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iTunes iSbogus: Napster Sucks Edition

LAWSUITS OR NOT, major label CD sales will continue to plummet. Last week, worldwide sales were reported to be down 11% in the first half of 2003. For a well developed industry, that is a simply devastating figure. The major labels are also getting caught in a downward spiral: CD sales fall, CD stores close, buying CDs becomes harder and harder, CDs sales fall some more, more stores close, and so on. The only way the majors can try to preserve their iron grip on musicians and fans is by forcing their way onto the internet. And today is a big day for that push because the new “Napster 2.0” is being unveiled for the first time.

The new Napster has nothing to do with the old Napster. The original Napster was free, peer-to-peer music downloads. The new Napster is pay, centralized music downloads. Roxio simply bought the Napster name after the company collapsed and slapped the logo on an iTunes style pay-for-download service. They hope the Napster name will get them some attention and that maybe all those former Napster users will have some weird brand loyalty. Of course, what bothers us is that, like iTunes, Napster helps the major labels continue to exploit artists and rip off fans. You pay for music that you could find for free and 90-100% of what you pay is siphoned off to middlemen. It’s ridiculous. So we figure, if Roxio can slap the Napster logo on top of iTunes, we can too. After minutes of effort, we give you the iTunes iSbogus: Napster Sucks Edition.

Our other new project is a coalition of websites that will be calling for a one week boycott of RIAA music when the next round of lawsuits are filed. Of course, at Downhill Battle the major label boycott lasts all year long, but we think that having a one week boycott can bring together a lot of different websites that oppose the suits. If you have a website or blog, you should sign on– when the press reports that a new round of lawsuits has been filed we want them to hear that a chorus of websites is calling for a boycott. Take a look at stopRIAAlawsuits.com and join us.

Still the most important thing going on is the Defense Fund. If you haven’t visited it yet, take a look at the quotes from people being sued and consider making a donation.

Go to the Defense Fund

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