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Thursday, October 07, 2004

Anti-P2P: Carrot & stick

There was lots of online music news this week, not least of which was the latest round of record-industry lawsuits against US file-sharers (762), Reuters reports, and European ones (459). In Europe, recording industry ire was directed mostly at users of eDonkey, Kazaa, and Gnutella, according to a separate Reuters report. Meanwhile, the New York Post reports that the thousands of lawsuits to date have barely made a dent - "23 million people are still using peer-to-peer services ... and worse yet, experts say the RIAA's scare tactics are beginning to be ignored."

The much more interesting *carrot* part of the industry's strategy was chronicled by the Washington Post in its look at Warner Bros. allows its musicians' work to be previewed at MySpace, where users can "post personal profiles with pictures, set up blogs, chat on bulletin boards, play games and so on, combining elements of,, and America Online," according to the Post. The idea is to get R.E.M.'s 13th album exposure with a younger crowd, MySpace's official "sweet spot" of 16-to-24-year-olds, who can also "see band tour dates, buy the album at, download cell-phone ring tones, and read a band biography. MySpace drew 2.5 million visitors in August, the Post reports. On Capitol Hill, one of Congress's efforts to crackdown on file-sharing by going after its enablers (the P2P networks) has have been delayed. "The Senate Judiciary Committee has postponed a final review of the Induce Act after negotiations among the principal parties involved in crafting the bill collapsed," Wired News reports.


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