Is it possible?

Old 08-05-03, 06:23 PM
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Is it possible?

What do you think?
From winXP news,com newsletter:
Can Microsoft Become the Good Guy?

We've noticed an interesting trend in the thousands of responses we get from WinXPnews readers every week. When I wrote for the Editor's Corner in the WinXPnews a couple of years ago, most of the mail had a decidedly anti-Microsoft slant. Issues with SP1, the RegWorm, and hardware compatibility problems turned a lot of people off. What's interesting is that this isn't the case anymore. There's a new bad guy on the block, and folks despise them a lot more than they ever did Microsoft.

Who's that bad guy? The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). There's a real, visceral hatred for this group. Not being much of a music listener myself, I have a hard time understanding where this contempt comes from. Nevertheless, the letters we get from our readers shows that the RIAA is put in the same category as the IRS, war criminals, virus writers/hackers and child molesters.

Microsoft has the opportunity to be the World's good guy here. They're already turning things around with Windows XP's newfound stability and reliability. They still have a lot of work ahead of them. One thing they can do to become the good guy number 1 is to hold them in distinct contrast to the RIAA.

How? Whack support for DRM (Digital Rights Management or "scumware"). That's right. Bag it, kick it out the door, and send it to the place where all the other anti-consumer rights ideas go.

Can you imagine what would happen if Microsoft came in on the side of the consumer in this debate? Droves of former Microsoft haters would turn on a dime. They'd say Microsoft really is listening to their customers. They'd say that Microsoft was doing the right thing. They'd say the World is changing for the better and Microsoft is leading the way. They'd say that Microsoft is a White Knight coming to their customer's rescue.

Can you imagine? Maybe it's a pipe dream. But, there are thousands of really good, honest, upstanding, and hard working people at Microsoft. Whenever I talk to a Microsoft employee, he or she is polite and thoughtful and always really wants to help, (I'm not talking about off-shored, outsourced, helpdesk contractors), I'm talking real Microsoft employees. Compare these Microsoft folks with the cracked and whacked out people who get the attention at the front end of the music industry.

Microsoft can show everyone they're the good guy, they just need to take one bold step.

What do you think? Would putting a token stake through the heart of music DRM make Microsoft The Good Guy in your book? Let us know what you think by writing to
Old 08-05-03, 08:10 PM
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Microsoft only has an interest in things that are interesting to Microsoft - IOW, Microsoft will only support something it can benefit from.

MS is losing the battle against Unix OS's - they have to do something. The war on the RIAA is simple - it has to do with what MS has been "supporting" from the beginning - user security. If MS can tighten it's user security and in the same token benefit the user by making them invulnerable to the RIAA - then everyone benefits - especially MS.
Old 08-06-03, 10:17 AM
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You asked us what we think, so I will take this opportunity to rant, since someone else brought it up. Here are just a few of my thoughts on RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and DRM (Digital Rights Management). The point I would like to bring up is actually a question. “WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE LINE?”

When file sharing began, years before Napster and Kazaa, it seemed harmless to swap files between computer users. Most of the computer users were what you would call, “Geeks” or “Nerds”, and swapped files mainly to see new what new software was on the market. Most users didn’t really use the software, as they were more concerned in finding out if it would run on their machine, or looking for bugs in the program.

Then MP3’s came on the scene, and for several years, users were swapping music files without a lot of harm being done. THEN along came the commercialization of file swapping. All of a sudden, you had file sharing software that was advertising the fact that it could be used to swap files. The software had the capability to rip the audio from a CD, share it on the web, and also convert the shared MP3 back to CD audio and burn it to CD so it could be portable and not just listened to on the computer. Having been in the music industry, in my earlier days, I would consider this STEALING. No royalties are being paid to the musicians, since there is no sale of the product. I bought my musical equipment, trained, paid my dues, and made a decent living for many years playing keyboards. Now, the 99 percent of computer users that are not musicians, and have never recorded any music are saying that this doesn’t hurt anyone. After all, musicians don’t need the money, do they?

So, I have come up with a new idea for file sharing since it doesn’t hurt anyone. I would like all of the persons in the medical professions to FAX me a copy of their medical licenses and med school diplomas. I would like to put them up on the wall of my office and start a new medical practice. Would all of the lawyers please email my wife a copy of your license, so she wouldn’t have to pass the bar exam. How about construction contractors, plumbers, electricians, and skilled trades worker, post their credentials on a FTP site, so I can download all the permits and union cards that I need. And for all the students that are using university computers to share files, please email me a copy of your diplomas and grade transcripts. They might look better than the copies in my resume. After all, THIS IS JUST FILE SHARING! Does this sound ridiculous? You’ve worked hard for what you have learned. It’s your “Stock in Trade”. Eight years or more in medical or law school has to be rough. Try mastering a musical instrument to the level that it takes to make it as far as a recording studio. Not many of you would make it in the eight years.

How about the hackers that steal credit card numbers from web sites and then post them for all to use? Isn’t that just more file sharing?
Just my opinion, I may be wrong.

Old 08-09-03, 03:21 AM
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Considering the fact it only costs 35 cents to make a CD, why have consumers been paying $18 each for them? Independent record labels can actually make money selling Cd's for $8 including shipping. Why cannopt the major labels realize this? They have been porking the consumer for years and now cry like babies because they are no longer making astronomical profits on CD sales. When I think RIAA, a mental picture of Bluebeard or another pirate comes into my mind.
Old 08-09-03, 09:06 AM
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Given that MS has been pushing their WMV format as a (superior) alternative to MP3, I'm just waiting for them to decide they have enough market share in the portable player market and announce a deal with the major music publishers.

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