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RIAA Attacked… By A Record Company?

“We at Go-Kart Records want to make it perfectly clear that the RIAA does not represent the views of all record labels. So, we are putting our music where our mouth is to prove a point. We believe that if you like the music you hear you will support it by going to shows, telling your friends, and buying the bands CDs. With this in mind, we are allowing people to download some of our current releases at NO charge. In other words, we are essentially GIVING these albums away! Click Here to Learn More

We feel that only by embracing technology can we gain from it, and that a battle like the one that the RIAA is fighting can simply not be won. To read a more in depth article about why we feel the RIAA is wrong please Click here and please send this email and/or the open letter to the RIAA to as many people as you can. Only by educating each other can we hope to take advantage of the technical innovations and not run scared from them.”

Wired News: New Napster, IPod Don’t Play Nice

“With its relaunch on Thursday, Napster, the most notorious name in music downloads, will collide with the hottest music player on the market, the iPod.

That’s because music downloaded from Napster will not be playable on Apple’s insanely popular iPod. The newly legal Napster service and the iPod use incompatible file formats.”

New Scientist: Innocent file-sharers could appear guilty

“A research paper highlighting security weaknesses in a popular internet file-sharing network has raised concerns that innocent users could in theory be wrongly accused of sharing copyrighted music. [...]

It describes various techniques that could be used to make it appear to a third party on the Gnutella network as if an innocent user is hosting or searching for copyrighted files. It also describes methods for tricking users into inadvertently downloading copyrighted files so that they actually host these files.”

iTMS for Windows: Will Apple be successful? Part 2

“Apple’s strategy at the moment seems sound. Adam Engst, publisher of Mac community newsletter TidBITS, told the E-Commerce Times that with more than 1 million iPods sold since the device was introduced, Apple likely is enjoying a significant profit margin. Moreover, the iPod marketing strategy shows the company is moving in the direction of consumer electronics while still leveraging its many millions of Mac users as an initial target market.

‘And just as with the iTunes Music Store, the iPod is simply better done than most of the competitors—better interface, better integration, better industrial design and so on,’ Engst added. ‘If Apple can repeat that win in other areas that bridge the gap between computers and consumer electronics, they could be highly successful, even without gaining much market share on the computer side.’”

Washington Post: Music Industry Will Talk Before Suing

“The music industry, criticized for its recent wave of lawsuits aimed at stopping song swapping on the Internet, agreed yesterday to contact future defendants before they are sued and give them a chance to pay a cash settlement or argue that they have been mistakenly accused of copyright infringement.”

Reuters: MusicMatch launches digital download service

“MusicMatch, the software company best known for its popular music player, on Monday launched a pay-as-you-download music service, the latest entrant in the increasingly heated market for online music.

Offering a library of more than 200,000 songs at 99 cents each, the MusicMatch service will allow computer users to buy and download music with few restrictions, a model pioneered by Apple Computer Inc.‘s (AAPL)  iTunes Music Store in May.”

USA TODAY: Windows-based MusicMatch hopes to match Apple iTunes

“MusicMatch CEO Dennis Mudd calls his 99-cents-a-song service a ‘breakthrough,’ because he acquired liberal usage rules similar to those in Apple’s acclaimed iTunes Music Store: Buyers can burn songs and transfer them to portable devices as often as they want. [...]

MusicMatch is the first Windows-based service to obtain looser licensing terms. ‘We held off launching until we could get these rules,” Mudd says. “If you make it too hard on users, they’ll just go to Kazaa.’”

Silicon Valley: Dell rebrands and industry responds

“They’ve used this announcement to lay down the gauntlet to HP, Apple and to some extent Sony,’ said Tim Bajarin, president of the Creative Strategies consulting firm. ‘Everything that Dell’s doing right now is extremely calculated.’ [...]

Apple fired off a dismissive statement about Dell’s entry into the digital music business.

‘It appears that Dell is re-branding one of the second-tier music services that will be announced soon, just like they are re-branding Creative’s MP3 player. There is little original here,’ Apple’s statement said.”

CNET: MusicMatch, Dell to launch music stores

“MusicMatch plans to jump into the digital song-selling business next week, with Dell promoting the company’s new download service, sources familiar with the plan said. 

The Internet music software company’s service, which will provide a new online rival to Apple Computer’s iTunes and BuyMusic, will use the popular MusicMatch Jukebox software and will distribute music in Microsoft’s Windows Media format, sources said. The announcement is expected as soon as Monday.”

Dell Music Store and DJ player announced

Today Dell announced that it will be releasing a new music service and a new digital music player dubbed ‘Digital Jukebox’ or ‘DJ’. Dell describes the iPod-like device as “a digital music player featuring a sleek design, with large storage capacity, excellent battery life and easy-to-use controls.” The Dell Music Store is described as “the new music download service that offers thousands of music selections and allows seamless, legal downloading of songs to the Dell DJ. The service can also analyze customers’ song play history to recommend specific artists and songs that can be purchased using the service.” “Pricing and additional details of Dell’s new consumer electronics and computers will be announced when the products become available.”

