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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 12, 1999)
Euro may give dollar
a run for its money
Though the Euro has yet to prove
whether it will be a heavy hitter on world
markets - it’s still in its infancy, being
released only last week - most experts
agree it could present a formidable com
petitor to the U.S. dollar.
The 11 Euroland nations are poised to
become a new powerblock on the inter
national economic scene, and could sur
pass the U.S. dollar as the currency of
choice for the world’s cash reserves.
But before the United States packs up
its world bank moneybags, the 11
European nations must prove themselves
- prove that they can work together to
overcome centuries of continental politi
cal strife and create an economic giant.
It won’t be easy - there are skeptics
even within the European Union.
Denmark, Sweden and the United
Kingdom, home of the world’s largest
financial center, all opted not to join.
And the skeptics have at least some
Recent market indicators have sug
gested the Euro, which debuted on world
markets with a bang, is now trading
against other currencies with more of a
Even if the Euro rebounds from its
recent downturn, the currency and its 11
supporting countries must continually
face the historical rifts between many of
its member-states, which may prove too
difficult to overcome, according to some
Euro-skepticism is most rampant in
Britain, with less than 30 percent of the
population^ supporting the United
Kingdom’s possible entry into the Euro
currency when it becomes actual paper
and coins, not just computer-traded cur
rency, in 2002.
But if the 11 Euro member-states are
able to succeed with this plan - more
than 20 years in the making - by sacrific
ing parts of their economic sovereignties,
they will emerge as something bigger
than what any of them were alone.
Not only will the European countries
increase their economic clout, but
Europe will once again rise as a political
power that may rival the United States.
Europe may become the “United
States of Europe” British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill envisioned in 1946.
For this reason, the United States
must realize that it may not always hold
the top spot in the international econom
ic and political scenes.
The new kid on the block, with a pop
ulation greater than the United States and
a gross domestic product second only to
the United States, may win this game,
and take the piggy bank, too.
Unsigned editorials are the opinions of
the Spring 1999 Daily Nebraskan. They
do not necessarily reflect the views of the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, its
employees, its student body or the
University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
A column is solely the opinion of its author.
The Board of Regents serves as publisher
of the Daily Nebraskan; policy is set by
the Daily Nebraskan Editorial Board. The
UNL Publications Board, established by
the regents, supervises the prpduction
of the paper. According to policy set by
theregents, responsibility for the editorial
content of the newspaper lies solely in
the hands of its student employees.
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes brief
letters to the editor and guest columns,
but does not guarantee their publication.
The Daily Nebraskan retains the right to
edit or reject any material submitted.
Submitted material becomes property of
the Daily Nebraskan and cannot be
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affiliation, if any.
Submit material to: Daily Nebraskan, 34
Nebraska Union, 1400 R St. Lincoln,
NE. 68588-0448. E-mail: •
Music for the masses
Artists should control MP3 accessibility
CLIFF HICKS is a senior
news-editorial and English
major and the Daily
Nebraskan opinion editor.
Is music free?
How much does a record company
control what a musician makes?
If a song is out of print, is it illegal
to make a copy of it, considering you
can’t legally buy the compact disc?
It’s questions like these that are
plaguing the MP3 format, a computer -
system of audio recording that has got
ten itself into the news quite a bit lately.
For those of you unfamiliar with
computer terms, I’ll try to keep it sim
ple. MP3 allows for CD-quality audio
to be compacted down to almost noth
ing in terms of size, allowing it to be
transmitted quickly over the Internet.
I’d heard about the MP3 format
years ago, but I always considered it a
pirate’s tool, something that was used
by law-breakers and criminals to copy
whole CDs and rip off companies.
Certainly the Recording Industry
/Association oi /America ieeis max way.
The RIAA has been protesting the
MP3 format since its inception, saying
it’s going to destroy the music industry
and that soon artists won’t be paid any
thing for their music.
The way the RIAA describes it, if
MP3 isn’t banned, they’ll be out of
business and so will every band liked
by, well, anyone.
Over winter break, I started to do a
bit of poking into the situation myself.
