Again, I say to you, there is nothing you can do here. You can't track what everyone does on the Internet. There are millions of people using P2P file sharing services; are you going to arrest and throw them all in jail? Not likely. The industry's aggressive push to get rid of P2P sharing is simply pushing the next evolution of it. And the next evolution will be a Gnutella style network with Fasttrack network convenience and speed. That is, they won't be able to take it down. Period.
Posted December 19 2001 - 06:26 AM
| I would be open to suggestions as to how to curb the unlawful use of my material while avoiding using restrictive copy protection methods. |
You can't, plain and simple. Sorry, but there's really not a damn thing you can do to stop this. Intellectual property (IP) has always been pirated and will always be pirated. What you CAN do is provide a good value and good reason to actually purchase your product. If you're trying to make a small fortune, more people are going to simply make copies. If you're fair with your pricing, and offer a nice box, well written manuals, excellent support, etc (depending on what it is you're selling), then you'll bring in more buyers.
The industry claims their profits are down now due to piracy, but they forget that the economy has soured. It's hard to go out and buy CDs when you're struggling to put food on the table.
| I can tell you from first hand experience that as soon as my album hit Napster, sales decreased dramatically, and did not resume normal levels until Napster was gone. |
I hesitate to believe this. The Fasttrack network (Kazaa/Morpheus) is highly successful, just as Napster was. Are you sales still dramatically down? If P2P sharing was the problem, they would be.
The music industry experienced significant growth during Napster's heyday. Sales were up. Money was rolling in. I personally never bought more CDs than when I was using Napster. I ran across so many new artists that I had never heard of, and old artists I'd forgotten. Despite what the industry would like you to believe, it's a pain in the ass to download an entire album even with a high speed connection. Then you've got to check the tracks to make sure the quality is worth keeping. It's just easier to buy it.
| why not just jack the price up on blank CDs to something like $5 per disc and take their royalties from there? |
Because that's complete and utter bullshit. I buy blank CDs in spindles of hundreds, not for copying music, but for backing up computer data. If it comes down to the point that I have to pay a royalty to the music industry for doing this, I will cease buying music and begin downloading everything I want to hear or copying from friends. If they're charging me because they think I'm a pirate, then I might as well be one.
It's sad that the industry is attacking their own customers. Nevermind that this will do nothing to stop piracy. It will be cracked, or someone will simply plug the line-out of a CD player into the line-in on their soundcard to make a copy. Within hours it will be all over P2P filesharing services. Music sharing like this is widespread for a reason: $17.99 per CD. When the same material on cassette goes for $9.99. Singles are $5 a pop. 5 years ago I could buy almost any CD for $14.99; the prices just keep going up while the value goes down, not to mention the fact that these industry produced bands release one or two good songs per CD, with 8 to 10 crappy ones. It's no wonder people opt to download music - why would you pay almost $20 for two songs? A movies costs many times more than an album, and most DVDs I buy are less than CDs. Isn't that a little ridiculous?
I encourage all of you to email Universal and other studios and tell them how you feel: http://www.umusicpub...ack_frames.html
Other studios I believe are underneath Universal:
| Whether that means charging file sharing services for distribution royalties and heavily prosecuting those who violate the usage rights, or providing pay per use, or some other subscription service |