Carl Guderian on Wed, 10 May 2000 18:09:01 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> Napster Hurts Free Software

It would appear Mr. Perens has taken a further step and applied one of the
totalitarian techniques outlined below to his own words. The link is
Perens forgets that the internet won't just route around measures like
those--it will also run over them like Caligula's giant lawnmower (I
rented the movie recently; it's as bad as I remember it). 
If recording companies really try to impose trusted client on us, geeks
will crack it faster than you can say "40-bit export limit." They will
crack it and all variations thereof, before and after recording companies
spend millions of unrecoverable dollars and push through unenforceable
Napster and open source software arise from the same geek impulses of
hubris, laziness, and impatience.  Someone somewhere wanted to do
something that should have been simple but was told it was illegal
(exporting PGP), unsupported (DVD players for Linux --> DeCSS), or has to
be done "our" way (Windows). Napster is no threat to open source software.
On the contrary; it has spread the open source concept to the recording
I doubt geeks are losing sleep over the (ab)use of Napster. When the first
copy protection scheme was cracked, no geek cried "My Ghod! I am cutting
my own throat! I am become Death, Destroyer of Intellectual Property (now
we are all sons of bitches)!" Copy protection just got in the way of
whatever needed to be done at the time and, once broken, was quickly

By making an issue of Napster, the RIAA have reaped a whirlwind because
they represent something every geek hates: the suit who rules over a
technology (recording) or process (distribution) he or she knows nothing
about, nor cares to. The present battle provides the geeks' big chance
(nay, duty!) to whack the Pointy Haired Boss with the clue stick. 

Entertainment industry execs have reminded everyone that they are overpaid
middlemen (and -women) who fleece their artists as regularly as they do
the consumers, so they are starting at a moral deficit. If they want to
come out ahead, they'll have to find a business model that will work under
current and foreseeable conditions, not lean on Congress or the WTO to
impose unworkable and ineffective "solutions." 

Keep on Rockin' in the Free Global Market. 

Rev. Carl X,
who finds ripping mp3's easy and fun, or will after
1) buying and installing a CD burner
2) buying a large and fast hard drive
3) securing a fast internet connection
4) finding an mp3 site that has what I want
5) downloading tracks
6) buying blank CDs
7) burning a CD that
8) can only be played on mp3 players

--- Nettime's roving reporter <>
> Editorial: Music Bootlegging with Napster Hurts Free
> Software
> Posted by: Bruce Perens on Thursday May 04, @03:22AM

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: contact: