i should have written this a few days ago when i had my thoughts in order. but just like everything else, i even procrastinate on updating my website. so if this doesn’t make sense (much like my other rants) forgive me.

napster was ordered to shut down its mp3 sharing. is that a big deal? no. let’s discuss why not.

1. there are non napster servers to use. just because napster was forced to shut down its servers, doesn’t mean all servers are gone. if people want to trade mp3s over the internet shutting down napster is not going to stop them. using the napster program they can just connect to some random server, or create a server of their own for people to log into. shutting down napster accomplishes nothing.

2. besides napster there are other programs to use for file sharing, such as gnutella and aimster. i’ve tried both of them and hated them. they haven’t made as big of waves as napster did, i think in particular because they are no where near as efficient. napster is simple and quick to use. i heard a radio program over the summer, during the first possible shut down court case, where someone was saying they prefer FTP over napster…ARE YOU INSANE?! they claimed that napster wasn’t as good as FTP because it took too long, and you’d get transfer errors and the like. FTP is one of the worst file sharing programs i’ve had the “pleasure” of using. upload ratios, long transfer times due to server speeds, and FTP leech sites that require you to click on porn ads to get the correct password… i think not. anyone can figure out napster. if you can’t you don’t deserve to be online.

3. as mentioned in #2, there are still FTP servers to download mp3s from. as inefficient and annoying as they are, they’re still there.

4. even if you shut down every single file trading program out there, there will always be a new one. the technology is there, there is no stopping it now. if record companies, metallica, whoever really think they’re accomplishing something by fighting napster they need to open their eyes. record companies need to find a way to deal with this green eyed monster. it’s beyond the point of no return.

with that said, i find it really hard to believe that record companies are losing THAT much money over mp3s. i understand where they are coming from, there are people who download entire albums and never go purchase them. i understand that artists’ music is their creation, they own it, and we are stealing it…but i think the number of people who do that, compared of the number of people who don’t ,is fairly inconsequential. there is no way to prove how much money companies and artists are losing, but really…even if it was $1 mil, is that a big dent out of a mega company’s yearly profit….no.

on the radio program i heard over the summer, they talked about some study that was conducted on napster users. they found that the majority of napster users are huge music fans. they use napster not to “steal” music, or to avoid buying extremely overpriced cds (that’s a whole other rant), but to explore new musical styles. it went on and on, trying to build the case that record companies are not losing out on big profits.

i’m going to make the case that no record company or artist on the planet is losing money from me. i have an extensive collection of mp3s, and i have burned a great number of cds. do you want to know what i’ve burned? of course you do.

1. Orgy – Vapor Transmission – i downloaded and burned this cd in August. the cd was released in October. it was finished for at least 2 months. one of the things I don’t understand about bands/the recording industry is release dates. if the record is done, release it for gods sake. if artists don’t want their music downloaded before its released, then release it when it’s finished, don’t wait months…..also on this cd, to fill up time i added 2 live disturbed songs (which i would never in a million years pay for), an econoline crush song that was on a compilation cd i’d never pay for, a live A Perfect Circle song (unreleased), and NIN’s burn from a soundtrack I’d never buy….so all together, they lost no money from me, because i’d never have paid for them….oh, and when Vapor Transmission was finally released i bought 4 copies, so did Orgy lose money? no, they gained quite a profit i think.

2. Liquid Gang – Sunshine – i saw liquid gang in concert, decided they were awesome, went to look for the cd. could i find it? no. so what did i do? burned it from mp3s off napster. along with the album i burned deftones “change” (which i later bought), orgy “stitches live” (unreleased), 2 live stone temple pilots songs (unreleased), and 3 orgy demos (unreleased). when i finally found a copy of sunshine, i bought it. did they lose any money? no.

3. Concerts. I’ve downloaded and/or burned numerous live concerts by my favorite bands. I have 5 (of many more I could have) A Perfect Circle concerts on my hard drive, and a 6th one burned. I have 4 (of many) NIN concerts, and 4 more burned. I have 4 Orgy concerts on my hard drive. I have Stabbing Westward, STP, and Videodrone as well, plus single live mp3s of other bands i like. all of these are things that are unreleased and therefore the artists are not losing any money this way. I have been lucky enough to find a recording of the NIN/APC concert I attended in Toronto last year, which I burned. These things are memories. If musicians are bitching over this, this isn’t a napster/mp3 problem, this is a bootleg problem. this is individuals bringing tape recorders and video cameras into concerts. this is a security issue, not a napster/mp3 issue. maybe you should pull a Pearl Jam and record and release every concert you’ve played if you’re so worried about it. fans want stuff like this, they’ll get it no matter what.

and another thing. how is downloading a song off napster any different than recording it off the radio? i’m not talking about whole albums here, i’m talking about single songs. i skimmed a recent article about napster and the music industry, which stated that the music industry has lost some millions of dollars because of a decrease in sales of singles. i’m sorry, but maybe that’s because absolutely CRAP music has been released in recent years. i don’t buy singles i never have (i can clearly remember the 3 singles i ever bought…NKOTB “Dirty Dawg”, Snoop Doggy Dogg “What’s my name” and Paula Abdul “Crazy Cool”…at the time I was very ashamed that I purchased NKOTB…now I’m more ashamed to say I purchased Snoop). as a child i recorded the songs i liked off my little boom box. as an adult i download them off napster. the only singles i buy are by bands i like to get any extra material that they release on them. mainly i buy singles for sake of completeness of my collections…NIN, APC, Michael Jackson, Orgy….I just don’t go to the store and buy a single of some random song i like. my habits haven’t changed. i’m going to guess most other people’s haven’t either. oh, and another thing about the possible decrease in sales of singles.. and this might just be in regards to the bands i like, but it seems that singles that i’d buy are NEVER getting released in the US. I’m being forced to buy 15$ import cds because there are no plans for a US single release. I had to special order a copy of APC’s “The Hollow” single to get the “Judith” remix because it was never released in the US. Then they go and release 2 other different “The Hollow” singles. Same with NIN…I’m forced to order/buy 3 different 15$ import singles for “We’re In This Together”. Are these registered as sales of singles? I don’t know….

so in summary….no one is losing money from my napster/mp3 usage. of the 84 single mp3s i have 28 are unreleased/live/remix songs. the rest are old songs that i wouldn’t be able to find if i tried (KLF – Justified and Ancient…does anyone besides me even know this song?) or songs i’d never purchase, i’d just do without. i have yet to download an entire album that i haven’t purchased at some point. so all you record execs, artists, whoever that are bitching about losing money. you aren’t losing any from me… except in the case of metallica, who i will NEVER purchase again.