[rumori] pho: Make Music Illegal Now

From: Don Joyce (djATwebbnet.com)
Date: Mon May 14 2001 - 20:13:16 PDT

Another membership card issued for the "Insanity Is Just A Step Away Club."
Welcome to the club, Elliot.

>i wrote it, i'm posting it, whatever (this was the CNET MP3 Insider
>dispatch that went out on Friday). basically, the thrust of my argument is
>that the only fair way to salvage music is to make it illegal.
> The Big Story
>You can almost determine with complete accuracy whether an online
>music company has a winning idea by figuring out the likelihood
>of it being sued for what it's proposing. Lawsuits have become
>such an integral part of the business that getting sued has
>become the equivalent of sending out a press release announcing
>your company's entrance into the online music space. At the root
>of many of the lawsuits is the fact that there is no way for
>online music companies to obtain compulsory licenses for the
>music that they want to distribute. In the world of traditional
>radio, stations can play any song that they want to whenever they
>want to, because they pay compulsory license fees that allow them
>to do so. (Of course, since demographic-savvy decision bots have
>replaced DJs in our country's massive corporate radio networks,
>the songs that the stations play seem eerily similar wherever you
>go, but that's a different matter altogether.) The main point
>here is that the law treats online music broadcasters differently
>than traditional radio stations. Napster has to make a deal with
>every single label on the planet in order to broadcast whatever
>it wants, while the label-bribed radio stations have those handy
>compulsory licenses.
>Then, there's the case of the MPAA vs. hacker quarterly "2600,"
>in which the less-constitutional side of the DMCA (Digital
>Millennium Copyright Act) is rearing its ugly head.
>The DMCA takes away the rights that we consumers used to have,
>which allowed us to make copies of the movies we purchased for
>our own personal use. It seems fair enough that you should be
>able to make an extra copy of something that you paid for; in
>fact, this part of the law is called "fair use." But like our
>government, the laws surrounding music favor large corporations
>rather than the population as a whole. The DeCSS software, which
>lets people copy their movies (and enables Linux users to view
>DVDs), is being suppressed by courts and corporations, who are
>working in concert. While no decision has been reached as of yet,
>the judge in the crucial MPAA vs. "2600" case is leaning towards
>punishing the small publication for merely *linking* to the DeCSS
>code. Our rights to use the things that we buy are slipping away,
>and not many people realize it. This is a pretty frightening
>trend, considering that more and more goods will be consumed
>digitally and thereby be subject to the DMCA.
>To be fair, the laws that govern the distribution of music have
>developed over a very long time, reflecting technological
>breakthroughs and changes in buying and manufacturing habits. It
>takes a while to catch up to innovations in technology. But the
>Internet seems to have accelerated the process so much that it
>seems very unlikely that the legal system will ever be able to
>catch up to the reality of digital distribution. The DMCA is
>successfully attacking our rights as consumers to the fair use of
>our CDs and DVDs. Things that were considered fair use in the
>analog days are no longer kosher. Radio stations can play
>whatever they want, while online distributors are handcuffed by
>the lack of compulsory licenses.
>It's time to consider a more drastic alternative. The only way to
>level the playing field between all the parties involved (or
>rather implicated) in this dispute is to make music illegal.
>That's right--I'm suggesting that we make it illegal to create,
>hear, distribute, copy, collect, lend, or resell music. As the
>war on drugs has shown, it's still possible to maintain an
>intricate distribution and consumption system, even when all the
>parties involved are breaking the law.
>If we banned music, radio stations and Napster would finally be
>treated equally under the law. And since owning music would be
>illegal in the first place, people would be able to make copies
>of their music and movies for their own private use without
>changing their legal status; they'd be guilty for owning the
>music in the first place, and thereby couldn't be further
>implicated for making a copy. Also, if music were illegal, the
>star-making system that has corrupted radio through bribery (as
>well as caused countless naive bands to sign unfair contracts)
>would be abolished. Gaining star-level notoriety would make
>artists much more attractive to the law enforcement officers who
>would be trying to stem the supply of music in this country. And
>finally, without the fame machine, artists would have to compete
>on the same level. The boy band with millions of dollars of
>promotion behind them would be on the same publicity level as the
>penniless garage band down the street.
>The current system patently favors corporate interests over
>musicians and consumers. Illegalizing music is our last remaining
>chance to save it from red tape and multinational corporations.
>Sure, there'd be a few martyrs who'd end up in jail for the
>cause, but at least they'd be able to listen to whatever they
>wanted, however they wanted, from the comfort of their jail
>What do you think of making music illegal? E-mail your opinion on
>illegalizing music to MP3InsiderATcnet.com.
> Random Notes
>According to the following "New York Times" article, Judge Jon O.
>Newman (presiding over the MPAA vs. "2600" case) isn't convinced
>by the publication's lawyer that copying a DVD for yourself is
>fair use. He's wrong.
>The "New York Times" article:
>If you know what's good for you, you'll hold on to that feeling
>and check out this site, the latest in the as-yet-to-be-named
>genre of lo-fi Flash movies such as the now-retro "All Your Base
>Are Belong To Us."
>Don't stop believin':
>You choose the music he listens to, whether the colored
>spotlights are on, whether he dances in the "Booty" or the
>"Jiggy" style, who his backup dancers are, and where they're
>getting down. But Paul, he does the dancing.
>Dancing Paul:
>It sounds like something out of the movie "Dune," but the pointy-
>headed scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology have
>figured out a way to build things in space using only sound. I
>wish I were that smart.
>A very clever idea:
>Can he be frank? Too late, he already was. But his work stays
>with us, including the three-act rock opera "Joe's Garage," which
>is all about a guy named Joe running up against a government that
>wants to make music illegal.
>A synopsis of "Joe's Garage":
>(Warning: contains adult language and situations)
>Until next time,
>Eliot Van Buskirk
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