Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 129.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 07:44:04 +0100
From: NINCH-ANNOUNCE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: News: "MUSICIANS, EXECS TESTIFY TO CONGRESS ABOUT
INTERNET MUSIC TECHNOLOGIES"
News on Networking Cultural Heritage Resources
from across the Community
July 18, 2000
MUSICIANS, EXECS TESTIFY TO CONGRESS ABOUT INTERNET MUSIC TECHNOLOGIES
I thought this was a good account of the recent Congressional testimony on
the impact of new technologies on the delivery of music, with good
references at the foot.
>Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2000 18:20:16 -0700
>From: Arts Wire Current <email@example.com>
>Arts Wire CURRENT July 18, 2000
>Arts Wire CURRENT Volume 9, No. 29
>Arts Wire CURRENT
>Arts Wire CURRENT Judy Malloy, Editor
>Arts Wire CURRENT firstname.lastname@example.org
>Arts Wire CURRENT is a project of Arts Wire, a national
>computer-based network serving the arts community. Arts Wire
>CURRENT features news updates on social, economic, philosophical,
>and political issues affecting the arts and culture. Your
>contributions are invited. Contact Judy Malloy, editor, at
>MUSICIANS, EXECS TESTIFY TO CONGRESS ABOUT INTERNET MUSIC TECHNOLOGIES
>WASHINGTON, DC -- Last week a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee
>hearing examined how music-swapping software -- as used by Napster
>and other MP3 companies -- impacts on musicians and record
>Musicians and music industry executives -- including Metallica
>drummer Lars Ulrich; Roger McGuinn, co-founder of The Byrds;
>Napster's new Chief Executive Hank Barry; Michael Robertson, the
>founder of MP3.com; and Gene Hoffman, Jr., founder and
>chief executive officer of Emusic.com, Inc. -- testified to
>Senators Orrin Hatch, Diane Feinstein, Patrick Leahy, Charles
>Schumer, and others.
>"I love the innovation that is coming in the digital world," ZDNET
>INTER@CTIVE WEEK quotes Sen. Leahy (D-VT) as saying. "But we're
>not going to have photographers, artists and others contributing
>unless there is some gain to them. And so we're going to have to
>figure out how to do that."
>Online uses of MP3 (a file format for storing digital audio with
>audio quality rivaling that of CDs but requiring a tenth the size
>of normal audio files) have engendered several court cases
>recently -- notably a suit by the Recording Industry Association
>of America (RIAA) against Napster (which facilitates locating and
>downloading music in MP3 format) and a recent court decision in
>which a federal judge found in favor of a recording industry
>group, ruling that MP3.com's My.MP3.com service was violating
>their copyrights by allowing users to access about 80,000 CDs in
>"I don't have a problem with any artist voluntarily distributing
>his or her songs through any means the artist elects-- at no cost
>to the consumer, if that's what the artist wants," Lars Ulrich
>told the Committee. "But just like a carpenter who crafts a table
>gets to decide whether to keep it, sell it or give it away ,
>shouldn't we have the same options? My band authored the music
>which is Napster's lifeblood. We should decide what happens to
>it, not Napster -- a company with no rights in our recordings,
>which never invested a penny in Metallica's music or had anything
>to do with its creation. The choice has been taken away from us."
>Ulrich, who was born in Denmark, came to America with his parents
>in 1980 when he was a teenager. In 1981, he started the band
>named Metallica with his best friend James Hetfield. Metallica was
>the first band to sue Napster.
>"Remember too, that my band, Metallica, is fortunate enough to
>make a great living from what it does," Ulrich said. "Most artists
>are barely earning a decent wage and need every source of revenue
>available to scrape by. Also keep in mind that the primary source
>of income for most songwriters is from the sale of records. Every
>time a Napster enthusiast downloads a song, it takes money from
>the pockets of all these members of the creative community."
>In response, Napster CEO Hank Barry stated, according to
>Inter@ctive Week, that the estimated 20 million Netizens who use
>the Napster service are simply "sharing" their music collections
>with one another, and that what Napster promotes isn't wholesale
>theft of works of art as much as "sampling" of the music by
>devotees and music fans in general. People listen to songs on
>Napster," Inter@ctive Week quotes him as saying, "and then they
>are going out and buying the CD's. We are generating interest
>But in his testimony, Ulrich likened the use of Napster to walking
>into a record store, grabbing what you want and walking out. "The
>difference is that the familiar phrase a computer user hears,
>'File's done,' is replaced by another familiar phrase:'You're
>under arrest,'" he stated.
