarcasm noted.

     

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

  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2009 @ 1:25pm

    Re:

    Indeed. I much prefer sharing physical media over p2p. If you live in a densely populated area its really easy.

     

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

  21.  
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    ChadBroChill (profile), Nov 11th, 2009 @ 10:04pm

    On the 19th . . .

    in Beverly Hills here is a panel discussion on piracy. Your boy Jim will be there, and you can ask him these questions in person. I think it would be good information, and I would like to read a rundown of what goes on (as I cannot attend myself).

     

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


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