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Kazaa goes legal

In what the recording industry calls a win situation, four record labels have settled a lawsuit with popular P2P sharing network Kazaa. Under the settlement, Kazaa will pay more than $100 million to four to EMI, Sony BMG, Universal Music and Warner Music. Kazaa will also commit to going fully legitimate said the report.

According to the International Federation of Phonographic Industry, Kazaa has contributed to a significant amount of "damage" in the music industry. IFPI chairman and CEO John Kennedy said "these are very substantial damages being paid -- in excess of $100 million -- and Kazaa will go legal immediately. They've had time to prepare for this." Representatives for the MPAA also said that Kazaa will be implementing technology that will prevent users from transferring copyrighted material over the network.

The original developers of Kazaa, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis sold Kazaa to Sharman Networks in 2002. Since then, Sharman had been dealing with the MPAA and the RIAA over the legality of Kazaa users transferring copyrighted material. Neither Zennstrom nor Friis was available for comment.

Zennstrom went on to create Skype after selling Kazaa to Sharman. Zennstrom ended up selling Skype to eBay for roughly $2.6 billion in both cash and stock.


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RE: I wonder...
By farbdogg on 7/29/2006 3:34:19 AM , Rating: 2
Okay, if music sales are down, then why are music playing devices (such as mp3 players, etc) at an all time high? Economically they are complementary goods. That means if the demand for music players is high, so is hte demand for the music for the music players. Since music sales are down, the lack of demand must come from pirated music. So yes, pirated music has caused record sales to go down.


RE: I wonder...
By JB1592 on 7/29/2006 9:17:19 PM , Rating: 2
1) EVERY kid I ever knew had a walkman and/or discman. Every single one. No one I know has an IPOD. Not a single friend, family member, friend of a family member, co-worker, or anyone else. That may sound amazing considering what a "trendy" thing it is, but it's absolutely true. As such, I call B.S. on the whole statistic. Most of them do still have portable disc players though, in which case you might be able to convince me that "more playing devices" are being sold simply because there is a larger variety of "playing devices" available. Not to mention that they are probably counting cell phones that are capable of being used as MP3 players too (a feature that is contained in a quite a few phones belonging to people I know... not a single one of which actually makes use of it).

2) Even if it is true, just because two products are complementary does not mean their sales must correlate. I did just a couple weeks ago purchase a new CD player for my car. It even has MP3/WMA capabilities. I also got the compatible 10-disc changer (also capable of reading MP3s). That's two sales of music playing devices right there. Now... where's my motivation to buy a new CD? I don't have any. I filled up the changer with discs I already had, and when I get around to ripping them and making a few MP3 discs, it'll once again be primarily composed of material I already own. Actually, come to think of it... the reason I bought the "music playing devices" is directly related to why I'm NOT buying CDs like I used to: I couldn't stand driving around listening to the radio anymore. I'm tired of the same old playlists on the stations that don't play absolute crap, and the other stations play absolute crap. There's only ONE modern rock station left in this whole state, and even there I have to listen to the same old, same old far more often than not as they still compose the playlist out of more older stuff than new.

At the end of the day, you can quote all the statistics that support the RIAA's theory that you want. The fact is, I know from my own music purchases, as well as those of people I'm acquainted with, what's going on. In the early 90's I was buying CDs constantly. I was collecting albums released by older artists (I had every Aerosmith album when I was 13, ditto for Zeppelin, quite a bit of Rush, etc.; all obtained legally), I was buying stuff by newer artists, and I was replacing worn out or damaged cassettes with the more reliable media. I'm not doing any of that anymore. I don't have to replace things because CDs are indeed more reliable. I've already bought most of the older stuff I care to. I'm finding it harder and harder to find anything new I like.

And I'm not alone. My 15 year old brother is wearing an AC/DC shirt right now. Him, and many of his friends, don't even have their own CD collections because they simply borrow discs from their parents (or older siblings) who are listening to the same stuff. I'm only in my early 20s. My parents were still into new music back in the 80's, so why is it that I'm not now? My dad was obsessed with Van Halen, why is it that I'm having a hard time even thinking of an artist that exemplifies this decade to put at the end of the phrase, "so why don't I listen to"? Why is it that none of my friends are really into new music either? The only ones I know that listen to new music are the ones that are not really all that "into" music to begin with and can't be bothered to download or buy CDs. They only "listen to new music" in so much as they keep the radio in their car tuned to a Top 40 station.

Remember 15 years ago when "high speed dubbing" was a feature touted on many dual cassette deck stereos and boomboxes? Who do you think that appealed to? Piracy has always been absolutely RAMPANT. I'm not arguing that. It's true. But it's not a new thing either. They lost just as many sales to piracy decades ago as they do now. They just need a scapegoat now.

Art and the corporate environment don't mix. You can't simply manufacture art. They're trying to. It's not working.

Answer me this: When the music industry is constantly just trying to push out hit after hit that all sound the same... how the hell is the "next big thing" ever supposed to come along? It'll be ignored because it doesn't sound like last week's #1. Imagine, if you will, if Nirvana was never given a shot because they didn't sound like Poison. We'd still be living with regurgitated glam metal. Thankfully, we're not, but unfortunately the only part that we've managed to escape is the glam metal. Somewhere out there I'm sure that someone is doing something absolutely amazing... and being ignored by the major labels because he doesn't sound like Shakira.


"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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