Feeds

Napster: Ex RIAA boss rues lost opportunity

Where legals daren't

Security for virtualized datacentres

It's the tenth anniversary of Shawn Fanning's Napster - and former RIAA chief Hilary Rosen has again regretted not being able to legitimise the service.

"I've been quoted as saying the record companies should have jumped off the cliff and signed a deal. I thought it at the time. It was well documented that I privately urged that," Rosen told Billboard.

Within a year of its release, Napster had tens of millions of users, and people who'd never used a PC were buying one to acquire music. That's a distribution channel, Rosen acknowledges, but the industry wouldn't legitimise it. She explains:

"But it would have been jumping off a cliff, and people have to understand that. The artists were against it. The publishers were against it. Nobody knew how they were going to get paid."

Instead, the RIAA's litigation helped drive P2P underground - where it became entrenched, and harder to monetise.

Rosen also criticised a lack of action and "too much attention on security and not enough on interoperability".

In 2003, the RIAA started to sue individual downloaders. But this only made downloading more attractive, she now notes. "Ripping off the man created some extra joy, not just a convenience factor."

After Napster closed its doors, music labels signed up in the hope of converting it into a paying subscription service, but the concept still couldn't gain industry-wide traction. The Napster brand name was sold to Roxio, and used for a DRM subscription service.

The file-sharing aspect of the original Napster terrified some major label executives - and still does. Shawn Fanning went on to build an infrastructure for legal file sharing with Snocap - but met the same resistance, and left before the company's assets were sold recently.

You can read the interview at Billboard - and a short history of the music business's home-grown flops, here. Chris Castle, a lawyer for Napster at the time, shared some insights with us recently here. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.