Sunday, May 26, 2002

DO THE RECORD COMPANYS WATCH BUFFY?: Specifically, the bit in season five where she's got those knight type blokes who say that even if she kills one of them, more will come, and then more and then more and... you get the point. Thing is, see, even Buffy couldn't defeat them with her superpowers. Obviously, Glory did, but she was a God and all, and the record industry ain't godlike. So, sure, they can have small victories over peer-to-peer networking, but all that happens after one is closed down is another six to spring up and take its place. Napster they finally slapped the lid down on this week, but it took so long - as we've discussed before here - all the closure did was offer an awful lot of publicity for the existence of p2p file swapping on the web; in effect, the American Record Industry spent a large portion of its legal bills on advertsing the likes of Napster and creating a huge market and demand for its service. Of course, those people had to go somewhere, so now the RIAA are desperately trying to fight an ever-increasing army of music swapping services. This they're doing, blissfully ignorant of the fact that they're merely giving acres of publicity to the fact these things are out there. No mainstream newspaper is going to endorse the use of Audiogalaxy, but now that the RIAA are going to be duking them out in court, you can expect lots of usefull advice such as "What is AudioGalaxy?", "How does audiogalaxy work?" and "What systems a bit like Audiogalaxy are there?" Likewise, even as The Register reports that Kazaa the original company has been sued to death, the technology and the service has merely mutated on to a different holding company. Sooner or later, someone in the Recording Industry is going to realise that the use of expensive lawyers to stop people sharing their tunes is never going to work. That the use of stupid b-list technology on CDs will not stop determined duplication, and only frustrate the people who do still buy records in shops -copy "protection" being the equivalent of a baker putting poison in his batch of loaves because one or two might be stolen today. The record labels need first of all to start to employ people who understand the way the web works, who understand the relationship people have with music - both paid for and - ahem - borrowed, and then they might see that fileswapping is an opportunity that they can come to an accomodation with, rather than the enemy that will anihilate them. Of course, I also believe that the Easter Bunny is in league with Mossad.


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