Napster Essay

1430 words - 6 pages

Napster

        In the United States, based on freedom of speech, people have rights to speak and develop their ideas. While supported by the technology and freedom of speech, a lot of people try to develop their ideas to invent something in order to make their life easier. One of those people is John and Shawn Fanning. They made software called Napster, which is a medium for users to interact and swap their MP3 files through the net. Therefore, Fanning's brothers are not the ones, who own all the songs in the cyberspace. However, several music industries and artist tried to shut down Napster. The copyright protection of music distribution in Napster's case is a much better solution than just banning the Fanning's software.
Everybody can be a member of Napster by download its software at www.napster.com. After swapping and downloading the music files from other members of Napster, people can listen to the music files anytime on their own computer by using Napster's software or Winamp's software. These software are freely downloadable. With the new technology, most of the new computers are installed with CD-RW (ReWritable) or CD burner. This device can record or burn all the music files that people have on a blank CD, so they can listen to it as an original music CD. This device is also sold separately and ranges from $99 to $350. Besides CD-RW, there is a device called MP3 Player. People can store several MP3 files and listen to the songs like using a Walkman or Discman. This device ranges from $75 to $300. These devices support people to use Napster as an entertainment.
The program created by Fanning brothers and new technology of CD-RW or MP3 Player had a dramatic effect. Since people can get all the songs freely and listen to it on their own mixed CD, some people think it is a controversial issue and it should be banned. Most of them were the artists and the music industries. "This has infuriated the recording industry, which views Napster as a tool for piracy. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has sued the company, charging that its software is facilitating the illegal distribution of material. The industry is asking courts for a potentially huge sum of $100,000 per illegally distributed song," says Borland from CNET News.com. Dr. Dre, a rap artist, and heavy metal band Metallica also sued and tried to close Napster.
In addition the federal government said that the music distribution of Napster is not protected under a copyright law. Essentially, Napster violates the 1992 Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA) (Kravets). Based on the U.S. Code Title 17, Chapter 10, Section 1001 about copyright of digital audio recording devices and media, it says that ""Distribute" means to sell, lease, or assign a product to consumers in the United States, or to sell, lease, or assign a product in the United States for ultimate transfer to consumers in the United States." In fact, Napster does not sell or lease the music files in its...

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