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21:aug//2K - would you consider piracy?

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21-08-2K:If your answer involves a squirrel with a gun and tux acting like James Bond, you may want to consider going to a doctor. But letís get serious now. As most of us know, the music industry is suffering financial losses due to a new controversial program and web site known as Napster. For those of you who are living in a cave, the Napster program allows any computer user with internet access to transfer/download MP3ís of famous musical artists, such as Limp Bizkit and Jay-Z. Napster is rapidly growing with more and more users everyday, all who feel it is " a really cool idea."

Some however do not feel so enlightened by the whole Napster situation. Artists such as Metallica and Dr. Dre have filed lawsuits against Napster claiming it is infringing upon their copyrights. Dr. Dre responded that if you were to go into a recording studio and pour your heart and soul into an album, you would like some money in return. Metallica even went so far as to have Napster monitor file transfers of Metallica songs and stop them in progress, although my friends who use Napster are still able to download Metallica songs. Metallica feels that the use of Napster and CD-RW drives make it possible to copy and entire Metallica album for only the price of the CD they burned the songs to.

However, research collected by E. Deborah Jay, president and CEO of the San Francisco research firm, shows a contradiction to Metallicaís accusations against Napster. When respondents were asked why they use Napster, twenty-two percent claimed that they use it so that they could purchase fewer CDs. Thirteen percent said that they can get the music they wanted and for free. But when the respondents were asked about how Napster impacted their purchasing of music, thirty-eight said it didnít make any impact, and twenty-two percent said it helped them decide on what music they wanted to buy. Another test in which 3,218 random college students were interviewed, of which 2,555 were Internet users who agreed to complete the survey. But only 500 of those students who completed the survey said that they used Napster to download free music.

Honestly, I donít see the big deal over this entire Napster thing. To be realistic, there isnít really anything that one could do about these sorts of things. Even if you get rid of Napster, the problem isnít going to go away. There are probably many underground programs, inspired by Napster, that are just as effective. And artists such as Metallica donít even need that money from album sales; they have enough money as it is. For them, the lawsuit was just something to boost their fame and wallets, although I would not blame them for getting angry over a company that infringes copyrights.

But Napsterís enemies donítí just involve Metallica and other various artists. The RIAA and the National Music Publishers Association filed a motion for a preliminary injunction against Napster, seeking to remove all the songs owned by the trade group's members from Napster's song directories. One U.S. district judge, Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, nearly succeeded in shutting down Napster once and for all. After hearing the news, traffic on rose an amazing 92%, since all those who feared the demise of Napster frantically tried to swap as many files as possible.

My vision of the future of the music industry doesnít involve profit from album sales. In fact, I think that in the next decade music will be free to download from anywhere, and musical artists will obtain profit from merchandise, touring, and appearances on commercials, TV shows, and movies. Limp Bizkit and Cypress Hill are even doing a free tour sponsored by none other than Napster. In the future, we will probably see concert ticketís price rise, but the music will be free to download via the Internet. It seems that Napster, rather than be then enemy of music, could be the future of the music and how we view the music industry.



The above is a personal opinion and should not be taken as that of WM.V2 or any of its other staff


//agi. []