Sitting at home, I saw a snippet of
MTV News all about the MP3 format
and one of the more popular bands
these days, the Beastie Boys.
As it turns out, the Beasties had
recorded a couple of live tracks from
some of their recent concerts. For then
fans, they had put these tracks up on
their Web site. They had, natch, used
the MP3 format.
Enter the Man, in the form of
Capitol is the distributor of the
Beastie Boys’ albums. If you buy a ^
Beasties album, Capitol gets money.
With a wave of Capitol Records’
hand, the MP3 files were gone
overnight and in their place were
This is, in layman’s terms, the
equivalent of taking down CD-quality
sound, and replacing it with a radio
broadcast. The sound quality difference
isn’t huge, but RealAudio is much
harder to work with. You really couldn’t
convert it to a CD without a lot of effort
and it honestly doesn’t sound as good.
Well, fine, I can hear someone say
ing, if I were them, I wouldn’t want my
music given out free either. The key to
this conundrum is that it isn’t the \
Beasties who wanted them pulled
down - it was the record label.
The Beasties wanted it to be free.
They have no intention^ to release a
live CD of these recordings, so they
aren’t cutting into the profits of
Capitol, but it’s another chance for the
label to put its foot down.
Let me offer a different case, one
I’m a little more interested in. Not to
bust on the Beasties, but they’re not my
type of stuff. ,,
When I started poking around the
Net looking for MP3s, I found that
Weezer used to have a whole ton of B
sides available in MP3 format on one
ui uicii iaii ciuus wcu pages.
Eventually someone got around to
asking Rivers Cuomo, Weezer’s song
writer, if they were ever going to
release a B-sides compilation, to which
he responded, “Definitely!”
The next day, like the falling of
dominoes, all the B-sides MP3s van
ished from the net and were replaced
with RealAudio versions.
And the band members have the
right to do that; It’s their music. If they
plan on releasing it eventually on CD,
then I have no problem with waiting.
Another example of MP3 fair
usage is with My Bloody Valentine, a
favorite band of mine who hasn’t put
out an album in eight years.
If you try to go buy any of their
early recordings, I guarantee you peo
ple will stare at you blankly. They’re
out of print. They’re so far out of
print that they’re impossible to get. :i.
And gosh, isn’t the MP3 for- ^
mat helpful to share that music, y
which you can’t buy, to ail the fan*
who want so to hear it.
The same applies to live
and out-of-print recordings of the
Dave Matthews Band, U2 and
Radiohead, all of whom I’ve f
picked up MP3 files of since I
began listening to the format
I have also downloaded and kep#
songs that I could hear on the radio,
although I usually buy the album
eventually. My thinking is that if I
can hear it on the radio, I can record it.
it s open tor public consumption.
See, I’m not making a penny on it.
I’m not distributing them for profit.
I’m not pirating CDs and anything
that’s in print, I buy.
But things go out of print and I
don’t want to miss out on the music,
and I don’t think the musicians would
want me to either.
Do you think John Lennon sat
around thinking about how much
money he was going to make from a
song when he was writing it, or do you
think he was hoping it would outlive
him, like so much of his music did?
Is it business or art?
I also found it interesting that the
RIAA’s argument sounds like another
argument I read about when I was
doing researchbn copyright laws
When VCRs were introduced, there
was a fit, saying that with the ability to
play and record movies, people were
going to pirate them like mad, and that
the movie industry would collapse.
Funny, innit, that the video industry
has virtually kept some movie studios
aiioai; ,5ure, mere are some msnonesx
folks who rent and copy a movie, but
for every one person like that, there are
100 who go out and buy the video.
Is the RIAA going to win? Is the -
MP3 format going to be stamped out?
I hope not.
As not only a fan but a musician
myself, I believe that a musician should
have final control over die music.
You only sell so much of your soul
when you get in a contract. The corpo
rate suits should never be able to pre
vent an artist from creating art.
If John Grisham wants to write and
post a story on the Internet, he could.
Why can’t the Beastie Boys do the
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