14.0129 Internet music technologies

From: Humanist Discussion Group (willard@lists.village.virginia.edu)
Date: Wed Jul 19 2000 - 07:13:21 CUT

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                   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 <david@ninch.org>

    News on Networking Cultural Heritage Resources
    from across the Community
    July 18, 2000


    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.

    David Green

    >Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2000 18:20:16 -0700
    >To: current@artswire.org
    >From: Arts Wire Current <awcurr@artswire.org>
    >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 jmalloy@artswire.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
    > >>>>SNIP>>>
    >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
    >its database.
    >"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
    >in music."
    >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.
    >Doug Brown
    >"Music Hearings Rock Senate"
    >July 11, 2000
    >Lisa Napoli
    >"Congress debates Napster, MP3;
    >Metallica drummer and Napster CEO testify on digital music"
    >MSNBC --
    >July 11, 2000
    >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
    >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.
    >Major support provided by the Masters of Arts Management Program
    >of Carnegie Mellon University.
    >Arts Wire (TM) is a service mark of the New York Foundation for
    >the Arts.

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