Buffalo Bob on Fri, 12 May 2000 18:42:58 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> Napster Hurts Free Software

"So how is mp3 different from vhs?" Wade Tillett writes.

But Napster should NOT be confused with MP3. They are different programs 
with different functions.

Each of these cases and technologies should be looked at separately and on 
its own merits.

Napster is nothing more or other than a techie copyright infringement 
machine. You don't need it to play MP3s in the slightest. You don't need it 
in order to put your own CD collection onto Music Match or some other 
jukebox on your system. MP3.COM's big mistake appears to have been its 
database. Even that is different from the MP3 technology as such.

If we were just liberating music from the hands of corporations, the 
arguments about "copyright is theft" etc would have some claim to 
legitimacy. But ultimately the copyright starts with the artist herself. As 
a writer who has turned down several possible publications over the past 30 
years because I didn't like the context my work was going into, I don't see 
how a 15 year old stealing from Metallica is different from a corporation 
using an authorized John Lennon song, say, to advertise tennis shoes -- 
other than motive. Theft with a human face is not particularly liberating, 
no matter how you look at it. It is, after all, the ultimate capitalist 

Buffalo Bob

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