Open Letter to Michael Robertson
Thanks for taking the time to respond to my email. I understand that you are a busy man and writing individual emails can subtract time from the important tasks you must deal with on a daily basis. Yet I am perplexed by your short response to my initial email. You indicate that your position has not changed over the last few months, that you have always stood firmly against Napster and the practice of alleged music piracy. As a point of reference, you point me to an article you wrote for MP3.com. I read this article many weeks ago. In fact, it was the subject of an article I wrote about Napster and file-sharing.
Considering the terseness of your response - and the fact you did not address anything of substance in my message - I am perplexed as to why you bothered to answer at all. Upon re-reading the message you provided a link to, I am convinced that you are determined - as is the recording industry cartel and the RIAA - to wipe out Napster. It would seem the RIAA and their clients are satisfied, for now, with suing the pants off anybody who dares to introduce alternative music distribution methods (this includes MP3.com). On the other hand, you suggest taking this RIAA-declared war a step further - by engaging in dirty tricks and subterfuge (i.e., by "polluting" the Napster lode with bogus files). This approach is wholly unconstructive, even vicious. I am unsure how this would deter people from sharing music files. If we were to take this reasoning one step further, the RIAA would be justified in hitting MP3.com with DDoS attacks because Beam-It was distributing unlicensed (some would say pirated) music owned by the recording industry cartel.
I continue to maintain that Napster technology - or Gnutella, Scour, CuteMX, etc. - is perfect way for alternative, non-label represented musicians such as myself to distribute music. It is not my responsibility to ensure that these services do not barter in supposedly illegal files. My responsibility is to ensure that the widest possible audience receives exposure to my work. I am convinced that the RIAA and the corporatist labels they represent do not give a whit about alternative artists such as myself. That you would parrot their propaganda line - and run the largest source of alternative, non-represented music in the world - is distressing.
Again, please note: I am thankful for the service MP3.com offers to countless musicians. Yet I do not understand how you and MP3.com will benefit from joining the RIAA in their war against technology. Of all people, you should intuitively understand how Napster - regardless of the legal issues involved - can work in favor of the under represented and under appreciated musicians of the world.
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