The Rise and Fall of Napster

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The Rise and Fall of Napster

It started as an accident. Shawn Fanning was just experimenting and thinking of an easier to go through a search engine for music. What was a simple idea turned out to be a phenomenon in the Internet world. The creation of Napster led to many problems and brought about new issues that involved the entertainment industry and piracy laws. Napster is a software where a compilation of all of its user’s files are held in a central unit and each user is able to use its search engine to look for a song from another person’s computer.

The issue surrounding this problem arose when the Recording Industry Association of America claimed that Napster was basically giving out free music and was not paying the fees to issue “free” music. Napster claimed that all the music was shared among its users and were shared from computer to computer rather than a free website issuing free files for all to download. With the innovation of new technologies today, new problems will always come up due to better ways of getting things done. The same incident happened with the “new and improved” VCR. After fighting some battles, it was made legal for consumers to record from their own home and uses it for personal matters. Again, this situation is similar, but with more strings attached.

Napster was thought to be similar to the VCR problem, but with the piracy laws and the government still trying to find ways to regulate the Internet, it became a more difficult battle for Napster to fight. Recording artists were losing money in the sales of compact discs and they were blaming it on the rise of file sharing. Although the radio does entertain the public with its free music, they do have to pay the fees to play the music. They make their money but advertisements and sponsors. Napster used the excuse that people record off the radio for free, but they cannot burn the music they hear. What Napster did not understand was that the music is offered free because the radio stations do pay for it, and they have the rights to issue the music at the level of their pleasure. Napster was simply taking it from the artists and giving free music.

This had an effect on both the consumers and producers of music. What turned out to be a result of the matter was that the prices of music were climbing and consumers were not buying as much. They resorted...

... middle of paper ... was unintentional, but it brought about an enormous worry for many people. The right or wrong answer does not lie in the hands of the “upper class,” but in the minds of each individual who cares about the issue. Many think that Napster did nothing wrong, but when given the facts, it is almost as if Napster was stealing candy from a baby.


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