James (by way of Josephine Bosma) on Tue, 6 Jun 2000 22:21:32 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Re: [forumhub] napster

[the napster discussion was forwarded to the Forumhub list for music in
networks. This is one reaction, and it deals with art.  JB]

In message <v03007804b55f539aa9e4@[]>, jerome joy
<joy@thing.net> writes
>very interesting conversation on the Nettime forum:
>about napster
>any comments?

This is an interesting post but I'm always confused about such
discussions. Particularly the idea of Capitalism - which is now nothing
like its original form of Marx's idea - it seems to have transfigured
itself putting the consumer first - where we now play a schizophrenic
role as consumers and workers, the credit here goes to Henry Ford.

Secondly the ideas of copyright. The post goes on about *movies* and
conflates this with *ideas*. Yet the *movies* are intellectually void -
otherwise they might lose some of their audience.

The MP3 thing is absolutely nothing to do with art but allot to do with
market control. This is based on the fear if everyone relies on stealing
then there is no one left to make anything to steal - however as the
post points out neo-capitalism can transform itself and so make a profit
from any new phenomenon. The music industry will continue in some form
as long as people want some satisfying noises.

Art and ideas are nothing like the above because they often present
their audience with something new - which we naturally are wary of and
probably dislike - because we cant understand it. Rather than an
aggressive reaction most people avoid such things, refuse to be part of
the audience at all- until the art has been fully digested - neutered -
and can no longer pose any threat. Art gallery's resemble museums of
stuffed dead (and hence harmless) animals. This is why consumerism and
art are opposites of each other. One is audience led the other is not
led at all. MP3 poses no threat to Art because most people simply aren't
aware of its (Art's)  existence.

MP3 poses a challenge to the music industry - as did the record  player
(to sheet music production) tape, cassette, transistor radios CDrs .....
but this will only change the nature of means of delivery to the
consumer. In fact in marketing terms it provides an opportunity to sell
all the back catalogues over again - on MP3 ROM's These would be easier
for the mass of consumers to acquire if not quite as cheap- and create a
bigger market for mp3 players.


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