2001/2001 (From the Archives) - MP3.com,
the biggest collection of music from
independent online artists. Not anymore,
though. In what seems to be a final and
perhaps lethal strike against the online
artist community, VIVENDI UNIVERSAL
destroyed around three terabytes of music
before selling the MP3.com domain to
CNET.com. This is the story, the ballad, of
MP3.com as told by one of the pioneers in
the online artist community.
VIVENDI wasn't the original owner of
MP3.com, but they took the website over just
after they sucked the original owners empty.
A look at the complete story reveals the
true intend of the musical industrial
complex and the way they try to achieve
Let's start at the beginning.
In about 1998, 1999, there was a sort of
"golden age" of MP3. The format
looked very promising because it had created
a whole new generation of artists. Sites
such as MP3.com began to make it possible
for artists to receive a royalty over their
downloads. If someone listened to or
downloaded your music, you would get a few
cents. Other programs were created to have
your music heard and get some royalty
All these things were very good for the
Artist and the Listener. I could see that I
was approaching a situation in which this
could totally provide me with my daily
bread. The listener could listen to music
without having to buy it first; I would have
direct response to my releases.
In this same time, the MP3 format was also
used in a different way. People would start
to record their records and rip the CD's,
put everything in MP3 format on their
computer and use software to exchange music
with others. One of the first pieces of
software that enabled people to do that, was
called "Napster", perhaps some of
you remember the name.
Until this time, I'm still talking about
'98, '99, the music industry wasn't really
around on the Internet. They were still
sitting in their ivory towers, selling
people the stuff they want people to buy,
telling artists to play what they want
artists to play, you know, the usual things
dictators and criminals do. The music
industry was totally unaware of the
revolution that took place in Cyberspace.
But right under their nose, a whole new
generation of artists was formed. Artists
independent from the main music industrial
complex, building up an audience. And they
were becoming more and more popular.
Download charts at MP3.com revealed the
immense popularity of many new artists.
Their names were often above some
Then, a hard noise came out of a Hollywood
villa. The residence from a member of a band
called Metallica, to be precise. The hard
noise wasn't a new tune, but a complaint. It
had come to the attention of this particular
individual, that people were actually
sharing Metallica music over the Internet,
The musician complained that he would lose
income as a result of the music sharing that
was going on through the Napster software.
I'm not a heavy Metal fan, but a bitter
Metallica listener told I, that this
particular band started out by having people
share their music through tape sharing. And
I still wonder, why an artist who can live a
good life, would complain over people liking
his music enough to share it with others.
Because, through the action of this artist,
and many other of course, the online Artist
community was being attacked, as I will
expose later on. So one can safely say that
this Metallica member did not have the
interest of the online artist in mind.
The music industry woke up from their sleep,
their little nap, and they began their take
on Napster. Backed by a multi-million dollar
well of money, the lawsuits began.
All in the name of saving the Artist
Community, the rhetoric and the propaganda
began to spread over the mainstream media.
The people were warned, that there would
soon be no more new music available when
people would massively continue to share
music with each other. No, they didn't have
the online artist in mind indeed. Or perhaps
they did but didn't want you to know they
did. Because even if the musical industrial
complex would go broke because of file
sharing, the new music would have been
provided by the online artists! In the
Netherlands, where I live, there was a
campaign where famous artists were being
shown with their mouths sown together, like
they were torture victims. People obviously
had to feel sorry for the rich and famous,
eerrr, the artists. Artists who didn't even
own their own music anymore and many time
have big debts to the record companies than
own the rights to their music.
But, as we always see with propaganda, the
words and the actions are two different
Napster could not resist the flood of
lawsuits that were filed against them and
eventually they were taken over by the
musical industrial complex.
And one can argue over the legality of such
programs as Napster. One can say that it's
not right to share music like that.
But what about MP3.com and other legal MP3
sites, where the online artist community
releases music and communicates with the
Obviously, they are different then the file
sharing programs as Napster.
But not for the Musical Industrial Complex!
The guys at Universal were working overtime
to find a way to accuse MP3.com of
Completely in the current spirit of
globalization and privatization, they
themselves were taken over by a company
called Vivendi and their orders were to go
after the online Artists now. Can't have
independents, don't we?
But there was a problem. MP3.com was not
like Napster. People were actually offering
their own music there, and making quite a
name for them. This is the kind of
competition you never hear the Musical
Industrial Complex complain about, but I
think that it is a major reason why they are
losing CD sales too. There are many Online
Artists who make music of professional
quality, especially in the electronic
genres. Some are better than the so-called
Here it didn't help to pull a Rock Star out
of his Villa to complain about loss of
Here some people were actually well aware of
how artists are treated by this musical
MP3.com looked like a fortress, which could
not be taken by the corporate vampires. But
there was one weak point, an option for
registered MP3.com visitors to
"beam" their CD's.
In short, someone could put a CD in his
drive, click on the mouse and MP3.com would
recognize that CD. You could then go to your
work, and log on to the MP3.com website with
your own password, and you could listen to
the CD without actually having it physically
with you. MP3.com had MP3 files of that CD
which you could listen to.
MP3.com called this program: Beam It.
I never saw the use of it, but I could also
see how it could be abused. I would borrow
your CD's, beam them in a few minutes, then
you take your CD's back and I could start to
download from MP3.com.
Unfortunately, the lawyers at Vivendi also
saw this and they started to beam complaints
to the judges. Again, they posed as the
victims were in fact they were the pirates
To make a long story short, they provided
the Online Artists with a speed-course in
Globalization and the vampirism that comes
MP3.com was sucked completely empty before
Vivendi bought the website.
