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[FYI] (Fwd) FC: WSJ goes cypherpunk: Write code, Napster geeks, igno

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Wed, 21 Jun 2000 01:57:39 -0400
To:             	politech@vorlon.mit.edu
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject:        	FC: WSJ goes cypherpunk: Write code, Napster geeks, ignore the
Send reply to:  	declan@well.com

[Also see summary of study on MP3 attached below. --DBM]

The Wall Street Journal
Monday, June 19, 2000
REVIEW & OUTLOOK (Editorial)

Napster Agonistes

   Once upon a time you didn't have to know about sex until you were,
15 or so, and the sordid intricacies of the political lobbying process
could safely remain a mystery until 25 at least.

   If 19-year-old Shawn Fanning is any indication, parents of budding
software engineers had better sit down early and have a talk about the
facts of life. We don't know where Mr. Fanning stands on the birds and
the bees, but the speed at which the Washington trade group milieu
managed to produce dueling studies about the economic effects of
Napster, a piece of software he whipped up last year in his dorm room,
made even our heads spin.

    One trade group, representing the recording industry, produced a
detailing a sharp tumble in CD sales at record stores near college
campuses, where kids have gone crazy downloading music from each other
using Napster. Within days, it seemed, came a study by something
called the Digital Media Association claiming that people were more
likely to spring for a $16 CD if they could sample the music first
with a free download from the Web.

   It would be silly to spend much time parsing these numbers except
note that overall music industry sales continue to grow nicely. There
will always be Luddites trying to throw themselves in the path of
something new, but their doomful predictions have been confounded by
the willingness of people to consume greater quantities of whatever
can be produced and distributed more cheaply.

   Music, we suspect, will be no different. When the tape recorder
out, the universe of popular sounds consisted of three genres: top 40,
album rock and soul. Nowadays there are several dozen sub-genres of
heavy-metal music alone. Somehow the industry adapted to the new

   Call us cynical, but we suspect the industry's effort to put
   Napster out 
of business with lawsuits has more to do with the fact that Mr.
Fanning's company has created and occupied a "space," in new-economy
parlance, that the music companies covet for themselves. But the
record companies also live in dread of each other stealing a march, so
they've agreed for now that the best thing is for them to sing in
unison, Napster must die.

   This is why Mr. Fanning has yet to become a zillionaire, but his
partners from Silicon Valley's Hummer Winblad are working on it.
Changing tack in court, the firm's lawyers are arguing that trading
copyrighted music online is perfectly legal as long as kids aren't
charging each other money.

   If this argument succeeds and Napster looks ripe to stay in
the next move is to open the bidding. And since the likely bidders
include Time Warner AOL, Seagram and Bertelsmann, Mr. Fanning won't
end up on the breadline despite cutting short his college career.

   This is the real dance, and last week's dueling studies are mere
background music. The trade groups hope that their precious factoids
will lodge in the semiconscious brain of some Congressman, judge or
media face just as he's about to issue a sound bite or cast a vote on
Napster's technology. These are just the games that lawyers, lobbyists
and other putative grownups play. It doesn't mean anything, kids, so
keep writing that software.


Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2000 10:06:37 +1000
To: newmediaresearch@listbot.com
From: Phil Graham <phil.graham@mailbox.uq.edu.au>
Subject: Fwd: Norman Lear Center - MP3 Study Release
Cc: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>,

Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2000 16:44:39 -0700 (PDT)
From: latonero <latonero@usc.edu>
To: Phil Graham <phil.graham@mailbox.uq.edu.au>
Subject: Norman Lear Center - MP3 Study Release
Contact: Stephen Rivers or Jamie Falkowski
Phone 310.395.2993

USC Annenberg's Norman Lear Center Study Shows
Music Industry's MP3 Fears May Be Unfounded
Los Angeles -- A month after the University of Southern California
(USC) banned MP3 downloads from Napster, the Norman Lear Center at the
USC Annenberg School for Communication is releasing a survey of the
USC student body that reveals there is little evidence that use of MP3
technologies is harmful to either the recording industry or artists.
This survey of USC students adds significant empirical data to the
national debate surrounding Internet music downloads and music file
sharing software. "In recent months there has been much concern about
piracy of recorded music on university campuses across the nation, but
there has been little research on how students actually consume MP3s,"
said Mark Latonero, principal researcher of the study. "In fact, the
findings of this study on MP3 users contradict many media reports and
music industry fears." Key findings in the report demonstrate the
following: * MP3 is a major new phenomenon in the university
population sampled: 69% of all students surveyed say they download
MP3s; of these, 68% use Napster. Seventy percent of MP3 users say they
learned about MP3 technology through close social networks of family
and/or friends. * Unsurprisingly, there is a strong correlation
between MP3 usage and access to faster Internet connections. * MP3
usage among students has not significantly reduced their CD
consumption patterns. Most students (63%) who download MP3s say they
are still buying the same number of CDs; 10% of MP3 users say they are
buying more CDs. What's more, 39% of students who download MP3s say
that after listening to recorded music in MP3 format, they often buy
CDs containing that music. Students also rated CDs higher than MP3s
with respect to sound quality. * Sharing music files is a popular
activity, but 68% of students sampled who download MP3s say they have
never converted CD music to MP3 format; 70% have never uploaded MP3s
to the Internet. * Thirty-three percent of students interviewed say
their opinion of Metallica has worsened since the lawsuit. *
Fifty-four percent of students surveyed disagree with USCís ban on
Napster downloads. * Sixty-nine percent of students surveyed agree
that copyright holders should be paid for downloaded MP3s.

* Seventy-six percent of respondents say that society is better off
with new technologies such as MP3. "The most widely reported reactions
to new digital technologies tend to be at the extremes," said Martin
Kaplan, director of the Norman Lear Center and associate dean of the
Annenberg School. "This study offers a more sophisticated look at the
people who use MP3." In mid-April, USC, Yale, and Indiana University
found themselves named in a lawsuit filed against Napster by the band
Metallica. While Yale and Indiana banned Napster almost immediately,
USC originally held back. A subsequent decision by university
officials to restrict downloads from Napster resulted in USC being
dropped from the lawsuit. The full report, which provides data on the
attitudes, characteristics, and practices of this MP3 user community
can be found at the Lear Center's Web site:
http://www.entertainment.usc.edu/ The Norman Lear Center is a
multidisciplinary research and public policy center exploring
implications of the convergence of entertainment, commerce, and
society. The impact of new technology on artists and on the ownership
of creative content is a principal focus of the Lear Center. #####

--- Opinions expressed in this email are my own unless otherwise
stated. Phil Graham Lecturer (Communication) Graduate School of
Management University of Queensland 617 3381 1083
www.geocities/pw.graham/ www.uq.edu.au/~uqpgraha

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