Napster and NEARfest

Depressing fact: about 85% of the highest bandwidth users at Yale University are students using Napster, the poorly-designed, poorly-programmed, poorly-implemented MP3 sharing program that has nevertheless seen its popularity skyrocket thanks to the huge population of bored, seemingly amoral college students. The “disappearance” of Napster I cited in an entry a while back was actually an experiment by Yale’s Information Technology Services; they shut off access to all Napster servers, including the website, and traffic dropped like a rock. My question is, why did they reinstate access? I suppose that since the majority of music transferred through Napster is popular music made by artists and labels that already have plenty of money anyway, I need not be too annoyed, but something about the concept of stealing music to such an extent, no matter what the music and no matter what the state of the industry, pisses me off.

Purchased my NEARfest 2000 tix today; they went on sale at 11:00 am. Orchestra sides. Got ‘em at about 2:00; there was a big panic on, as it seems the box office at Lehigh University’s Zoellner Arts Center was overwhelmed by calls. How do these guys do it? All the other prog festivals lose all kinds of money or barely break even; NEARfest 1999 sold out in two months, and at one point it looked like NEARfest 2000, with twice as many seats (1,002), might sell out in one day! Absolutely amazing. Can’t wait to go; now time to do some research on area hotels.

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