Let Them Sell T-Shirts

from the arrogance dept

An interesting look at the Napster case from the standpoint of how bad it’s making both sides look. Basically the article says that both the music industry and the technology industry are coming off as extremely arrogant in the case. While I agree that’s true, I don’t see it as bad as the columnist does. It’s a case where both sides believe very strongly in what they’re saying, and those viewpoints are in direct conflict with each other. It’s only natural for each side to defend themselves strongly, as they have conviction in their beliefs. Yes, it may come off as arrogant, but at least they believe in what they’re saying. Also, I don’t think the case can be boiled down to the simple statements that are made in the article. There are a lot of very complex issues at stakes, and “let them sell t-shirts” is not a fair statement of Napster’s point of view, while neither is the concept that the music industry “hates its customers”.

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Comments on “Let Them Sell T-Shirts”

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Ed Classic says:

Since when...

…does Napster represent The Technology Industry (TM)?

Napster represents itself and a handful of pseudo-radical cyberpunk wannabes who can’t get past the meaningless mantra of “Information Wants To Be Free” (also TM).

I guess I just don’t get it. TechDirt is great at pointing out how stupid it is when people take an ordinary business, put it on Da Web, and call it “A New Revolution in E-Commerce” (yet another TM). Why does Napster get a break? People have been copying music for decades, Napster just “Brings the Power of The Internet” (TM again) to the process.

Also, what, exactly, was their business plan again? I keep forgetting how they intend to make a profit….

Finally, the Fortune writer describes the Recording Industry as the industry most hated by its clients. I guess no one ever told him about the “Smarmy Technology Pundit” category.

Ed Classic — drawing flames since 1999 (TM, Pat. Pending)

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Since when...

Profits? How silly of you to think companies need profits. I know that’s what everyone’s talking about, but it’s still a hype game. People pat themselves on the back and say that they weren’t as stupid as the next guy and they really didn’t believe all those dot coms were that hot anyway, but it’s all bullshit. Everyone still gets sucked up into the hype plays.

Oh, and as for Techdirt’s ability to point out the sillyness of taking a standard business, putting it on the web, and calling it revolutionary, it runs in the family (see the comment below the post).

mhh5 says:

Settle down...

When did Techdirt.com become “no-internet-news-can-be-cynical-enough-for-us.com”? Can we balance the story categories a little bit? We have “Failures” and “Stupidity”, can we start “Successes” and “Intelligence”? Or is that already covered by “News you should have read elsewhere”?

I think part of being critical is not only recognizing bad ideas but also the good ones too… Maybe Compaq really will regain market share :P. (Or maybe Ryan just has some CPQ he wants to unload…)

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Settle down...

Besides, it’s a much more distinct moment when a “failure” occurs. At what point do we crown a success? It’s not as clear, and it’s just not nearly as interesting. Techdirt’s purpose is to be informative for tech and business people, and success stories sometimes are (and we do post case studies of success stories as well), but often they seem more like gloating. Failures tend to be a lot more educational…

Ryan says:

Re: Re: Re: Keep it comin'

I still really do believe that compaq will make a come back (and I don’t own compaq stock, the only equity I own is nameplanet.com and it’s still private). Sometimes techdirt is a little negative but it sort of serves as a balance to clear some of the copious amounts of hype produced. However, I have to admit that I’m one of the more optimistic members of techdirt and I occasionally like to peep over to the bright side (which occasionally happens!). I’m currently thinking of renaming myself NEO, what do you think? Ha!

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