nettime's echo chamber on 29 Jul 2000 15:34:17 -0000

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Re: <nettime> echoes of napster digest (3x)

From: Julian Dibbell <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> echoes of napster digest

sez Rebecca Lynn Eisenberg:

> It doesn't matter that Napster increases sales.  Under the law as it
> currently exists, a copyright holder has the right to do what she wants
> with her copyrighted materials - - for good or for bad.

Really? I know that the doctrine of fair use has been whittled away to
within an inch of its life, but it still survives, and it still puts limits
on what copyright holders can do with their copyrighted materials. The
Digital Millennium Copyright Act, among other variously heinous legal
developments, has severely curtailed the space in which the consumer's
fair-use rights pertain, but the turf's still worth fighting for, both in
and out of the courtroom.

And if I'm not mistaken, that's exactly what Napster's lawyers were trying
to do when they brought up the surveys showing that Napster increases CD
sales. I mean, am I wrong about this? Isn't fair use partly determined by
whether the copying in question caused economic damage to the copyright
holder? Calling all legal eagles.

In any case, it almost certainly does matter, as a matter of law, that
Napster increases sales. Why else would the RIAA's lawyers have bothered
introducing the surveys that show precisely the opposite? The wily bastards.

Julian Dibbell
infringing copyrights as we speak!


From: Heiko Recktenwald <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> echoes of napster digest

> I've seen this information all over the place online.
> Several websites make mention to it, but there are
> several people, including the RIAA who haven't verified
> the data.  It's been found to be inconclusive at this point.

Its an open secret, running gag in the music industry, that people are not
very much interested in music anymore, in contrast to the 70s, when music
meant some kind of way of living or revolution. Maybe napster was this kind
of revolution now and sotosay an indirect increased interest in music...and
cds, well all very indirect.......


From: Curt Hagenlocher <>
Subject: RE: <nettime> echoes of napster digest

> From: Wessel van Rensburg []
> Subject: RE: <nettime> echoes of napster digest

> The BBC reported it:
> 'Users of Napster software are likely to buy more records than non-
> Napster users, according to a recent survey of 2,200 Napster users.'
> Wessel

I dislike the RIAA as much as anyone, but this is is a somewhat meaningless
survey that made me think, "Duh!"

After all, Napster users are much more likely to be music aficionados than
non-Napster users. I have no Napster-using friends who do not spend at
least some money on purchasing music, but many non-Napster-using friends
who spend no money on music whatsoever.

The real question would be, for the average Napster user, whether or not
their music purchases went up, down or stayed about the same after they
started using Napster.

Curt Hagenlocher

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