Washington Post: BMG Offers Legal Song Sharing

“BMG Entertainment plans to release a compact disc today that allows consumers to download and copy a limited number of songs, the music industry’s latest experiment to come up with a viable alternative to the free trading of music over the Internet. [...]

One option allows the consumer to copy all of Hamilton’s songs from the CD onto the computer and portable devices, such as MP3 players (but not yet Apple’s iPod). Once in the computer, the software lets the consumer copy the songs on up to three CDs. There is nothing to prevent those CDs from being recopied, though the next generation of the software will include such copy protection.”

Reuters: Net piracy has five more years of growth - study

“The report by Informa Media said global Internet music sales, which includes sales of CDs from retail Web sites such as Amazon.com (NasdaqNM:AMZN - News) and song downloads from services such as Apple Computer Inc.‘s (NasdaqNM:AAPL - News) iTunes, will reach $3.9 billion by 2008, up from $1.1 billion in 2002.

But the value of lost sales due to CD-burning and downloading free songs off so-called peer-to-peer networks such as Grokster and Kazaa will rise to $4.7 billion in the same period from $2.4 billion this year, the British research firm said.”

TIME: How to Go Legit

“The problem so far with the pay-per-song model from a business perspective is profits — or the lack thereof. With as much as 70% of each sale going to the record label and the rest eaten up by surprisingly high costs for things like infrastructure and credit-card fees, sales volume must but doesn’t yet compensate.  “It’s not a way to make a lot of money,” acknowledges Jobs. No, it’s a way to help sell iPods. Apple says sales of the music-storing, high-profit-margin palm-size gadgets almost quadrupled between the quarters before and after iTunes’ launch.”

SF Chronicle: Artists blast record companies over lawsuits against downloaders

“‘File sharing is a reality, and it would seem that the labels would do well to learn how to incorporate it into their business models somehow,’ said genre-busting DJ Moby in a post on his Web site. ‘Record companies suing 12-year-old girls for file sharing is kind of like horse-and-buggy operators suing Henry Ford.’”

Internetnews.com: Music Fans Still Burning

“Music is ubiquitous, as research from The NPD Group finds that nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of all U.S. households with Internet access had at least one digital music file on their hard drives, and more than half of that group had up to 100 digital music files. 

While all of these music files aren’t the result of Internet downloading, NPD says that two-thirds of all digital music file acquisition can be attributed to file sharing, and the remainder is mainly attributed to ripping tracks directly from CDs.”

RollingStone: Downloader “Doe” Fights RIAA

“Her lawyer calls her Jane Doe. The music business calls her nycfashiongirl, which is her Kazaa screen name. She’s fighting to keep her real name a secret, becoming the first individual to take a stand against the recording industry’s latest attack on file traders.

In August, Jane Doe filed a legal challenge to block the Recording Industry Association of America from obtaining her identity, because it violates her right to privacy. Since June, the RIAA has run computer searches of hard drives in order to single out at least 1,075 people swapping songs on peer-to-peer services such as Kazaa. The RIAA then subpoenas the person’s Internet service provider to obtain his name and address so that he can potentially be sued for copyright infringement.”

CNET: Apple customer resells iTunes song

“In an interview Wednesday, Hotelling said he was able to give the song to a friend, Keith Elder, a Web developer in Ypsilanti, Mich., whom he met through an Internet discussion group. In order to close the deal, Hotelling said he had to transfer control of his entire iTunes Music Store account to Elder. He said he intends to demand 50 cents from Elder for the account, which included one song, the Devin Vasquez remake of Frankie Smith’s song ‘Double Dutch Bus,’ which he’d originally purchased for 99 cents. 

‘For the average user, I’d definitely say this was extremely difficult,’ he said. ‘I guess you could say we’re both extreme geeks.’”

AP: Girl, 12, Settles Piracy Suit for $2,000

“The hurried settlement involving Brianna LaHara, an honors student, was the first announced one day after the Recording Industry Association of America (news - web sites) filed 261 such lawsuits across the country. Lawyers for the RIAA said Brianna’s mother, Sylvia Torres, contacted them early Tuesday to negotiate.

‘We understand now that file-sharing the music was illegal,’ Torres said in a statement distributed by the recording industry. ‘You can be sure Brianna won’t be doing it anymore.’”

NY Post: 12-Year-Old Sued for Music Downloading

“Brianna LaHara said she was frightened to learn she was among the hundreds of people sued yesterday by giant music companies in federal courts around the country.

‘I got really scared. My stomach is all turning,’ Brianna said last night at the city Housing Authority apartment where she lives with her mom and her 9-year-old brother.

‘I thought it was OK to download music because my mom paid a service fee for it. Out of all people, why did they pick me?’”

CNET: RIAA sues 261 file swappers

“The Recording Industry Association of America said it has filed 261 lawsuits against alleged file swappers Monday, charging the computer users with “egregious” copyright infringement potentially worth millions of dollars. [...]

‘Our goal is not to be vindictive or punitive,’ said RIAA President Cary Sherman. ‘It is simply to get peer-to-peer users to stop offering music that does not belong to them.’”

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