Ah, the Internet, what a wondrous invention. It is a speedy alternative to the U.S. Postal Service, a tool for enriching the minds of many, a worldwide shopping mall, and also a haven for copyright pillagers. Or is it?
The last eighteen or so months of news from the music industry have been filled with the controversy over a computer program called Napster. In case you've been living under a rock since 1998, a nineteen-year-old named Shawn Fanning launched the company of the same name. The program, which is downloaded off the Napster website (www.napster.com), allows users to "share" MP3's, which are digital music files. It breaks down like this: let's say that computer A has a song on its hard drive in MP3 format. Now, anytime computer A is logged on to Napster, computer B (or any other computer logged on) can download that song off of A's hard drive and on to its own. It's like that for all the computers logged on to Napster at any given time, which undoubtedly numbers in the millions. The program itself was written by Fanning while attending Northeastern University in January 1999, and it "took off so suddenly that he never got around to officially dropping out of school,!
" (Sheffield 2).
The other argument is that Napster violates the U. This matter was resolved quickly because of a precedent set in July (just after Contentville started) in the class- action suit against UnCover. It is the classic battle of "U; versus Them," and today the side with more money and lawyers wins. then Napster, which has only been accused of contributing to infringement, hasn't done anything wrong. That's all that matters to me," (qtd. To get Napster started on such a large undertaking, Middlehoff has offered a 50 million account. " Napster goes to Court," Rolling Stone. One such example involves the bands Metallica and Limp Bizkit. Vocalist Fred Durst said of the tour: "We couldn't care less about the older generation's need to keep doing business as usual. The battle is winding down, and it doesn't look good for Napster, !considering the cases involving Contentville and UnCover. Who cares who's suing whom We're doing a free tour. On the other side, Limp Bizkit, a rap-metal band, went on a controversial free U.