Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Tuesday 17/7/2001As befits a true prophet, Napster has been tied to the stake and had the kindling set ablaze by the howling mobs of the Establishment. The latest anguished scream -- disguised as a press release about strategy -- is that it's giving up on .

Tuesday
17/7/2001 As befits a true prophet, Napster has been tied to the stake and had the kindling set ablaze by the howling mobs of the Establishment. The latest anguished scream -- disguised as a press release about strategy -- is that it's giving up on .MP3 and moving to .NAP format. Which is like MP3, except it's covered in a rubbery layer of rights management. Oh, and it won't play on anything you have. In other words, Napster has been forced to conform to a model of how the music companies would like the world to work, and it is as good as dead. The world, of course, takes no notice. You can download any one of a number of Gnutella clients (Bearshare's good), run it and get the music you like within a few minutes. Unsurprisingly, that's what everyone's doing, and I thoroughly expect that to continue no matter what Napster is forced to do. Loyalty is not an Internet protocol. Meanwhile, the music industry is experimenting with CDs that are uncopyable -- lots of deliberate errors in the coding but "won't make any difference to the music" -- and players that won't do a thing unless the Man tells them it's alright. Is there any sign that the world is ready to co-operate? Ho, ho, ho.

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