The Napster Debate Essay

653 words - 3 pages

The debate rages on about whether Napster is pirating the music industry and

violating copyright laws or if Napster is just a means of exchanging music as is the case

with copying CD's or recording music off the radio. Several giant companies in the

entertainment industry have brought suit against Napster saying that Napster is infringing

on copyright laws that their music is protected under. A judge has already issued a

temporary injunction against Napster that would have shut the company down before the

trial. Napster was granted a stay and could not be shut down until after the copyright

infringement case trial concluded. Final arguments concerning the issue will be heard by

the appellate court on October 2.


Napster was created by Shawn Fanning when he was 18 years old. He wanted to

create a way for users to share music files over the Internet without all the hassle of going

through a central computer to do so. To put it simply, Fanning figured all he had to do

was combine a Windows file sharing program, instant messaging system, and different

capabilities of various search engines in order to simplify the way people get music over

the Internet.

Napster contends that the company is not actually giving away the music, but just

providing a means of getting that music. They just provide a way for users to connect to

one another, through a central computer, and are not technically not providing any music???.

In response to the copyright infringement allegations, Napster contends that they have

no control over what content Napster users

make available.

Some bands have rallied behind Napster. Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters', as well

as The Offspring are in support of Napster. They see it as just a means of trading music,

like kids trade baseball cards. They also make the argument that it would be the same as

somebody turning on the radio and recording a song. The Offspring has even gone as far

as distributing music solely to Napster for distribution on their network. The only reason

that the...

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