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Napster

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Napster

Napster is a music-sharing service that serves people with downloadable software for

their computer and allows the download of almost any music from around the world. The

Webster's Universal and Thesaurus, says that the definition of music is: Music: harmony,

melody, symphony. The basic idea of Napster is for anyone who wants to listen to music. However, the argument about Napster is that it is a directory service that allows users to transfer music files from music labels that have not signed a deal with Napster. The music industry feels they are losing money because there are devices known as CD-RW and this allows for the burning of homemade compact discs with songs that Napster provides. Besides the music industry, there are bands that feel that due to Napster's popularity; they are losing money that they work for. The music industry feels that if people are burning there own compact discs at a cheap rate then the music company are going to lose money. In the following paper I will discuss why people use Napster, why there is a problem with the use of Napster, and how the service can be used legally.

The idea of Napster was started by a freshman at Northeastern University in January 1999. In May 1999 Napster took shape as one of the most used computer software around. From the Napster web site you easily download the software. The software then connects you with millions of users who have the song you are searching for. After you find the song you can start the download process and download that song onto your computer. One negative aspect of Napster is that the songs you download mostly take a long time to download, depending on your connection speed, and take up a lot of space in your memory. After you download the song you

can then make your own compact disc if you have the right equipment that is. The equipment needed is a compact disc burner and the recordable compact discs. You then are able to distribute

the songs and only have paid a fourth of the price that you would have paid if you had bought the compact disc from a music store (Napster).

Many bands and music labels have sued the people behind Napster. The music industry is saying that Napster breaks copyright laws by allowing people to spread music without the proper authorization for usage. In October 2000 at a court hearing, "the federal appeals court judges grilled attorneys for the recording industry...asking how record companies expect Internet music-swapping firm Napster to sift illegal files out of its system and why they have not prosecuted any of the companyrquote s millions of users (Tate)". In this case, the courts see that Napster is a company that does not promote the illegal making of compact discs. The purpose of the site is not to cheat the music industry. The purpose of Napster is to create a network where people can share different songs and music (Tate).

Recently Napster has joined with a major media giant. Bertelsmannrquote s is a German giant in the media business. The German company has "formed a strategic alliance with the outlaw Internet service" on the thirteenth of November 2000 (Stone). Bertelsmann's has loaned Napster fifty million dollars to help make a system that will benefit artists, songwriters, publishers and music labels. The system will require a fee of four dollars and ninety-five cents a month for the service of Napster. This amount of money will add up and will be divided among the artists, songwriters, publishers and music labels (Stone, Magid).

The small fee for the use of Napster has mixed reactions. Paul O'Toole is a friend of mine

that I had interviewed and has had Napster since it has been available to be downloaded. He has a compact disc burner and enjoys not having to purchase compact discs. He was mad at the fact

that the free service that he has been getting will soon cost him money (O'Toole). Many people agree with the

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