RIAA Vs Napster Essay Research Paper The

RIAA Vs Napster Essay, Research Paper The debate over whether or not Napster Inc. is in violation of existing copyright infringement laws is a complex issue. Napster?s defense attorneys

RIAA Vs Napster Essay, Research Paper

The debate over whether or not Napster Inc. is in violation of existing

copyright infringement laws is a complex issue. Napster?s defense attorneys

claim that because music is shared between users, and Napster is never actually

in possession of these files (the company is merely providing the service by

which these files can be shared), Napster is in fact, not guilty of compromising

copyright infringement laws. According to these same lawyers, the Audio Home

Recording Act of 1992, which rules that it is entirely legal for a consumer to

record and to share copyrighted music providing it not be done for monetary

gain, protects Napster Inc. On the opposing side, The Recording Industry

Association of America asserts that Napster is indirectly acting as a

distributor of copyrighted music, thereby violating the Home Recording Act of


Napster Inc. was founded in 1999 by nineteen year-old Shawn Fanning. Fanning

dropped out of Northeastern University in order to devote the entirety of his

time to developing Napster?s revolutionary software. The company, who was

financed by venture capital firm Hummer Winblad, totaled $0.0 in sales for 1999.

Napster Inc, however, is currently exploring ways to utilize their over 35

million users in order to turn a profit. Napster can be accessed from any

computer with Internet capabilities, allowing the user to download virtually any

song. This technology does not only threaten the recording industry, but also

any other industry that involves the sale of intellectual property. One might

speculate that the publishing and the movie making industries are next in line

to fall victim to file sharing.

It would be in the best interest of both Napster and the RIAA to reach some

agreement. A federal court ruling allowing Napster to remain in business will

only hurt the consumer. Record companies will be forced to protect themselves,

which could, for example, lead to the introduction of copyright protected

compact disks. This would make it impossible for new music to be copied and

distributed over the Internet. In addition, the increase in production cost

would, in turn, cause CD prices to rise, thereby hurting the consumer.

While the technology pioneered by Napster is potentially harmful to the

United States economy, this does not mean that it should be prevented from being

used. If the RIAA and Napster come to an agreement, then file-sharing technology

could prove to be profitable for all. Just as television and radio are

profitable because of tremendous amounts of money generated through advertising,

the free distribution of music over the Internet could do the same for record

companies. The Internet has already proven to be extremely profitable for

companies such as alladvantage.com, whose profits come solely from advertising.

Through great amounts of money made through advertising, services such as

Napster could pay artists and record companies for the rights to their music.

In conclusion, Napster?s technology should be carefully embraced. In other

words, rather than destroy the record industry, Napster should include it. The

RIAA would be smart in striking a deal with Napster. Technology is moving at

such a rapid speed, that the industry can only stay profitable if they choose to

move into new markets. With the overwhelming popularity of Mp3?s, it seems as

though Internet distribution is the future of the music. The record industry can

choose to evolve, and profit from advancements made in technology, or they can

fight technology and stand to loose.