Napster and Peer to Peer File Sharing

740 Words3 Pages
Napster

A battle is being fought over how we access our music. Technology has greatly

changed the days of going to the record store to purchase music. Now we are able to link to

millions of music lovers around the world by hopping on our computers, getting on the interenet

and by using a file-sharing program called Napster. Now many questions arise: Is it stealing

from the artists or is it stealing from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)? It

also brings about the questions of how "free" the internet should be. Where do we even begin

to regulate this giant beast called the World Wide Web?

The way this technology works is it allows internet users to share and download MP3

files directly from any computer connected to the Napster network. The software is used by

downloading a client program from the Napster site and then connecting to the network through

this software, which allows sharing (uploading and downloading) of MP3 files between all users

connected to the network. While Napster does not condone copyright infringement, there is no

opportunity in the software to stop this, or for royalties to be paid to artists whose songs are

being duplicated for free.

Unlike similar file-sharing applications (Gnutella, Freenet), Napster limits users to

uploading/downloading of MP3 files only. These files are compressed wave (.wav) files. The

advantage of MP3 files is that they are approximately one-tenth the size of the corresponding

.wav file and can be close-to-CD-quality. It is for this reason that many artists, record labels

and other music industry stakeholders are concerned by the MP3 file format and applications

like Napster that simplify the sharing of copyrighted material.

According to www.news.com, the RIAA is stating that napster allows approximately

sixty-four million users around the world to steal music from the artists who created it. Yes, it is

true that napster allows millions of users to download songs for absolutely free; however, isn't

this what the artist want from there music? Don't they want their music to be heard

worldwide? Most of all, don't they want their music to be distributed for free so they don't

have to pay out so much money to the record companies?

I understand if the artist is worried about not making any money from their album,

especially since they spend most of their record deal money to not only record their album, but

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