Napster2k Essay Research Paper Napster2kThe trading of

Napster2k Essay, Research Paper


The trading of MP3’s or digital music over the Internet is all ways going to be prevalent part of the music industry, and is an unrealistic goal to try to control. The cost of controlling the piracy issues over the Internet would cost record companies more money than what they are losing due to MP3 trading. The record industry is trying to fight the major sites and companies in court with copyright suits. Quinlan states Although downloading music over the Internet and playing it back on computer or portable digital music players has become increasingly popular, major record labels have been slow to embrace distribution over the Web because of the difficultly in preventing unauthorized and unpaid copying of songs.


MP3 is a file format which compresses audio files to efficiently store the audio data in files that can be easily downloaded on the Internet. MP3 files are identified by the file extension MP3 and require specialized players which decompress the files and then play the audio files like a regular CD. For all practical purposes, mp3 files can be exact, near-perfect digital copies of the original recorded material. In other words, an mp3 file is a near-perfect copy of a cd and can be stored on a computer or other data storage media.MP3 shrinks audio files in such a way that sound quality is preserved, but the file size is significantly smaller than it would be as a regular CD song file. This means you are able, to download an entire song in only a few minutes. After that, you can play the song instantly as many times as you want–regardless of your modem speed!

Kimmel (1997) states Quite simply, the technology behind the MP3 audio format allows for high compression ratio and CD- quality sound. An Mp3 file compresses a sound file to one-twelfth its original size.

(MPEG Audio Layer 3) An audio compression technology that is part of the MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 specifications. Developed in Germany in 1991 by the Fraunhofer Institute, MP3 music files are played via software or a handheld device.

MP3 has made it feasible to download quality audio from the Web very quickly, causing it to become a worldwide auditioning system for new musicians and labels. Established bands post sample tracks from new albums to encourage CD sales, and new bands post their music on MP3 sites in order to develop an audience.

The main legal controversy involved with MP3 file s is that they are being traded around the Internet without the artist consent of the artist or record companies. Kimmel (1997) states the following: It seem obvious that the use of MP3 technology does not for the most part, meet the requirements, set by the Copyright Law of 1976, to clam fair use for educational purposes.

These arguments can include protection gaps, where copyright treaties only protect material for a certain amount of time, thus making produced and distributed after this gap has expired legal. Another legal justification of bootleg recordings is that the copyright is not owned by the artist, publisher, or record company, though this defense has not been as successful as the protection gap defense.

This is what is making it easy for sites to be around such as and programs such as Napster.

Length, format, and approximate size of a 5 minute music files.

Format Size


RealAudio 1 MB

MP3 5 MB

The chief argument theat states is thus Robertson (2000) says When a

consumers buys a CD, does the industry get to tell the consumer where she can listen to her

music? The type of technology that she can use to play her CD? Whether she can use new Internet

technologies? What about the fair use right s of the consumer, Hillary? The services that provides are as follows as long as you have purchased the CDs you are able to listen to

thought their technology. As RIAA lawsuit (2000) states once user obtains permanent access to

infringing reproductions by placing an order for or confirming to defendant that he is in the

possession of an audio CD (or a copy, authorized or unauthorized, of an audio CD) containing

those sound recording he then has free rain over that site. They had purchased a total of 80,000

CDs and made them assessable to their viewers. If you start looking at what is doing,

the company is providing the music from records to people who have already bought them, said

digital music lawyer Whitney Broussard. Even it is illegal, what are the damages because there

aren t really any lost sales? People still have to purchase the CD s King (2000). Eventually is planing to move to a system where you have to pay for listening to their services.

Robertson (2000) states that we believe that the artists will benefit far more by having the

Internet technologies given them the ability to make direct connection with their fans and

ultimately receive revenue on a pay-per-listen basis. Roberton also states We have every

intention of fighting your efforts to dictate the way people can listen to their music. I received a

email on may 11th from has voluntarily agreed to disable their content in the database while negotiations continue apace. As a result, you will, at this time, be

unable to access the major labels’ content through your account. They did however

say that it would be back up and running soon.


Napster is a program that has been created which connects you to everyone who is online

at a time and shares all of there MP3 databases. It has a search engine enabled in the program

where you can search for a song and down load it from a number of different accounts.

Boehlert (2000) states:

Created by a 19-year-old college student, Napster which instantly connects users to one

another stockpiles of mostly unauthorized MP3 files, free for the taking has rattled the record

industry. Faced with the daunting prospect of consumers simply downloading entire libraries of

music for free, the label s trade association, the Recording Industry Association of America,

(RIAA) quickly sued napster for trafficking in piracy.

Napster s home page (2000):

This Site is created and controlled by Napster from its offices within the state of California

of the United States of America. As such, the laws of the state of California will govern these

disclaimers, terms, and conditions, without regard to or application of choice of law rules or

principles. Napster makes no representation that materials in the web site or the Napster service

are appropriate or available for use in other locations, and access to them from territories where

their content or use is illegal is prohibited. Those who choose to access this web site from other

locations do so on their own initiative and are responsible for compliance with applicable local


The idea of Napster has frightened many artists and Boehlert states Everybody s freaked out

about Napster, a lot of the artists are just shocked when they here that there songs re being

passed around for free. Most of the artist have been said to be scared about speaking out the

business end of there contracts in fear that they are going to be perceived as being greedy and

there sole purpose is in making money.


The RIAA is a spokes person for the following parties UMG RECORDING, INC, SONY



LABEL, CAPITOL RECORDS, INC, INTERSCOPE RECORDS. RIAA has recently sued as the law suit states:

The defendant made unauthorized copies of those 80 000 audio CDs, loaded the

unauthorized copies onto file servers, and is permitting users of its Internet service to listen to and

download those unauthorized copies. Despite the plaintiffs requests, the defendant has refused to

discontinue this massive ongoing infringement. The plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive

relief, and statutory damages for willful copyright infringement… Defendant has willfully and with

full knowledge of plaintiffs copyrights made infringing reproductions of thousands of plaintiffs

copyrighted sound recordings for the purpose of operating its commercial My.MP3 interactive


What now has to happen is RIAA has to get around all the loop hole that the companies

have used such as different state and laws accessability their. It is also a really hard case to show

because the record industry in 1999 grew or gained by three percent. Alex Walsh, the vice

president of marketing for the RIAA said that just because sales are up does not mean that it is

time to declare the digital piracy hasn t hurt the music business…There is just no way to tell how

much we could have lost. There is no scientific or empirical way to determine how much more

music we could have sold.


Eric, Baehelrt. March 24 2000. Artists to napster: Drop dead [on-line]. Available http://www.

Caral, Bezane. Music Industry targets student theiefs [on-line]. Available http://www.daily.

Brad, Kimmel. Fall 1997. Distributing music over the Internet [on-line]. Available http://www. bdk3/mp3.html

Tom, diederich. Recording industry group sues over MP3 [on-line]. Available http://computer.

No Author on the site. March 1 2000. Sony harnesses the Internet with minidisc walkman

player/recourders [on-line]. Available


Brad, King. Apr. 24, 2000 Despite ‘Piracy,’ CD Sales Up [on-line]. Available http://www.,1367,35848,00.html


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