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Reader Comments on Aardvark Daily 4 September 2002

Note: the comments below are the unabridged submissions of readers and do
not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher.


From: Anon
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: my stance on CD piracy

I think it is all a waste of time using any type of
protection scheme as obviously there are alot of talented
people in the world. I myself use file sharing programs to
download music, but I still prefer to buy music cds from
the store if I think that it is worth buying, Sometimes I
only like 1 song on an album and cannot find a cd single
release so I guess I start searching elsewhere. I ripped
NZ bands goodshirt + salmonella dub albums (hence on the
salmonella dub cd cover "BRN&GTbrnt - maximum fine $10,000)
I made mp3s from the albums so I can send to my friend in
sweden, come on get real theyll NEVER be able to buy them
2 albums in sweden and there are no distributors in that
part of the world! I also had to tell him that NZ is not
in antartica.
The outcome was he sent me $60 NZD and I brought both the
cds for him, why? because it would cost $50 USD per cd
using an online cd store in america.
In a way I feel as though the spreading of mp3s/files is
in someway a good idea for marketing a new product.
Out of probably the millions of people who download this
material there would be definately a certain percentage
who will purchase it, and for new zealanders who download
NZ bands many of them will go to their gig (where the band
actaully makes more $$$ than the royalties their record
company pay them).
It would be great to have an international system where
instead of a credit card people could go to their local
vendor and add $$ to a pre pay card so to purchase online.
I bet sales will rise considerably as not everyone has or
are willing to have a credit card and sometimes that is
the only payment option available.

From: Grant
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: DataPlay

I don't think DataPlay disks will fly either - have you
seen the cost of the blank media (about NZ$10 per 500Mb
blank).  Given that 700Mb CDR blanks cost about $1 per disk
then there has to be a very good reason to use them.

RIAA greed strikes again...

From: robert rozee
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: xbox and world domination (and music)

i disagree, mostly :-)

firstly, the xbox sales model:
on the face of it, microsoft appears to be mimicing sony
with the playstation; release expensive hardware at a loss,
with a view to (a) making up the loss on game sales, and
(b) advances in technology allowing actual hardware costs
to fall below the console sale price. to this end, sony has
suceeded with the PS1. it could even be argued that piracy
of games HELPED them expand into the market; i note that
with the PS2 piracy seems more difficult.

but the xbox IS different. my OPINION is that it is in fact
the 'prototype' of microsoft's new flagship product, and
within 24 months there will be MS office for the xbox (or
xbox2). the xbox will connect into microsoft's own little
corner of the internet, with subscriptions for central file
storage, instant messaging, email, etc. the machine
is 'secure', only running signed appliactions, so
implementing content protection is trivial. and the DoJ
won't have a thing that they can complain about - after
all, it is _just_ a games console.

microsoft's goal - an xbox on _every_ office desk, with
connectivity and communications services rented. winXP and
the roadmap extending from it is just a diversion.

now, on to music:
without secured hardware, music piracy will never be
stopped. end of story - the industry as we know it is as
good as dead. my prediction for the future is record labels
severely trimming down their overheads, so artists can
retain a good percentage of sale revenues, revenues from a
substantially decreased margin (ie, much lower CD prices).

as for the actual content; at the moment the industry is
filled with one-hit-wonders, being force fed to the masses
60 minutes at a time (ie, you often buy a 60 minute CD for
just one track). this has created an artificial
environment, where hype is everything, and actual musical
skills really don't matter. piracy, and the internet, has
now made this model unviable - the consumer has the
_choice_ to mix and match content as they please. there is
NO going back.

the way forward is the return of the single record, in the
form of the 3" cd; onto this will fit, rather conveniently,
two tracks. i would like to see vending machines, where you
select the two tracks you want, drop in a $2 coin, and 20
seconds later out pops your CD, with inkjetted cover
artwork and enclosed in a PVC jacket. of your $2, half MUST
go to the artist(s). you will then drop this 3" CD into
your personal MP3/walkman player, that will suck in the
content and store an MP3 version internally. the CD, you
keep for backup - i strongly believe that physical media is
an important (psychological) part of the equation.

with CHEAP content, readily available, people will pay.
there is a price-point below which the cost becomes
trivial; and i believe that at this price-point there is
still enough money to keep artists fed and clothed.
artists, but not fat record company executives.

From: Matt Ledgerwood
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Subsidising Dataplay

You say:

On a global scale, US$5 billion would subsidise a hell of a
lot of DataPlay hardware wouldn't it?

I say:

Yes it would. But the recording industry doesn't "lose"
that much money each year. If most poeple couldn't download
the music they do they wouldn't go out and buy it. The
music industry knows this and are being particularly
dishonest when they say music piracy is costing them these
huge sums of money. For this reason they'd never be willing
to subsidise anything, as that really would cost them money.

From: Robert Guthrie
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: missing the point!

mr Aardvark..

regarding your answer to music piracy, while im sure it
would increase sales of the new format and its players..
its not going to solve the real problem..

people find internet EASIER than CDS... it allows you to
listen to vastly more music.

may i please direct you to one of my favorite organisations
on the internet: www.xiph.org/about.html
skip down to "a history lesson"

also.. you may want to read what prince has to say (although
he seems to use a cellphone for a keyboard...)


but comeon.. limiting music media to physical discs that
have to be swapped around and looked after carefully?  thats
just criminal!! (where as promoting a more logical
delivery/format (given the state of technologly today)
should NOT be.

everyone WANTS to support the artists.. they just realise
that they are barely supporting anyone but CEOS and
shareholders by buying cds..  brn & gt brnt is just propaganda.

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