Napster has extensive content agreements with the five major record labels, as well as hundreds of independents. Napster delivers access to the largest catalog of online music, with more than 700,000 tracks spanning all genres from Eminem to Miles Davis. Napster is a division of Roxio, Inc., (Nasdaq: ROXI), the Digital Media Company, and provider of the best selling digital media software in the world. Napster has offices in London, Los Angeles, San Diego, and New York.
Napster is, and has been, the biggest controversy of business ethics in Internet history. Developed in a student's college dorm room to share songs with friends, Napster went on to become the record industries worst nightmare, and a huge topic of ethical activity. We have all been familiarized with the circumstances and ethical issues involving Napster.
Many external forces such as record executives and government officials have threatened Napster's fate. Copyright, like most privacy issues, raises tough issues in the "e-Age." Like privacy, too, it turns on questions of scale: What's okay for my lawyer or accountant to know is not okay for the whole world to know. The fact that 65 million fans loved Napster simply proves an age-old adage -- Given the choice between paying for something and getting it free, consumers always vote for the latter. Some of them probably thought it was too good to be true. And so it was.
The rebirth of the file-sharing giant has called for a complete restructuring of the company's business plan and management style. As part of the re-alignment, Brad Duea, Roxio's Head of Worldwide Business Development, is Napster's new President. He has already implemented the biggest internal force within the company by introducing new business relationships within the industry, thus clearing Napster's bad reputation.
Napster's code of business conduct provides a section on resolving ethics questions for the goal of helping them strengthen their connection with business partners and notarizing the government policies. Realizing that not every ethical question has an easy answer and may require difficult judgment calls, this code of business conduct outlines the following steps to resolve these questions: (a) define the situation (b) consult resources and (c) seek help from others. By defining the situation; one might be able to find an answer to questions such as: "Are you concerned about a possible violation of a law; about regulation or about a Napster standard?"
There are three available consulting resources for their employees: Napster Code of Business Conduct/Corporate and department policies and procedures. Finally, employees are advised to seek help from their own manager, another manager, or a specific department like Human Resources, Legal, ROXI Security or the Office of Ethics and Business Compliance.
The software behind Napster can be viewed as an external and internal influence of the management at...