X-Napster Essay Research Paper
The infamous Napster under attack for it s pirating of music from famous musician s needs to be shut down. Piracy is a major issue of moral standards right and wrong in the entertainment world. Napster is well known for it s sharing of MP3 files through the Internet; taking receiving and bootlegging. Over 70% of college students said they use Napster at least once a month. The majority of its users are aware that Napster is an illegal bootlegging website the federal government says. The U.S. Copyright Office says Napster’s operations are clearly illegal under the very law Napster hopes will make its senior executives and well-heeled investors filthy rich which was written in 1992 saying that if a person wants to compile music to a personal CD for self then its ok. But in that law there was never any mention of legal dissemination to obtain the music. I oppose Napster because they have no coherent or viable plan to compensate artists. If Napster makes money off the dissemination of an artists copyrighted material then the artist should participate in those profits. (Currently Napster does not make a profit however the fact that they raised at something like $40 000 000 in capital to finance their operation suggests that their investors obviously intend to make a profit one day). But the million dollar question is; should Napster be shut down because of it s illegal sharing of files?? The answer is YES.
BURNED CD s are a major issue in the U.S. To download from a website and save it to a CD or your computer. Personal music a person has made up or created by himself is legal to save. But copyrighted music on the other hand is illegal. Commercial radio stations generate revenue off of the use of copyrighted material. Through longstanding arrangements with BMI and ASCAP a portion of that money (however small) is shared with the songwriters. Why doesn’t Napster try to make a similar arrangement with artists? The fact that Napster (now a multi-million dollar corporation) has refused to do so and hides behind the fiction that they just put music fans in touch with one another who then share files. If you turned off the Napster servers the Napster program would be useless. No one could “share” files. Conversely without the prospect of illegally downloading music videos and software for free no one would use this service. Napster attorneys have stated that the company is “not responsible for illegal usage” of its service. Napster as a company has dramatically shirked any and all responsibility for the use of its program. People should really think twice about enriching such an irresponsible corporation.
Many Napster users complain that CDs are too expensive. That sometimes they only want to buy one song and not a whole album and that singles are rarely available or too expensive. I agree. There should be an alternate cheaper way of buying a song that does not involve this very inefficient system of CD manufacturers distribution companies and retail record stores. I also believe that such an alternate system based upon downloading and uploading songs off the Internet is very feasible. Opposition by the major record labels and courts has been a significant obstacle.
Artists should be given a choice as to whether they want to have their songs be a part of such a system. If Fred Durst and Courtney Love (musicians) want their songs to be a part of such a system that’s fine. But what if an artist does not want their songs “shared”? With simple software filters Napster could at least limit and discourage the sharing of songs by artists who opted out of the system. The fact that Napster makes no effort to do so reveals the true nature of this corporation. Artists like Metalica 112 and Dr. Dre have all requested that their music be banned from Napster s servers.
Napster has the ability to lower the demand for CD’s. The program makes any song ever made available for free. It disregards copyright laws and enables a person to download one’s favorite music into a format that takes up little room on a hardrive.
If you just travel to any university in the country you ll understand the issue. Students do not buy CD’s. Recent studies have shown music stores around college campuses have had their sales cut after the onset of Napster. Students do need feel the need to pluck down fifteen dollars for a CD when they can get all the songs they want for free. The high-speed college networks enable students to download songs in just seconds. CD burners have also helped Napster. People can download the songs from Napster then they can put the burned songs onto any CD’s of their choice. They end up with mixes of their favorite songs and everybody appears happy-except for the bands whose music is copied and the record labels whose profits are decreasing
Napster has caught the attention of the major music industries and several lawsuits have been filed to stop Napster’s forum from giving away free music. Until a resolution the problem can only get worse. The popularity of cable and DSL modems will make computers who are not based on college networks still able to download music quickly. The phone modem still takes about twenty minutes to download songs; however the cable modem takes about fifteen seconds. Once the office and home users have the ability to fully take advantage of Napster’s features the music industry will really start to lose profits. Napster presents a problem to the record industry and with the popularity of high-speed connections it appears the problem can only grow.