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> I don't think ANY artist/musician would be in love with the idea of never
> getting paid for the work they do, much less the art they produce.  And I
> believe that the idea of all this being Free Forever is so Beyond 
> (and I don't mean Radio Shack) that some folks are going to wake up more
> abruptly than others.  However!

The issue is not whether it's romantic for a society to starve its artists 
death, it's one of simple business.  You can't make money selling tapwater
when everyone in your neighborhood is paying their utility bill.  Call me a
stick in the mud but I don't think people are lining up at the concept of
paying on per-download basis for cassette-tape-quality MP3 files when they 
get tens of thousands of them right now at no charge - especially when 
even at
no charge they have to wait five-to-ten minutes downloading a four-minute

I could be wrong.  Go ahead and try.  I'm just saying, I don't exactly 
have my
credit card in hand waiting with bated breath until you get your site up.

One more point.  Don't knock Free.  Free is a very lucrative way of making
money on the Internet right now.  Paradox?  Hotmail, NetMail, FreeMail, 
Excite, Snap, GoTo, Geocities, Xoom, ICQ, MP3, AltaVista, AOL Instant
Messenger, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.  Hotmail sold for what, four 
million dollars?  The minute Yahoo starts charging for web searches is the
minute Yahoo files chapter 11.  How many people have a subscription to the
online oxford english dictionary?  I personally use webster's 3rd Edition 
at a
whopping $0.00 per hit.  Free is good.  Free is our friend.  Free makes me

Now "you* deserve to make lots of cold, hard cash for what you do.  Believe
me, I know.  You work hard for your money.  So hard for it, honey.  You 
have to tell me.  A workman is worthy of his hire, and that's even from the
Bible and everything.  No, what I'm talking about is bad business.

Now you may be the marketing/business supragenius who revolutionizes the
charge-per-download MP3 market.  I'm just saying that Free is hard to beat 
a price war.  And it looks like Free is going to be here - maybe not 
but at least for a while.  MP3.com is worth how many scores, or hundreds, 
millions?  They're not going south any time soon.  And frankly, I kind of 
it.  No one is more desirable than when they're giving things away.

For free.

So anyway, you know what you're up against.  Go for it.  I mean, after all,
it's a free market.