>The argument he hears a lot, Ulrich continued -- "music should be
>free" -- means that musicians should work for free. "Nobody else
>works for free. Why should musicians?"
>A solution which could work for both artists and consumers was
>offered by Gene Hoffman, whose Emusic.com, makes downloadable MP3
>music files available for purchase, at $.99 for single songs and
>$8.99 for albums. Inter@ctive Week reports that Hoffman told the
>Committee that his company has direct relationships with artists
>and exclusive licensing agreements with over 650 independent
>record labels. We play by the rules, and are "on the forefront of
>how new music will be discovered, delivered and enjoyed in the
>next decade," Inter@ctive week quotes him as saying.
>Metallica's Lars Ulrich also affirmed the technological advances
>and cost savings which the Internet can engender. "Mr. Chairman,
>Senator Leahy and Members of the Committee, the title of today's
>hearing asks the question, 'The Future of the Internet: Is there
>an Upside to Downloading?' My answer is yes. However, as I hope
>my remarks have made clear, this can only occur when artists'
>choices are respected and their creative efforts protected."
>Byrd's Co-founder Roger McGuinn, who testified after the Ulrich,
>strongly supported music distribution technology as an alternative
>for artists -- saying, according to MSNBC, that he turned to
>MP3.com because the 50-50 royalties from record companies had not
>been enough to support his family.
>Fred Ehrlich, President of New Technology and Business Development
>for Sony Music Entertainment Inc., also stressed the positive
>aspects of new technologies. Among the promising new models listed
>in his testimony are streaming transmissions in which the sound
>recording is transmitted to the consumer but not in a downloadable
>format; webcasting, in which consumers enjoy a new form of on-line
>radio with music more directly targeted to their preferences; and
>live streams, such as the live Internet broadcasts of our artists'
>Additionally, Ehrlich described new subscription models, which
>allow record labels to offer tiered services (for instance a
>choice of albums or singles) to more closely match consumer
>preferences, in both the streaming and downloadable format;
>(delivered through a variety of playback media, including digital
>TVs and wireless and other portable devices) and kiosks, in places
>ranging from records stores to fast-food restaurants, which will
>allow consumers to access a large reserve of available works,
>including artists' back catalogues.
>"The music industry is ready, willing and able to use digital
>technology to bring music to consumers in ever more creative
>ways," Ehlich stated. "...All we ask -- and it seems fairly basic
>-- is the continued application of copyright laws to ensure a
>system that respects and protects music rights in cyberspace. We
>believe -- in fact, this belief is at the core of our business --
>that a legitimate system of the protection of rights sets off a
>domino effect for true e-commerce, where creators of technology,
>creators of music, and the consumer all benefit. ...."
>Committee Chairman Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said the purpose of
>the hearing was not to interfere with technological standards
>setting or with pending litigation, according MSNBC, But MSNBC
>also quotes him as saying at the close of the inquiry: "What we're
>hearing is that fair and reasonable licensing needs to take
>The RIAA vs Napster trial is scheduled to begin at the end of this
>month. "Many watching the case believe it is possible that that
>will be the day Napster could be forced to shut down, unleashing
>what will invariably be a flurry of dissent," MSNBC states.
>"Music Hearings Rock Senate"
>ZDNET INTER@CTIVE WEEK --
>July 11, 2000
>"Congress debates Napster, MP3;
>Metallica drummer and Napster CEO testify on digital music"
>July 11, 2000
>THE RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA (RIAA)
>WEBSITE -- <http://www.riaa.com>http://www.riaa.com
>contains key testimony from the hearing as well as
>a series of articles on "The Upside of Music on the Web"
>by Thomas Dolby Robertson
>METALLICA WEBSITE -- <http://www.metallica.com>http://www.metallica.com
>NAPSTER WEB SITE -- <http://www.napster.com>http://www.napster.com
>MP3 WEB SITE -- <http://www.mp3.com>http://www.mp3.com
>ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION (EFF) CAMPAIGN FOR AUDIOVISUAL FREE
>EXPRESSION (CAFE) -- <http://www.eff.org/cafe/>http://www.eff.org/cafe/
>"House to Look at Effect of MP3 Companies on Small Music
>Arts Wire CURRENT --
>May 16, 2000
>Arts Wire CURRENT is available at
>and an archive of past issues
>can be found at
>For a free subscription to CURRENT, visit
>Arts Wire is a program of the New York Foundation for the Arts.
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