Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

The future of buying music?

Cringley has an interesting business model for selling music online over at

He says his "SNAPSTER" (Son of Napster) will only cost $2 million to implement.  I figure Joel has at least that much and should start funding this right away.

Matt Watson
Friday, July 25, 2003

The really missing element in all this is the artist.  He discusses how the founders and early adopters make money, and the effect on the current music industry.

What about the artists?  How are they going to make money?

If there is no money to be made in creating music, then it becomes a purely amateur business.

We already have a resource for obtained free or low cost amateur music:

Ged Byrne
Friday, July 25, 2003

Sounds pretty silly to me.  By this logic, the bank I work for would only need one copy of windows, which we would all share (or which the stockholders would share?).

The crime here is distribution of copyrighted materials.  The organization can buy it, but the moment they distribute it they are in trouble.  Furthermore he seems to misunderstand the nature of the claim that common stock holders have on company property.  I own 100 shares of Kroger, that doesn't entitle me to grab goodies off the supermarket aisles.

His "lateral approach to solving problems" idealism would be more convincing if his solution were not silly.  I for one suggest that we all share music through a planetary telepathic link powered by my palm pilot. Yes I realize this cannot ever EVER happen, but never mind that, I am just being lateral.  You should be lateral too.  Like me.


Ran Whittle
Friday, July 25, 2003

I think even I could defeat this galactic stretch of "Fair-Use" and all of my legal training comes from watching Law & Order.

Friday, July 25, 2003

The Cringley thing is lame.

Friday, July 25, 2003

> I own 100 shares of Kroger, that doesn't entitle me to grab goodies off the supermarket aisles.

You could if the Kroger Execs let you.


Friday, July 25, 2003

I must of misunderstood.

I thought the idea was that only one person at a time could actually listen to something, so that ownership was constantly being transferred.

Hmmm.  His just talking rubbish.  He know even less about law than he does about refactoring.

Ged Byrne
Friday, July 25, 2003

I think most people could find holes using their Law & Order legal knowledge, they just have to wait around for 25 minutes while the cops stumble around first.

Of course, if the ADA's show up on the tv before the large hand hits the '6' on the wall clock, you know that the conviction will be turned over with 10 minutes to spare anyways ;-)

Friday, July 25, 2003

Is snapster supposed to be using a hole in the copyright law or something?
Hey, the problem was never the law here. RIAA can do what they want , but they wont catch up.

Besides, I think a functioning trustworthy micropayment system would make this problem go away. I think most people would gladly pay a reasonble amout for the music if:
A) The browing/sampling effect of filesharing is present.
B) Its easy, conveinet and reliable. (No DRM bull)
C) The files are good quality, and you can select your prefered bitrate, or possibly even a linear fileformat.

Eric DeBois
Friday, July 25, 2003

I try not to have any sort of time-keeping devices anywhere near me while watching TV.

Unfortunately, my body-clock is pretty good and I usually know how much time is left anyhow.

Fortunately, I now have Tivo and skip commercials, so I can once again lose track of how much time is left in a show.

Richard Ponton
Friday, July 25, 2003

While im ranting..

The indie/smaltime music buisness is not any worse off than it ever was.
If the mega-global-music corporations go belly up... good riddance, they are just hogging the space. (Am I ot yet ;D)

Eric DeBois
Friday, July 25, 2003

I'm surprised you guys haven't figured out that Cringely's art is the advocacy-style troll. He keeps catching you guys and reeling you in. If he really believed in that scheme, he'd do it himself. If he was a real person, that is.

Don't Feed the Troll
Saturday, July 26, 2003

If Cringely has passed that through his lawyer, and his lawyer OKed it with a straight face, as he said, then I sure hope he never has any legal problems.

Though I suspect his lawyer is a good poker player.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, July 29, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home