Monday, March 04, 2002

HEY! IS THAT WHERE THEY RIPPED THEIR STYLE FROM?: Yes, and now we're pinching text direct from
Forget Bob Dylan, Tony Bennett, Billy Joel - the most moving performance at this week's GRAMMY AWARDS came from old-time crooner Michael Greene, President of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, who waxed lyrical on the subject of the "comfort, solace and sweet celebration" that "the power of music" brings to the world. But then the lighting changed, the backing switched to monks chanting over a gothic trip-hop beat and, striding through the dry ice swirling across the stage, Greene went on to rap about how he'd personally witnessed the hood's darker side, where MP3 fans stole bands' livelihoods "one digital file at a time" - it's "out of control and oh so criminal", he wailed. The number ended with a cautionary tale of three kids he knew who fell in with a bad crowd, downloaded thousands of songs in a Morpheus binge, and are now presumably in the custody of the relevant authorities. Tragically, we don't have an audio recording of this potential floor-filler, but if anyone out there does, wouldn't it make a great remix anthem for our "World Wide Web/ of theft and indifference"? Also, from the way things are going, it sounds like he might just appreciate the royalties.
- been spending most my life/ livin' in a Napster's paradise

- the best bit about the speech is this bit:
Please say hello to Numair, Stephanie and Ed. In just a couple of days they have downloaded nearly 6,000 songs. That's three kids, folks. Now multiply that by millions of students and other computer users and the problem comes into sharp focus. Songwriters, singers, musicians, labels, publishers - the entire music food chain is at serious risk. The RIAA estimates that - now listen to this - an astounding 3.6 billion songs are illegally downloaded every month.
Yeah, but I do believe that some students actually spend some of their time working, rather than just desperately trying to download every song they can find. And one or two users in the UK waiting for Broadband to reach their area and their budget may be gagging at the thought of trying to download a song every minute and a half (which is what three users accessing 6,000 tracks in two days means, of course. And 3.6 billion songs a month? Isn't that everybody in the world downloading six songs a year? Isn't that hugely unlikely?

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