Fisking p2pnet #1

2006-01-05 02:18:00 UTC

Looks like both sides of the music-downloading debate have their stupid moments. Consider this lame article from p2pnet, which I shall fisk below.

p2p news / p2pnet: Sony BMG, Vivendi Universal, Warner Music and EMI, the Big Four Organized Music cartel members, aren’t the only ones to have New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer breathing down their necks.

So far, so good.

“A trade group for digital-music services said Tuesday that its members have now also received information requests,” says CNET News, quoting Jonathan Potter, executive director of the Digital Media Association, which represents companies including Yahoo, Apple Computer and America Online.

AHHH! Run-on sentence!

Potter says the inquiry could become, “full-blown” —

Oh noes!

— and, “Everybody expects to be contacted, and some already have been”.

At this point in time, there’s no viable corporate online music business.

What? Huh? What about iTunes?

This reality is surprising given that hundreds of millions of people around the world regularly and routinely use the p2p networks —


— and independent artist and download sites for their music fixes, —

How many of those hundreds of millions do you figure are going to the independent artist sites? Not to diminish the independent artists, but I honestly don’t believe the percentage is all that high.

— and that thousands of new music lovers are logging on and tuning in every day.

Thousands every day? For that matter, hundreds of millions? Care to back these figures?

Reading Big Four Organized Music cartel press releases, always faithfully reproduced as-is, and without question or verification, by the mainstream media, one could be forgiven for thinking significant numbers of people are hitting the various sites backed and supported by the Big Four, and paying handsomely for the privilege.


So, who exactly are the Big Four Organized Music cartel?

However, it’s all pure PR baloney.

New from Oscar Mayer.

Organized Music —

— is wholesaling identical, —

(as opposed to illegally-downloaded songs, which vary widely)

— low-fidelity, heavily compressed versions of songs —

That NEVER happens on P2P networks.

— its owners have already created for CD releases to the same companies, such as Apple, RealNetworks and Napster, —

Wait, huh? CD releases to the online music stores?

This forces Apple, et al, to try to off the tracks for a dollar and more each, depending on which countries they’re selling in. And the Big Four apparently want to introduce variable pricing with something in the region of $1.50 for ‘premium’ product at the top end.

Worth more, costs more. I’m not seeing the flaw in this plan. (FTR, I do prefer the flat 99-cent price.)

No one in his right mind is going to pay upwards of $1 for lossy, inferior quality, cookie-cutter corporate ‘product’ drawn from tightly limited catalogues —

Yes, no-one.

— when for pennies, they can —


— tap into not only everything the Big Four have to offer online, but also millions of other tracks, new and old, from and similar sites.


They can also buy from the many independent sales pages set up by new artists as well as established star performers who’ve discovered they can do much better for themselves and their fans online and off without the “help” of the major labels.

Name ’em.

Meanwhile, nine times out of ten, —

More made-up statistics.

— music industry ‘premium’ product, going out at $1 and more, isn’t worth a light, —

Candle-light? Incandescent light? Halogen light?

— which is one of the reasons OM is reporting plummeting sales. …


Currently, the Big Four spending most of their marketing resources on a bizarre sue ’em all campaign through which they’re trying to blackmail people into buying ‘product’.

Actually, they’re trying to punish them for stealing “product”. If you don’t steal music, you don’t get sued, whether you buy the music or not. Also, I haven’t heard of the RIAA withdrawing a lawsuit because the defendant turned around and legally bought the music that was stolen.

I agree that the tactic won’t work in the long run, but this characterisation of it is inaccurate.

They’re doomed to fail on all fronts …

Tell me more about your crystal ball.

The Big Four have already been found guilty of numerous dirty tricks designed to boost sales and keep prices high.

They have? Please cite cases.

Also, um, isn’t boosting sales kind of the idea? Same with keeping prices as high as the market will bear. I believe it is called “making a profit”, and it is the end goal of every business.

Stay tuned.

Same bat-time. Same bat-website.

My main problem with this article (and others like it on p2pnet) is that the site bills itself as “news”, but it is really just an editorial platform. Serves to remind you that this is the internet — take everything with a grain of salt.

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