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Keeps going…

Geoff Gasior
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SonicNet has a story up that takes a look at one of the more interesting ramifications of Napster that I’ve seen to date. Because of the potential for rapid bootleg dissemination, bands are holding back from playing new or otherwise unreleased material at concerts.

“We only wanted to give it to that intimate audience,” Howerdel said. “That [the song showed up on Napster] takes the decision making out of your hands, and that kinda sucks.”

It’s another twist to the Napster story. From A Perfect Circle to Neil Young, Staind to Orgy, R.E.M. to Radiohead, bands are re-thinking their setlists in this digital age, thinking twice about whether they want to play unreleased new material that might pop up on the Internet before it’s been properly recorded.

What irks Howerdel about Napster and similar programs, he said, is that they take the power out of the artists’ hands, tampering with what he considers one of the most crucial aspects of songwriting: timing.

“The sequence of a record, or the way you want to present yourself as an artist — whether you want to attach visuals with your music, or however you want to do it — you start to lose ability to do that,” he said.

It’s a good read, drawing arguments from both sides, and adds one more issue to the Napster pile. As if that weren’t enough, Napster is also apparently not complying with the court order and the RIAA is looking at filing a non-compliance report. And so the saga continues…

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