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Kristian Koehntopp, Wassilystrasse 30, 24113 Kiel, +49 431 688897
"It's much cleaner and saner now, it's so nice that I'm going to spend the
 rest of today patting myself on the back about it." 
        -- David S. Miller and the new TCP output engine (2.1.pre91)
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Corporations should leave the web alone
Matt Evans
The Louisville Cardinal (U. Louisville)

(U-WIRE) LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The land was free, and thoughts were displayed unabated by harassment. These words best describe the status of the western half of the United States, before the mid-19th century. Most definitely before the colonization, destruction of natural habitat, destruction of native peoples, and sheer political and moral brainwashing of the west.

The frontier's ideals could best be seen recently in the Internet's infancy. Now, this computer network follows the same path as the rest of this country and will eventually become all too much like the west's current status, a giant Wal Mart with a mini-mall with luxurious condominiums built on the side.

Microsoft's near monopolization of the electronic frontier, government interference, conservatives' pathetic ploy to protect children, and record companies have all contributed to the downfall of this ingenious network.

Only a few months ago, record companies came after group fan pages, with the British band Oasis being the most publicized case.

Leave it alone! Go home yuppies, get away family value freaks, get off the web CEOs - the web can not be owned, possessed or controlled by overly-zealous groups, government or demented individual, that think they know best for the majority.

The latest scheme that is undermining the web, involves David Geffen. Geffen is the head of Geffen records, which has signed such groups as the Counting Crows and Lisa Loeb.

Geffen wants to rid the world wide web of all MP3 files, which are compressed music files with CD quality. MP3 (or Mpeg-1, 3 layer compression software) are simply compressed files copied directly from CDs. The file usually contains a single song, at 1/16 of the original size, at 3 megabytes. Web pages are often devoted to the collection of MP3s, and one can upload or download a large selection.

CDs, costing anywhere from 13 to 18 dollars, have become too outrageously priced. People are simply reacting to the current economic situation.

Geffen has come after MP3 sites with a vengeance, pushing MP3 further underground, in his attempt to rid of the web of these files.

Geffen is aided by the Recording Industry of America, which now employs three people to rid the world of pirates. They have been very successful, shutting down 250 MP3 sites last year.

Frank Creighton, associate director of the recording association's antipiracy division, said that it is naive to think things should be given away for free, according to a recent article in Wired Magazine.

Where are the musicians' complaints about the web? Apparently nowhere to be found, because they don't care. They don't concern themselves with trivial things, because they are not capitalistic-exploiting whores, like Geffen. Geffen must feel that his multimillion dollar salary is not enough, so he must have more.

Musicians are often cut out of the big bucks anyways. They are the innovators and creators, who become chiefly exploited by record companies. Profit share, promotion, and respect all come down to how much money have you made lately for many record companies in relation to their musicians.

Besides, the MP3 and fan pages further musicians' mass appeal around the world. What sense does it make economically to alienate future and present customers?

MP3 site operators feel very alienated. One operator has started a boycott campaign against Geffen Records, and has received hundreds of e-mails in support.

Boycotting and general annoyance will have to last for now. Unfortunately, this will not stop the downward spiral of the web, and suburbanization's path is inevitable, so in the end we can all think clean thoughts and look like clean-cut yuppies.

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