Re: Napster: thoughts and comments?

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Tue Jul 11 2000 - 12:05:57 MDT

"Emlyn (onetel)" wrote:
> Ouch. I'm reeling (really)...
> I'm afraid you'll have to spell it out for me, I'm suffering from a pathetic
> lack of imagination. If my entire audience has the idea that they need never
> (and should never) pay to listen, and reality maps onto this by way of
> pirated material which is incredibly easy to access (easier than the
> paid-for stuff), then how do I get paid?

The Grateful Dead pioneered one business model. They freely allowed people who
wished to record concerts to do so, and there is a large market for the products
of 'tapers', who frequently reproduce these tapes and sell them. A few of the
best tapers are freinds with and were endorsed by the Dead. Dick's Picks is one
brand of taper 'bootleg' Dead recordings. It did not matter that you could buy a
recording with all your favorite Dead tunes taped at the January 1990 Berkeley
concerts, you most likely also own the CDs of the official studio tracks as
well. Each concert features the same songs performed very differently, with
original free form performances. The Dead are not broke by any means of the

The advantage of this model is that with this freedom to tape, would-be pirates
had no market, and loyal tapers were content to leave the band's own studio
tapes and CDs be without any significant pirating.

All that Metallica's snitty little performance is going to do is increase the
level of piracy of its recordings. Most fans don't give a shit if Lars wants
another Lamborghini for his collection. The free market is a two way

While I don't condone piracy, and I do support intellectual property, one must
acknowledge that the level to which one's work is pirated is a good indication
that either one's work is overpriced for the market, or one is restricting the
supply of one's art to the market. If you don't want your work pirated, adjust
one of these parameters.

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