One of the first things they did was to
label the artists as "clients".
Shortly after that, they cut down the
royalty payment with 90%. Yes, you hear this
correctly. Where some of the artists had a
real perspective off being able to live from
their music, the fruits of their hands, by
the stroke of a pen this future was made
impossible. I do not know how many of you
would accept an income cut of 90%. We had
to, because Metallica could otherwise not
have their next car.
In the meantime, they had also fired most of
the people who originally set up MP3.com and
hired people that would do nothing all day
but answering public complaints from
artists. In politics, these people are
Spin-doctors are professionals in bringing
bad news as good news. A good spin-doctor
can make someone rejoice over his own death
The Spin Doctors that were hired by Vivendi
did their best to make the artists believe,
that they were in fact clients. MP3.com
would be a service provider for the artist.
And when they had this in the mind of most
artists, they pulled back the last ten
percent of the royalty income. A contact
told me how even in these times, the parking
space at MP3.com's office was filled with
BMW's and other expensive cars.
Then they went over to charge the artist a
big sum of money every month to have more
than three tracks available for free
download. The website looked like one big
MTV ad, Vivendi's signed artists were
promoted and the independent artists
difficult to find. The quality of the music
by the independent artists also didn't
increase. Of course not! The serious artists
found different sites while the dumbed down
remnant who believed the lies of the spin
doctors kept on putting their tunes on
MP3.com. A thing for which they had to pay a
lot of money, too!
Critique could lead to deletion of the
website. Sane comments on MP3.com's policy
had to be written down intelligently,
because the rules were tightened on the
site's messageboard. A lot of things were
labeled as "insults". After a
while they went so far that only artists who
paid a lot of money every month to have
their music on the MP3.com website could
freely post their messages of the MP3.com
forum. Only the dumbed down remnant who
bought the brainwash education by MP3.com's
spin doctors were able to post. This is how
they killed the critique.
All these things were so obviously wrong,
that it really surprised me to see how easy
it was for the musical industrial complex to
brainwash the artists. It seemed like the
Spin Doctors were making excessive use of a
mentality that is planted in western
societies. "You respect your music,
don't you", they said. "Your music
is worth something, so by paying us you show
your self-respect". And people were
buying these idiotic things. Their slavery
was brought to them as a sign of
self-respect. How sick can you be?
But when you think about it, it fits
perfectly in the works of the musical
industrial complex. When you look at the
bulk of what is released, it's all about sex
and drugs and gang violence. About
emptiness. Vanity. Don't think! In my
contacts with representants of the industry,
I have come across this almost every time.
One time I hear an annoyed voice saying to
me: "You talk an awful lot about
Babylon, don't you". The other time I
find out that behind my back people whom I
work with closely are being told that my
lyrics have to be changed. I hear other
artists telling me what they are being told
by the music industry: "I want music
that makes the pussy wet".
Why were MP3.com's spin doctors so obvious
in their spinning and got away with it? How
come they knew they were going to be
successful in dumbing down the artists?
Simple: because that is what they do all the
time! It's the reason for their existence!
They know they are successful, just look at
western society. The fact that a lot of
people are absolutely not aware of what is
going on, too dumbed down to see they are
fooled, is partly because of the works of
the musical industrial complex!
For me, being an independent online artist
is an essential part of my identity and also
one of the premier conditions for my work. I
try to spread consciousness, to wake up
people for the fact that this Babylon System
that you hear the Rastas speak about all the
time is in fact a horrible reality. And I am
very much convinced that the musical
industrial complex is a part of this system.
When you look at the bulk of music that is
put out to take their place in the hearts
and souls of the people, it's all aiding the
Anyway, I researched further and found out
that Vivendi was not only specializing in
sucking artists and artist-friendly
websites. Like all these
globalist-corporations, they are versatile
criminals and I am not afraid to say so,
because this is an established fact.
Judge for yourself. Dutch National Media
revealed how the Vivendi Company also
specialize in bringing clean water to people
living in the ghetto's and slums of South
Africa. Privatization, you know. So they now
charge these poor people for the water.
Needless to reveal, that these people cannot
pay for their water bill. They don't live in
a slum because they can, do they. And what
happens if you don't pay your bill? Well,
simple: you are being cut off.
I call that criminal. It's criminal to
deprive people of their basic needs such as
water. It's criminal to cut artists with
90%, no, over 100%, of their income. And now
that Vivendi got what they want, they sold
the remains to CNET.com and the future
remains uncertain for the online artist
The lies and propaganda concerning this
matter is unbelievable. VIVENDI claimed that
they couldn't have CNET take over the
contents of the website because VIVENDI did
not have the ownership of the music on the
website. While that ownership remark was
true, it seemed no problem at the moment
VIVENDI took over MP3.com from the founding
owners. In what seems to be of the final
spins, the Online Artists got another blow
in their heads, another punishment for being
A heartical request to VIVENDI by MP3.com's
founder, Michael Robertson, to have the
Archive.org website store the music on their
server, was sent to deaf ears. All the
actions and reactions made it clear that
VIVENDI insisted in having the contents of
the website DELETED.
VIVENDI didn't delete everything from the
website, though. MP3.com had developed a
unique online distribution system for the
online artists. People could have music sent
to their MP3 walkman, or restaurants and
stores could select MP3.com music for play
in their place. This system is now in the
hands of the corporate vampires too.
Operation Kill Online Artist Community in
The ballad of MP3.com is a disaster for the
online artists and listeners. But, as we
see, it goes beyond that even. It's part of
a bigger ballad, the "ballad of