more happiness

More pleasant news is here. AudioGalaxy, the innovative community-building p2p music-sharing company, has settled their lawsuit with the cute bunnies at RIAA. I never used A/G, but it was known for its excellent underground community as well as a unique interface. Here is a story told by a former programmer.

What irks me about these recent events is the way the Music big-Business is acting. I do not feel like they even comprehend the possibilities the Internet and the proliferation of digital devices offer. As if run by uncreative and narrow-minded idiots, they look at these innovations that have cropped up (such as MP3 technology, P2P sharing, TiVo) and see scary change, possible damage to their dirty distribution system. So in turn, they whip out the lawyers. (Deep pockets and lawyers goes a long way in the United States. I hate that part about this country.)

I think Napster took off the way it did for more reasons than it offered free music. Napster was blisteringly successful because it made music free and easy. Interested in a song or wanted to hear about a band? Type in a name, click, click, next thing you know you’re listening to Chris Carrabba strumming his guitar. Didn’t like a song? Delete it, gone forever; no wasted space or regretted purchase. There was an immediacy that was gratifying about the whole system. To be honest, I think people would have paid once a month to have that sort of awesome access to any music in the world.

What also tears me up is when I hear your favorite respresentive from RIAA say something like, “We just want to ensure the future is a better and legitimate place for our musical artists, and that they are fairly rewarded for their efforts.” That’s fine, except the music industry doesn’t do that at all themselves. The industry is a giant slave house that rakes its artists across the coals with unfair contracts and fixed distribution systems. The only people that make money from music are the shiny men in the suits at the top. For more authoritative sources other than a naive chinese boy who can barely play “Brown-Eyed Girl” on the guitar, see The Problem With Music by Steve Albini, musician and producer of such acts as Nirvana, etc. etc. Also, read Courtney Love’s long and kickass speech at a conference a year or two back.

Listen, I know half of my recent posts seem like crazy-angry-haughty-cynical-talk, but nothing seems right to me anymore. Recent business news have not helped make me feel any easier about our “capitalist” system. I hate feeling helpless and watching the whole world around me Do the Wrong Thing, and then see Time magazine do frigging cover stories on hollywood actors. I think in the next couple days, I’m just going to post every bit of bad news and every bit of evidence of what’s wrong now. But… maybe for my own sanity, I think I’ll avoid topics of foreign affairs again, because situations in Africa and the Middle East are enough to crush any good soul.

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