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Salon: Napster -- friend or foe?

Mar 31, 2000, 00:21 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Scott Rosenberg)

"Rather than insist that the way the music world does business today is the only way imaginable, it behooves artists to take a longer and more imaginative view. It's not as if the status quo has served them so well. Today a popular recording artist is basically a participant in a lottery, rigged by the music conglomerates, with a tiny likelihood of winning a vast fortune and overwhelmingly more likely odds of achieving only obscurity and peanuts in royalties."

"Even more than the artists, the victims of this system are music fans -- who end up paying exorbitant prices for CDs to fund bloated recording-company marketing budgets. That money gets spent manufacturing a handful of superstars, leaving serious music lovers to fend for themselves in ferreting out unusual new music that the business considers too "niche-y" to be worth promoting."

"This is the landscape onto which the MP3 movement and Napster have arrived -- one filled with howls of outrage from fans. Write about this subject on the Net, as I did a couple of months ago, and your e-mail will overflow with their complaints about the way things have been, and relief at the changes the new technologies portend...."

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