Napster Vs. Record Companies Essay, Research Paper
Napster vs. Record Companies
The evolution of technologies associated with the Internet has had a great influence on our society by allowing its users to access a great variety of valuable resources without leaving the comfort of their home. Simply by connecting our computer to a server through our phone lines, we are given an endless choice of what to do with our time online. We could purchase items ranging from books and tickets to sporting events and concerts to electronics and clothing. We can entertain ourselves with pornography or just listen to radio stations in foreign countries. IT growth has let us; the computer users explore the infinite possibilities of the “Computer Age”. Napster’s instant popularity is due to its ability to spread musical files free of charge, reducing the need for CDs, it provides new artists with a huge audience, which is all greatly opposed by every major record company.
Napster’s proposition is simple: users download its free software, which indexes MP3 music files on the user’s hard drive and makes them visible to other Napster users when connected to the Internet. From there, all it takes is a simple title or artist search to find other users from whom to download MP3 files. Users typically may find the latest hits through the free network, allowing them to download and listen to the music without paying. This lets the people all over the world obtain any song ever created from the Beetles to Eminem. For example, a little girl from Israel can download the whole N’Sync CD before its release date. Once she has it, she can copy it to an audiotape or a CD. Furthermore, she would be able to make an immense number of copies and either sell them in school or simply distribute them to her friends. It is growing by the hour as more and more people find out about it. Forty percent of Napster’s visitors are students, even though Napster was banned at many colleges and universities throughout the country this year. Napster stresses that it is a software provider, and that the users are at fault for any illegally traded files. Napster does not itself make available any MP3 materials over the Internet. It merely provides computer software that lets its users choose which files to make available to each other and which files to download.
Napster that is literally robbing artists from selling more records and making profit outrages record companies. Record labels aren’t happy about illegal MP3s to begin with, so they’re livid that Napster makes it easy for the compressed music files to zip across the Internet. The group that has had the biggest opposition to Napster is Metallica. The legendary rock group with millions of fans has constantly complained of monetary losses due to a great decrease in sales. The group claims that people should appreciate their hard work by purchasing their music, not by disrespecting them by downloading their songs off Napster. *SUSPENDED THOUSANDS OF USERS* Fans have responded to such actions by boycotting artists who disprove of their beloved program. Artists who have supported Napster have received positive reactions from the fans. Madonna had this to say about it, “Napster could be a great way for people to hear your music who wouldn’t have the chance to hear it on the radio. The amount of time companies spend stressing about getting a record on radio, I would think that the idea of some big, global listening post would make perfect sense.” Many artists make little money from CD sales, the bulk of their income coming from concert ticket sales and promotional merchandise like t-shirts and posters. In the meantime, the recording industry’s big fears about losing its grip on the music market will likely continue making it a staunch Napster nemesis.
Has Napster “sold out?”
No. We strongly believe that this partnership with Bertelsmann is an important next step for Napster. Napster is a business, and as such, we are taking steps to establish a business model, create value for our users and push the limits of our technology. For months, we’ve been explicit about our goals to settle the complex and costly legal battle that we’re currently involved in. Bertelsmann provides us with a very real opportunity to move forward. They’re our first major media company partner, and together we’re going to work to bring the other recording companies and music publishers to the table as well. As we move into the future, we hope that you will not focus on speculation, but facts and our actions. Stay tuned, we trust you will not be disappointed.
Will there be a fee to use Napster?
Yes and no. For the moment the Napster experience will remain exactly the same while we figure out the best way to structure an enhanced membership service and try to gain acceptance from other major recording and publishing companies. In the coming weeks, we will be asking you for your input to help us define exactly what this evolved service will be. Once we have come up with what we feel is the best solution — based in part on your feedback — we will announce our plans on our website and through the Napster software. We are confident that we can devise a system that will make everyone happy — Napster users, artists and songwriters, as well as record and publishing companies. Our commitment to you is that once we have the system set, we will always make sure that the community knows exactly where the money is going.