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Shutting Down Napster Is Not The

Solution Essay, Research Paper

Shutting Down Napster is Not the Solution

Almost everyone has heard of Napster and its long debated issue s of file swapping and sharing. Considering Napster s short-lived existence of about a year and a half, they have certainly opened many people s eyes. Some say the file swapping that Napster allows everyone to do is illegal; others says it s just another thing to do on the internet. Napster has done much good for the internet, adding one more good thing that the internet can do for us. Napster has raised several intense controversial issues in the music industry of copyright infringement laws. Although shutting down Napster is not the solution; some agreement between the plaintiffs and Napster should come about.

Napster is a medium for trading and/or swapping of music files over the internet. Napster has about 20 million users worldwide (Grimaldi Online). This phenomenon called Napster has taking the entire internet by storm. Just think all Napster is, is a program designed by a nineteen-year-old kid, a college dropout. Who would have thought that it would cause so much excitement in the music industry (Online)?

Napster has allowed millions of people to be able to share their music over the internet. In these millions of people trading and swapping music, there have been claims of illegal acts being committed by the Napster users. The creator of Napster was summoned to court, on copyright infringement violations. Lars Ulrich, drummer for Metallic, brought on this lawsuit; Lars was very upset to find out the people were trading their music with out them, Metallica, getting paid. This upset Lars and sent him on a rally to get Napster shutdown.

With all this commotion Napster s creator and designer was dragged into court to face copyright infringement lawsuits. In Napster s defense, they claim that they are not committing any illegal acts, just by letting its member s share files at their own will. Napster is not making

any money from these trades of music. They claim that using Napster as an exchanging medium for music is exercising one First Amendment rights as a United States citizen. The U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel said that the only reason Napster was created was to be able to traded copyrighted music, pirated online from other people. There has been an estimated 3.6 billion downloads of illegal, copyrighted material through Napster, this is the biggest of all copyright infringement cases ever in the history of the United States. On July 26, 2000, the end of the hearing against Napster, the judge had ruled Napster to be shutdown; an injunction against Napster was enforced (Grimaldi Online).

A few days later, July 28, 2000, Napster won in Appeals Court to reprieve the Napster shutdown, but to leave it open until the end of the final case and lawsuit. Many different people are suing Napster, but Metallica is the only band suing, there are several people trying to get Napster shutdown, because it is taking away from their business and profits. Although the music industry is receiving more customers than ever before, it is still not happy with the whole Napster idea (Stern and Segal Online).

After much discussion Napster wants to stay running, and all of its members want to keep on using the service too. One of the people suing Napster claimed that if the Napster would let Bertelsmann buy into a piece of Napster, it would drop its lawsuit against Napster. The biggest debate going on now is how to keep Napster running and trying not breaking any more copyright laws. There has been a great amount of talk of Napster users having to pay a membership fee to use the service. This membership fee would go to the record companies to pay a portion of the royalties owed to the musicians. The fee would be minimal, like $5 a month; this would make

many record companies happy. This fee wouldn t be a full royalty fee, but it is better than not getting any money at all (Bertelsmann Online).

Bertelsmann has a lawsuit against Napster; although he is a part of BMG Music, He also is trying to form an alliance with Napster to harness the awesome potential of Napster. The new business plan that Napster is trying to adopt would generate a gross income of $30 to 50 million. Everyone is trying to settle the Napster involvement out of court, and they will get there eventually (Bertelsmann Online).

Shutting down Napster is not the answer to the problem; there will be several other companies just like it to find away around infringement lawsuits. Napster has created much attention for just exchanging music. I have used Napster and it s very cool. I can see that Napster has an immeasurable potential for success. I also agree with musicians; they should be reward for their intellectual property, their music.

Works Cited

“Bertelsmann Says it Would Restart Napster if Closed.” Tech TV News (1 Nov. 2000). Online. Available wysiwyg://106http://www.techtv.com.ternet/story/0,3685,3009033,00.html (13 Nov. 2000).

Grimaldi, James V. ” Napster Ordered to Shut Down Service Aids Piracy of Music, Judge Says.” Washington Post, The (DC) (27 July 2000). Online. NewsBank. Available http://infoweb5.newbank.com/bin/ga.5cf746f74295&RGD-20000727&PROD=NNFB (13 Nov. 2000).

Stern, Christopher, and David Segal. “Napster Wins Reprieve from Court-Ordered Shutdown.” Washington Post, The (DC) (29 July 2000). Online. NewBank. Available http://infoweb5.newbank.com/bin/ga.ADA085324A60&RGD=20000729&PROD=NNFB (13 Nov. 2000).


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