[linux-elitists] What to do about RIAA?

Ryan Waldron rew@erebor.com
Mon Feb 26 10:45:12 PST 2001

On Mon, 26 Feb 2001, Ben Woodard wrote:

> > Sorry to disagree with everyone....
> This has always been a mystery to me. I don't know why Napster is
> fighting this in the courts. I really agree with you that they are on
> the wrong side of the law on this one. I think that their legal
> arguments are pretty thin. The thing that I have never understood is
> why on earth they are trying to win in the courts. It seems to me that
> they should be working to politicize their userbase and build the
> public outcry against the DCMA, and Micky-Mouse protection act. If 25%
> of napster's users (something like 12.5 million users wrote to their
> congressmen and the president telling them that they thought that the
> laws were unjust and that they "weren't serving the public good". Then
> there is no spin that the RIAA could put on things that would make the
> congress not listen.

I believe that Napster has made some attempt to do this.  They've just
not done it as adroitly as an experienced political group might do it.

Let's face it, fomenting and organizing grassroots political movements
is not the sort of thing that the typical CEO recruited by venture
capitalists are equipped for.  Napster is trying to act like a
business, not a political movmement, even though you're right, they'd
probably have a great deal more success if they focused their efforts
in the political arena.

One other factor, I believe, is that Napster has been forced to take
action in the legal arena to give them some time to figure out what
else to do.  How many of that supposedly 50 million users would hang
around and keep going to the Napster site to see if they could "help
out" if the servers were shut down?  They'd all migrate elsewhere, and
it would be the end of Napster (though not of the issue).  So the
legal fight at least has bought them a lot of time and visibility on
the issue.

Whether or not they turn that, as you suggest, to political effect,
and in time to save the issue from defeat, is anyone's guess.

Have you written to Napster with such a suggestion?

Ryan Waldron    |||   http://www.erebor.com    |||    rew@erebor.com

"The web goes ever, ever on, down from the site where it began..."

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