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Napster Essay

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Washam 1

The web site Napster has become a very popular site on the Internet this past year.

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The web site was founded by 19-year-old Shawn Fanning. Fanning thought up the ideal of

Napster while a freshman at Northwestern University. In May of 1999, Fanning was

looking for digital music files (MP3) on the Internet and became frustrated about how

hard it was. Fanning later got financial support from a friend a created the software that

makes Napster possible (Hartigan). The Napster web site has been very popular since it

started. Over twenty million people have downloaded the program.

The Napster web site can be accessed at Napster.com. Once you are there you can

download the software onto your computer. When the download completes your

computer is connected to everyone else who has downloaded the program. Napster

consist of a library, search engine, and a chat room. The library is where you store your

MP3 files that you have downloaded. The search engine is where your can search other

peoples computers and download files they have.

All you have to do is put in a bands

name and song title and hit find it on the task bar and instantly one hundred songs appear

ready to be downloaded. The chat room allows you to talk to people and find out what

Napster sounds great for free music but some of the people who make that music

are not happy. The Record Industry Association of America (IRAA) filed a lawsuit in the

San Francisco federal court saying that Napster users are violating copyright laws (Stone

58). The IRAA lawsuit says Napster is responsible for the copyright violations. The

lawsuit also says that copyright music is being shared by Napster users and that violates

the Musical Copyright Act of 1902. The IRAA lawsuit is also saying that Napster is

violating the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998. The Digital Millenium Copyright

Act of 1998 allows MP3 files to be linked by search engines but if the link contains

copyright music than the engine must remove it (Mann). Napster is also being sued by the

rock band Metallica and the rapper Dr. Dre because they say they their music is being

illegally pirated on Napster. Lars Ulrich, Metallica’s drummer, is the media spokesperson

for the RIAA. Ulrich told Ron Harris of the Associated Press that if Napster users are

stealing our music just like if they went down to the record store and stole it off the shelf.

He has also identified 335, 000 Napster users that are trading Metallica’s copyrighted

music without their permission. Ulrich is asking Napster to ban these users from the site

(Borland). The IRAA also filed suit against two universities saying that they have a

responsible to stop illegal activity on their computer systems. As a result of this lawsuit

Yale University and Indiana University banned the web site. Many other colleges and

universities followed because of fear of being sued (Harris).

On Napster’s side of the lawsuit they are saying that the entire lawsuit should be

dropped because the web site is not directly responsible for the copyright violations.

Napster claims that it just provides the software to share the MP3 files and does not

provide any files to be downloaded. Napster is also arguing that it is protected from

copyright violations under the digital copyright laws. Napster also provides names of

twenty-five thousand artist that say it is all right for their songs to be on Napster (Mann).

Limp Bizkit and Cypress Hill even went on a free ticket tour, sponsored by Napster, to

show their support for Napster. Napster also replied to what Ulrich said in the Associated

Press by saying that it would comply with Metallica demands to remove their songs from

I believe that Napster technology is not a form of computer piracy as long as it is

used responsible. In my opinion downloading songs off Napster is not piracy as long as

you use them for your own personal use. I have almost two hundred songs downloaded

from Napster and I do not feel I am breaking the law. I use the songs on my hard drive

just to listen too while I am in my dorm room. I think that Napster is a good and fun

technology but can turn into a form of free compact disc.

Washam 3

Almost every computer is equipped with a compact disc burner, which allows people to

make duplicate compact disc or copy MP3 files onto a compact disc. If Napster users

download songs and then use their compact disc burner to make a personal compact disc

of the music then I would consider that violating copyright laws. Especially if the Napster

user burn compact disc and then sell them.

I think that a reasonable and fair resolution can made between Napster and record

industries that will benefit both companies. Napster need to come up with a way to delete

songs from their system for artist that do not want their songs. Napster could come up

with some kind of membership. I propose that Napster charge a small membership and pay

royalties to the artist. Napster could charge five dollars a month or sixty dollars a year and

that would be a reasonable price because I spend about sixty dollars a year on compact

disc. With sixty dollars a year from twenty million users that would generate twelve billion

dollars for Napster. I am sure some kind of deal can be made between Napster and the

I believe it is in the best of the record industry to make a compromise with this type

of technology because this type of file sharing is not going to stop. Other Internet sites

have already started up providing the same services as Napster such as imesh.com and

Scour.com. I think that the RIAA needs to embrace this new technology and make it work

Works Cited
Betch, David Ph.D. “DNA Fingerprinting in Human Health and Society.” Biotech Applied
Nov. 7, 2000. www.accessexcellence.com/AB/BA/DNAFingerprinting_Basic.html
Parker, Shafer. “Sample Them All.” Newsmagazine(National Edition). Oct. 9, 2000
Vol. 27 Issue 11, p21
Hayden, Thomas ; Davis, Alisha. “Dusting for DNA.” Newsweek . Nov. 16, 2000
Vol. 132 Issue20, p70
McElfresh, Kevin ; Vining-Forde, Debbie. “DNA-Based Identity Testing in Forensic
Science.” Bioscience. March 1993. Vol.43 Issue 3, p149
“DNA Profiling–No Place to Hide.” South African Journal of Science. April 1998
Vol. 94 Issue 4, p714
Reynolds, William Neal. “An Interview with DNA Forensics Authority Dr. Bruce Weir”
Nov. 7, 2000. www.accessexcellence.com/AB/BA/Interview_Weir.html

Cite this Napster Essay

Napster Essay. (2018, Aug 20). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/napster-2-essay/

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