Napsters Problem Essay, Research Paper
The Problem with Napster
The sole reason behind anybody’s discrepency with Napster is because there
is a group, maybe even the majority its users abuse what it is capable of.
They (they being college students and others with high-bandwidth
connections [T1, cable modems & DSL]) are using Napster to download
entire albums and put them on recordable CDs. They don’t see this as wrong,
merely because they can, “beat the system & get away with it.” They don’t
feel it is a threat to the artists & that not enough people are doing it to affect
sales. This is what the RIAA is targeting. But the problem herein lies in what
people do with the technology. Napster provides the means but it’s the people
who infringe copyrights. If you look at it, a VCR can be Napster. Illegal copies
can be made but is the VCR illegal? It’s all in the eye of the beholder and
from this eye, it’s the people who the RIAA should be after, not Napster or
The RIAA sees the negative effects and only the negative ones. They don’t
realize what Napster was designed for.
In my humble opinion, there is nothing wrong with getting the album or
selected songs for a trial period. How this works is simple; like it, buy it. If
not, trash it. This doesn’t have to be enforced but easily code be with an
encoded encryption into each file. This has been how I have been operating
since about 1998. Bare in mind this was before I had a cable modem (savior)
and the advent of Napster. This was accomplished thru FTP sites. This took
MUCH longer but I still abided by my code.
Another benefit of Napster and MP3 altogether is for personal backup. If you
listen to your purchases CDs often enough, they will get scratched and
occasionally skip. For this reason as well as the possibility of losing the
album, a backup isn’t a bad idea at all. My.mp3.com simplifies this thru it’s
Beam-it software & web site. This is the process it goes through for each
-Run Beam-it application
-Click Beam-it button to check against database of uploaded MP3
-Adds album to account
My.mp3.com is a great service that allows you to play your CDs at any
computer with an Internet connection. Coincedentally, the RIAA is suing
them as well.
Besides the first two advantages of Napster and MP3 in general provides,
there is yet another; the availability of rare songs. Let’s fac it, some songs
are hard to find and in some cases, nearly impossible. Using Napster, many
rare songs are now available such as the case with Metallica’s “Outlaw Torn”
off of the Load album. The rare version of the song is the one unencumbered
by the time restraints that was put upon the maximum length album. In
effect, the song on the CD is cut short, missing a full minute of one of their
shining moments. I was ecstatic to find this and I have Napter to thank.
Only time and a jury will decide the outcome of the Napster/MP3.com
lawsuits but if the facts are correctly stated, the RIAA might think twice about
trying to control someting that they aren’t even entitled to.