Dan Gillmor: Do the Media Want to be Free?
News.Com interview with Napster CEO Hank Barry.
Keola Donaghy found an interesting poll at Billboard. When asked if they were willing to pay for downloaded music from Sony and EMI, 65.3 percent said "No, because you can find most of this music elsewhere online for free."
Thanks to Lawrence Lee for pointing to this excellent Clay Shirky analysis of Napster and the RIAA from April of this year. "The RIAA-Napster suit feels like nothing so much as the fight over the national speed limit in the seventies and eighties. The people arguing in favor of keeping the 55-MPH limit had almost everything on their side -- facts and figures, commonsense concerns about safety and fuel efficiency, even the force of federal law. The only thing they lacked was the willingness of the people to go along."
Dave Rogers found a Doug Engelbart article from 1966 where he described an outliner. It was a bit more crude than the one we implemented in 1980, but fourteen years is a long time.
Today's Radio UserLand screen shot shows new symbology (is that a word?) for headlines that link to music on the local file system. The note symbol is a double-entendre, designed in the mid 90s for Clay Basket, where the note symbol indicated that there was a word processing "note" attached.
One thing's for sure, the backend of Radio UserLand, which hasn't yet shipped, is wide open. Here's the first draft of the spec. There are two XML formats, and an XML-RPC call to register with the aggregator.
Thanks to Jeffrey Zeldman for his wonderful free icon collection. As a graphics-impaired developer I sure appreciate his generosity. The Radio UserLand icon comes from the Zeldman collection. We chose the same icon that represents Scripting News. A strong authoritative male image, artistically rendered. Consistent with my own self-image!
A loop-close and flip-flop. In May 1999, I wrote a piece called Edit This Page, which talked about Manila and what was then called Corazon, which became Pike and is now Radio UserLand. In that piece I said "Meet your new file menu," postulating that an Internet-aware writing tool would need a different File menu. Well, I changed my mind. Radio UserLand has a standard File menu. It still works with Manila as Pike did, without having to change the File menu. Sometimes it pays to change your mind, instead of changing a standard.
Today's song: Come On Eileen.
Andrew Wooldridge, who works on Mozilla, is doing an outliner for that scripting environment. (That's how I think of Mozilla.) I like it because it reads and writes the same files that Radio UserLand does. (Poetry in motion!)
Phil Suh and Cameron Barrett started a content management mail list, which I joined. Phil also started a content management weblog.
SF Chronicle: "Rodney O'Neal Austin, a statuesque gender blending artist included in the exhibition, greeted me with an air kiss and handed me an envelope. 'It arrived today,' he said with a melodramatic flourish. Not surprisingly, it was a letter from his landlord announcing the house he'd lived in for many years was up for sale."
News.Com: "Deploying new software developed in the past six months, BrightPlanet estimates there are now about 550 billion documents stored on the Web."
There's talk about boycotting the music industry, personally I think that rather than a boycott, it would be more appropriate to swamp them with money, in a public way. That would destroy the idea that the net is filled with pirates. There's a lot of buying power here. I don't think the Napster folks can ask people to do this, but I can. Shall we all meet at Tower Records on Saturday at 3PM, coast to coast, with our Visa cards out? (Maybe we should deliver the cash in trash bags?)
Yesterday's survey heavily favored Napster. Only 9 percent said they would shut down Napster if they were the judge, a whopping 84 percent said "Keep it up."
I'm getting lots of mail from people, some artists, about yesterday's DaveNet piece. I'm asking them all to post their thoughts on the discussion group on the Napster Weblog. Some people are venting, that's OK, but it's not OK to put words in my mouth, things I didn't say and don't believe. Listen first, please, it's a waste of time to argue with things I don't believe.
Last night's Napster webcast is archived here: Windows Media - 56K, Windows Media - 28K, Real Audio - 56K.
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