at last!

Martin Zehr m_zehr at
Fri Feb 16 07:47:24 MST 2001

Excuse me if I join this little fracas. But I find it curious that MaryAnn
can indulge in so many crocodile tears for unfortunate artists like
Metallica who scream "Robbery!" when they can't increase their portion of
the millions of dollars being made. I think that these characters have
successfully found a way to block access to the broad sections of the
American and international public to a broader range of musical and artistic
performances. The market in music is dominated today as never before and
promises to increase. Artists have strictly defined avenues for making an
impact on the market. Major corporations control the access to and the
creation of music and art. Such control threatens to bleed the cultural
lifeblood of the world. If we focus on one aspect of this issue, let's make
it on how this decision further restricts the development of creativity and
the accessability to new talent by the general public. Let's further state
that by redefining Napster in the way it has, the corporate heads have
redefined the Internet and its potential for democratization of the world's
cultural and political institutions. Let's further look at it in the context
of the political attacks on artists and the National Endowment. Let's stop
giving up the fight before we even start it. They've got their interests and
we've got our. Let's not confuse the two!

>From: "Maryann Bowers" <maryannbowers at>
>Reply-To: marxism at
>To: <marxism at>
>Subject: at last!
>Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2001 22:30:51 -0500
>...some thoughtful dialogue on Napster.
>A few reactions:  Phil Ochs, and Paul Robeson singing USSR's National
>($14, not $25) are commercially available.  Try cdnow.  Yes, for music
>enthusiasts with no interest in paying for their records, Napster is the
>best thing to come along since the Slurpee.  Sure the technology is out of
>the bag, and we could all go on taking whatever we want from artists, but
>this sounds poignantly hypocritical coming from people on this kind of
>Since we're all in this very evolved dialogue where we propose an interest
>in paying "workers" and disenfranchised peasants, wouldn't the world be a
>more beautiful, Marxist place if there was something similar to what Mr.
>Montiero proposes; ie, modeled after performance royalties paid artists by
>not-for-profit performing rights societies in exchange for their songs
>played on the radio and in jukeboxes, some measure of "airplay" quantified
>by number of downloads, that could go directly to the musician?  Shouldn't
>there be a subscription fee, that allows everyone access to all the music
>the world, that is then repaid to the musicians whose music is available?
>Nobody wants to see Gerald Levin and Richard Branson richer.  But I stand
>my point that stealing the music doesn't help the people at the bottom of
>the food chain.

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