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Napster : Right or Wrong?

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English 11

Words: 1302

12/ 20/ 00

Napster : Right or Wrong ?

"As an artist, there are so many ways that we can be taken advantage of. To have yet one more way to stip an artist of making an honest living is just to much. That's why I sued." ( Levy, 51 )

- Andre Young ( Dr. Dre)


There are many ways that an artist can be stripped of making an honest living, Napster, one

of the many 'Mp3' services online, is the latest. An Mp3 ( short for ISO-MPEG Audio Layer 3 ) is a digital

compression of a music or video file so it's easier to send to one another over the internet ( Levy, 51 ).

Napster is an online music source where you can search for a song and download it absolutely free, with just

one click from your fingertips.

The Napster program, created by 19 year-old college drop out Shawn Fanning, is the fastest

growing site in history. It recently passed the 25 million mark in less than a year since it was released

(Greenfeld, 62 ). His program allows you to download copyright music, and that's why he is being sued by a

number of corporations. Napster is being sued by RIAA ( the Recording Industry Association of America ),

record companies ( BMG, the holder of lables like: Arista, Bad Boy, RCA, LaFace ), and artists ( Rock band

Metallica and Rapper/Producer Dr.Dre).

"I'm down for a parallel business even if it's parasitic. Napster is the new radio. It's the most

exciting thing since rap, disco and the Beatles." said rapper Chuck D, and it did it is ( Levy, 51 ). Napster is

like a radio. You can listen to music and preview it for free. Some artists are actually for Napster like Chuck

D. , Neil Young, and rock group Limp Bizkit, who headlined a free tour sponsored by Napster along with

Cypress Hill. Napster is like a new radio. It's been said that people use Napster because they feel so


ripped off that compact disc prices are so high. They would rather just download the whole album online,

then burn it on to a cd spending only three dollars for a burned cd instead of the seventeen dollars spent for

buying the actual album. The generalized public that use Napster are young ( teenagers and college

students, it was even banned in some colleges because they used school resources for the wrong reasons,

instead of using it for eduacation they used it for Napster ) it sort of means that young kids don't money,

having no money leads to no buying cd's, so their instinct is just download it of Napster and burn it.

Everyone knows that radio and network television are public domain. They think that it's alright to download

broadcast media from network television or radio on Napster. For example: You missed an episode of Jay

Leno last night and Christina Aguilera performed. You want to hear the performance so you decide to go to

Napster, search for it, and download it because you can't get the song anywhere else, but it's okay anyway

because that performance was on network television, public domain. In other words, do you pay for MTV,

VH1, HBO? Yes, but do you pay for radio broadcasting, NBC, ABC, Fox? No, it's public domain, therefore

it's free.

Imagine that there was a Christina Aguilera made for television special on ABC, and you

record it for your own enjoyment, that's okay. If you record it, make one hundred copies of it, and sell it on

the street is wrong and that's why many are against Napster. There are some people that I know personally,

that download albums off the internet and sell them to their friends, and that is where the line is crossed. You

are taking copyrighted music and selling it to other people. It's something called copyright infringment,

which is a federal law. It's an obvious abuse of new techonology like high speed internet access ( the higher

the speed, the higher your connection is online, the faster you can download Mp3's), cd burners ( burn all

your Mp3's on to a disc and make a little profit by selling it to your friends) , and Napster itself as well as

other programs of its kind. The counterfeit cd's only benefit the bootlegger because the artist gets ripped off


and the consumer gets ripped off because they get a low quality product that will last up to 6 years at the

most. So why buy a blackmarket cd that won't last forever, when you can buy the real deal in stores for a




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