Fighting a Downhill Battle

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Universal Music Group struck a deal with Snocap (run by founder of Napster) that would allow Universal to recognize songs swapped on the network and send the users a bill. Sony-BMG is discussing a similar deal with Grokster.

MJ.com: Why do you think the former founder of Napster (and former thorn in the side of record companies) has chosen to become the intermediary between P2P and record companies?

HW: My sense is that he wants money and his name is the primary thing he has to sell. The interesting question isn’t why he chose to work with them, it’s why they chose to work with him. And that comes down to name recognition too, I think. They want to buy the phenomenon, so they buy its former figurehead.

MJ.com: What is the future of Peer-to-peer technology in this kind of environment?

HW: We don’t think this has any real bearing on the future of filesharing. Essentially it’s just a service where you can download songs online and pay a huge bill at the end of the month, and most of the money won’t get to the musicians. That’s nothing new–iTunes is the same thing, and we’d be shocked if they make as slick a service as iTunes.

MJ.com: What would you say to anyone who is thinking about joining a P2P organization that requires payment?

HW: The same thing we say to anyone buying music anywhere, whether it’s from a p2p network, an online store like iTunes, or a record store: When you spend money on music, look into where your money’s going. If it’s on one of the “Big Four” corporate record labels, almost none (if any) of your money makes it to the musician. And on the whole that purchase hurts musicians, by propping up a corrupt system. If it’s on an independent label, your money’s likely to go to the right place, and you won’t be supporting monopolists.


Links:

Find out if the CD labels you buy pay radio stations to play their music at Magnetbox.com

Lessig’s site, creativecommons.org shows how to obtain progressive licenses for artists, writers, and musicians on the web.

Find out
how you can avoid getting sued by RIAA, or if your name has been subpoenaed from your ISP

Through Downhill Battle you can:

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate