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The Music Fans Vs. The Music Industry

607 words - 3 pages

Is downloading songs off of Napster morally acceptable?

I. Utilitarianism

II. Deontological

The court ruling violates Napsters First Amendment right of free speech. An order to shut down Napster would "silence the entire Napster community", violating the users free speech rights as well.

Napster has not violated any laws. "Users are not direct copyright infringers because they are covered by the immunity granted by the AHRA, Audio Home Recording Act." This act explicitly allows unlimited copying for personal use. Section 1008-immunizes all non-commercial consumers copying of music in digital or analog form.


Its always been said that if you build a better and more sophisticated rat trap, you only develop a better, even more sophisticated rat. The same goes for Napster. If you shut ...view middle of the document...

Shawn Fanning, creator of the Napster "monster", isn't responsible for what users do with the information pulled off of his server. If so, does it also mean that I can sue the Nissan car company if someone runs their Sentra into my living room? No. The car company is not liable after the consumer takes the vehicle. So should it be for companies such as Napster.

Another approach to "place blame" would be to look at the companies who make the machines and devices that record or 'burn' files. Most consumers today won't even purchase a computer that doesn't have a CD/DVD burner in the hardware package. This feature alone boosts the revenues of computer companies such as Dell and Gateway. Technology is giving consumers the tools that 'break the laws' (i.e. CD-R's, CD-RW's, Burners, etc.) yet society wants to prosecute when they are used. Why not file suit against the billion dollar companies like Sony or Toshiba for manufacturing the devices for public purchase?

Stopping one company such as Napster won't stop the injustice of file swapping. The only resolution that will come of this case is a disclaimer notice on all the file swapping websites warning its users of the legal ramifications that will come if they sell the files or use them for any type of monetary gain... a small 'legal loop' that keeps the company from being held liable for what the users do afterwards. Do I believe downloading from Napster is morally acceptable? Yes.

Works Cited
"A & M Records v. Napster: MP3 File Sharing Disputes Continue in the Aftermath of

Recent Court Rulings." UCLA Online Institute for Cyberspace Law and Policy. 10

Aug. 2001

Borland, John, and Cecily Barnes. "Judge issues injunction against Napster." 26 July

2000. CNET

Picker, Randal C. "Copyright as entry policy: The case of digital distribution." Antitrust

Bulletin. New York: Summer 2002. Vol 47, Iss 2/3; pg 423.

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