More Napster

How is it the record companies and courts are leaning on the guy who did the code for the Napster programme. If anyone uses it they download the software onto their computer and then download MP3s off someone elses computer without the programmer actually doing anything, there isn’t actually a Napster company is there? I know its easier to go for this one guy (still can’t remember his name) rather than the millions of users but look what happenens when someone tries to blame gun manufacturers for gun deaths.
Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Napster doesn’t steal records, people steal them, is that it

You really think Napster is just that Fanning kid hacking together peer-to-peer code in his dorm room? Er . . . no.

Napster is a great big company, headed by CEO Hank Barry. Napster is sitting on millions of dollars in venture capital provided by Hummer Winblad, who gave them $15 million in financing. Napster wants to go public more than anything else in the world, and make Mr. Barry and Mr. Hummer lots and lots and lots of money. You don’t give out $15 million in VC money for grins and giggles; you do it because you expect to make more than $15 million back.

More technically, Napster the company runs the official Napster servers. Though the actual file trading is from end user to end user, the searching and listing of what files are available is through these servers.

Napster doesn’t steal records, Napster knowingly facilitates copyright violations. Which is just as bad legally.

SmackFu has it right – you are guilty of a copyright violation if you facilitate the copyright violations. Kinkos lost a big lawsuit a few years ago over the same issue – they claimed they were only supplying the copiers, and not making the copies. The court didn’t care.

It’s the same with nontangible property: if you break the lock and open up the vault so that others can steal the money, you’re still an accomplice. It’s certainly easier to go after Napster, but the copyright holders have a legal right to go after the individual users if they want.

One more thing: While Napster (the company) runs the servers that support the file sharing, they’re not the only ones doing it. So if Napster (the company) is forced to shut down their servers, Napster (the software) will still be useable. The court order will not affect other servers being run by other people. Download a copy of Napigator from to get to other Napster servers.

I agree with RealityChuck. Go after individual users and you have to do it millions of times. Go after Napster the company and one legal battle stops millions of violators.

except that it doesn’t, xizor. It might stop the slow or stupid ones, but in this case, the cat is out of the bag. The combination of mp3 compression and high bandwidth will continue to facilitate copywrite violations.

Perhaps, but how many people would do it if they got a letter from the copyright holders lawyer telling the to cease or be responsible for damages and court costs? Once this is firmly established as precedent, there’s a lot to make it uncomfortable for violators.

Eventually, there will probably be a system set up so that people can listen to the music while still paying the artists. It’ll much easier for most people to use that then to violate the law.