Monday Morning Napster

from the it's-everywhere dept

Just looking at Wired and this morning it looks like a big Napster Monday with stories everywhere. is running a complete Napster roundup with a summary of the issues and four additional articles. Wired, meanwhile, points out that Napster itself might not be relevent any more and that a backlash has occurred since it kicked off 300,000 users thanks to Metallica’s whining. I’m beginning to get the feeling this whole Napster craze is a bit overplayed… Update: Here’s a good link to a story about Lars from Metallica and Chuck D debating pros and cons of Napster on the Charlie Rose show. It seems pretty clear that Lars is completely clueless on the matter. I didn’t see the broadcast myself, but it’ll probably be rebroadcast here in a couple of hours and I’ll try to catch it.

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Comments on “Monday Morning Napster”

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Mike (profile) says:

Lars vs. Chuck D

I just watched the rebroadcast of this show and thought I’d post my comments here… The thing that got me was how clueless Lars seemed about everything, and not just the technology, but economics, human nature, and business.

He kept insisting that this wasn’t against the end users, but against Napster, since they wanted to go out and IPO and make millions of dollars that should belong to him and the record company. He even says “Come on, this is America, no one does anything for free. They just want to IPO and make millions” (that’s a paraphrase, but he said all that… just maybe not in that order). At one point Lars claims that his argument is bulletproof because “someone has to make the money” and the question is whether it should be Napster or the recording industry, and obviously it has to be the recording industry.

He also says that they encourage people to bootleg their shows and all that because they’re not perfect copies, but MP3s are, so that’s where his problem is… (you notice a pattern of cluelessness).

The thing he keeps going back to is “control”. He says it about a hundred times, and makes it sound as if no one should be allowed to ever listen to his music without his personal approval.

He also kept emphasizing that all he’s really trying to do is start a debate, and his fans should respect him more for that. When Chuck D tells him that the tool is great for small bands who would never be heard otherwise, Lars agrees and says he’s not trying to stop that, but then explains why Napster should be shut down altogether. As an alternative solution he suggests that Napster should be like the “book of the month” club, where they ask bands if they want to participate, and then they’ll send a song to each user each month, and that user has a choice to either pay or “send it back”.

He also says “If fans like our music they should pay the $16 that the market has determed is the price for our CD”. I guess he doesn’t know that this is an artificially elevated price:

And, I guess that he doesn’t think the “market” works when it says the cost of his MP3s should be zero…

Chuck D on the other hand does a good job of saying “this is what’s happening, learn to live with it.” He makes the point that the problem is caused by lawyers and accountants who count “what’s not there”. That is, they make up all these crazy numbers about “lost sales” of people who have pirated materials that they never actually would have bought in the first place.

RAIDER says:

Re: Lars vs. Chuck D

i think eveyone is acting like a bunch of babies!! People make music for other people to listen to not everyone is going to go out and buy CD’s. There is really no difference between cd burners and files like Napster and Kazaa – if some one buys a cd and someone else can burn it for free they will and no one seems to try and stop the sales of cd burners. STOP THE LAWSUITS AND LET PEOPLE DOWNLOAD MUSIC!!

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