2013After the Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield records the David Bowie song "Space Oddity" on board the International Space Station, his sublime rendition is posted to YouTube, quickly garnering millions of views.More
2001File this under strange but true: After 27 years as a fugitive from a New Jersey prison, convicted child-killer Edward Solly is arrested in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he has been masquerading as long-dead Sha Na Na guitarist Vinnie Taylor, complete with a website and nightclub act. More
1971Mick Jagger marries his first wife, Bianca Perez-Mora, in St. Tropez, France. She is 4 months pregnant at the time. The couple divorce in 1978.
1981Debbie Harry branches off from Blondie, announcing her solo career. She continues working with the band, which proves more successful.
1978Alex Ebert, lead singer of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, is born in Los Angeles. His mother is the actress Lisa Richards, who had a regular role on the soap opera Dark Shadows and appeared on episodes of Fantasy Island and Chips.
1977The Sex Pistols sign with Virgin Records for £15,000 after being dropped by both EMI and A&M. This one takes, and Virgin issues their landmark album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols. "I've always liked Richard Branson because, pompous rich t--t that he is, he has a great sense of rebelliousness," lead singer Johnny Rotten says.
1975Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock meet at rehearsals for a production of Jesus Christ Superstar in Sydney, Australia. They would become good friends and form Air Supply.
Following the launch of Metallica's legal case against the popular online file-sharing service Napster, Chuck D of Public Enemyand Lars Ulrich of Metallica appear on The Charlie Rose Show, where they debate whether MP3 downloading is a vehicle for piracy or a return of power to the people.
Lars states: "It's really not about the money. It's about control and about the future... To me the core issue is about people's perception of what their rights are as an Internet user and how it relates to intellectual property."
Napster began as an independent peer-to-peer file sharing service, quickly rising to dominate its competitors thanks to a user-friendly interface and a specialization of MP3s. Since its founding in 1999, it has serviced an active community that now sits at well over 10 million members. Its unapologetic distribution of copyrighted materials has challenged traditional conceptions of intellectual copyright.
Lars argues that with accelerated internet speeds and an ever-growing user base, services such as Napster's will continue to aggressively undermine the intellectual copyright and revenue streams of not just musicians but also movies, video games, and other arts and entertainment industries.
"[In] maybe five years, there will be software that can download movies. This goes everywhere, this goes literature, poetry, the whole nine yards. It really is about this perception about if it's intellectual do I have a right to it for free because technology allowed me to get it?... Part of what we are trying to do here is make people understand what they are doing is illegal."
Not all representatives of the music industry view Napster and MP3 downloading with suspicion and trepidation. Chuck D of Public Enemy is among those who see Napster as eroding the monopolistic and cartel-like grip that the major record labels have held upon the industry for decades, devaluing musicianship and artistry in favor of narrow economic interests.
"This is like the power goes back to the people. 'Cause the industry over the past 50 to 60 years has been accountant and lawyer driven and it hasn't been about the artistry."
For Chuck, the Napster debate has elicited an all-too-familiar panic over the future of music sales.
"In 1967 when FM radio came about ... the quality of the sound would take away from the artists' sales points, when cassette recorders came in it was, 'They're gonna rob and take away from the sales,' and this has proven to be the contrary to what has happened. As a matter of fact, it's a booster to the industry."
Chuck argues that downloading undermines the music industry's ability to act as a gatekeeper of taste, preventing fans from being able to access music produced outside of the major player's studios, and that control over the technology driving the music industry has simply passed from within the industry to the hands of music fans.
"[I] look at this as a situation where the industry had control of the technology and therefore the people were subservient to that technology at whatever price range the people have to pay for it. Clearly you can't beat technology each and every time. This is industry versus the people and the people got technology on their side and we [the industry] gotta adapt."
The diametrically opposing views presented by Chuck and Lars illustrate the diversity of opinion surrounding Napster and file-sharing both within the music industry and amongst artists. The only point of agreement was Chuck's remark that "The whole paradigm of the music industry is changing," a notion which very few people in the music industry would refute.