Re: a Napster future?

From viveka <>
Date Sun, 14 May 2000 19:39:33 +1000

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>What do people think about the argument that Napster-like efforts, will
>challenge the corporate media monopolies (internet and others)?
>We could have services that are run by decentralized networks (distributed
>processing) of people who choose to connect to each other.

Right. Well, i believe that the net allows
greater many-to-many conversation than, say,
television (which is your classic panopticon);
but note; Napster, as it exists, does not really
encourage sharing of original content. The
primary interface of the thing is a Search
field, so you have to know the name of what
you're looking for before you can get it.

Hotline is a system that makes it easier to
share original files, and there is some valuable
activity of that sort going on, behind all
the clamour of the click-my-pr0n-banner-to-get-l337-w4reZ
sites. But not really a hell of a lot.

We're not exactly kicking over capitalism with
this network; and what does

>a shockwave strong enough to bring down some
>very fragile speculation-fueled internet

buy us, exactly? If tumbles,
wall street lives on.

My hope is that we may be at least able to clear
out some of the corporatist dreck; move capitalism
"back" towards the ideal of free enterprise instead
of the reality of corporate monopoly.

Napster's really not the best implementation of
this idea; it relies on a central server, which
can be closed down or co-opted. Systems like
this already existed; IRC for example allows
file-sharing, and Hotline and its clones have
been around for a while. Those are harder to shut
down, because they are more distributed. In fact,
I have a feeling the main reason that Napster
has got so much press is because they're such
an easy target, running as a central server
that logs user IP addresses. Just like the
script kiddy that the media trumpets as some
kind of evil mastermind uber-hacker; if Napster
was really that good, they wouldn't be being sued.
Check out FreeNet and Gnutella, and Ompages.
Real revolutionary stuff, without all the hype.

I'm not sure whether Napster's a good thing,
because it gives some press to the concept
of distributed many-to-many networking, or
a bad thing, because it's such a poor

>What would happen if only 1% of news junkies stopped
>watching and started to make news?

and more to the point:

>If 1% of people who made music for fun
>released it on the Internet for free? , sort of.
I'm on the snuggles list, which is a forum for
audio collage artists. They have a problem
with; the fuckers won't publish
their work because it has "uncleared samples"
in it. These are artists who have a strong
claim to Fair Use, and who are happy to fight
any arguments to the contrary in court themselves;
but can't take the heat.
Right now, they don't have a good forum to
publish, so they're taking the matter into
their own hands; finding space where they
can, setting up servers like
and giving each other space on those.

>What if 1% of poetry writers created
>a noncommercial distribution network?

Poetry has a _commercial_ distribution network?

Dinnertime. Imminent death of capitalism
announced, film at 11.

|  Viveka Weiley, Karmanaut.
|  hypermedia | virtual worlds | human interface | truth | beauty

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