Yet another Napster question

You know, with all this controversy over Napster, I can’t help but feel like I’m missing something. Was Napster created solely for the purpose of “stealing” music or did it just so happen that it was an open forum where people went to trade music, movies, etc. and it got out of hand? I mean, was stealing music truly the intent of Napster’s creator? If so, how could he have possibly imagined he could get away with this for so long without someone like Metallica getting royally PO’d at him? Even an idiot knows that you can’t just copy music and pass it out, right? That it happens is one thing. That you advertise it to the world is something else entirely. Just curious, dont’cha know.

The creator of Napster started it just to trade music files with his friends at other schools. He took a basic IRC program, and made it easier to use in regards to file transfer. I’m sure the popularity got to his head, and he began to think he was unstoppable.

And really, he never did anything wrong himself. All he did was provide the software and the servers to the public, which he chose to give away for free! It’s the millions of new users who took advantage of this and abused the system.

But the only one you can truly blame is the RIAA. Instead of realizing the potential of this growing technology and utilizing the popularity of these millions and millions of fans…they try to fight it. They want to stick with this “physical” media. They did the same thing when cassettes and their recorders were introduced. Then the CD. They constantly try to fight change…but we know everything changes. The only way to succeed is to embrace these changes.

And the RIAA realizes that with digital media (i.e., no physical product to sell) their business is in jeopardy. Without the consumers spending $20 on their pieces of plastic, they’ll go bankrupt. If they don’t do something quick to jump into the cyber-market…they’re dead in the water. Already, alot of artists are going against their label’s wishes to promote and give away music online, only because of the huge amounts of exposure to be had!

“If the recording industry thinks they have the power to control it all…they have yet to meet the masses of independent artists who don’t need them.” - Me

Napster-ites Unite! Radio - artists who support Napster!

Hardly. What good is popularity if no one is paying them?

If you go to the store, will the grocer let you buy food with your press clippings? Doesn’t he ask for money? What would be his reaction if you told him “I have exposure instead”?

Napster is violating the law. Are the record companies (and the artists involved) supposed to sit by and let others reduce the value of their property? Can I come and take something of yours just because it’s available? Don’t you ask before you use something that belongs to someone else, or do you just take it?

If music is free, why is anyone going to pay to hear it? How can a musician support his family if no one pays? Do you really think that having talented people beg in the streets for money to live on is a good idea? Why is it better for artists to not get paid for their work than it is for them to be paid?

Finally, if you recorded a song that you didn’t want spread over the Internet, how would you feel if someone else decided – without asking you – that it should be there? What’s wrong with asking permission first?

Well, what about radio and MTV, VH1, etc.? They don’t get paid for them either. In fact, most bands/artists spend rediculous amounts on their videos so they can be on MTV for the exposure.

Napster is just making it easier for people to find new music, instead of sitting through the endless crap on the radio or MTV until they actually see/hear something they actually like.

It’s also protecting the consumers from fraud. Let’s say a decent band works real hard on writing a couple really catchy tunes, and are pressed for time and record 10 quick crap-filled songs and expect the public to pay their $20 for the couple good songs that they can just get from the radio or MTV. Would you spend your hard earned money on a sandwich that has good bread and good meat, but once you buy it and take a bite, the tomato is rotten, the lettuce is brown, and the mayo is spoiled?

Recordings and Live performances is the difference here. As it is today, most signed artists don’t make crap on their CD sales. Maybe a few pennies per CD. The CD only benefit the label. Most of the money the artist benefits from is performing live and selling merchandise.

[qoute]Finally, if you recorded a song that you didn’t want spread over the Internet, how would you feel if someone else decided – without asking you – that it should be there? What’s wrong with asking permission first?

Whether you like it or not, it’s happening. Don’t try pointing fingers. Sure we can shut down Napster, but at this point in history, where the public is getting smarter than the government and the industry, it’s inevitable. The public wants, and the public takes. The only way around it is to change the industry. The RIAA has had a death-grip on it’s copyright and fair use laws since the dawning of the cassette. The laws are way outdated, and way too vague to apply to anything in today’s quickly advancing technology.

Like I said, if the RIAA doesn’t do something quick, they’ll be looking for new ways to generate income…because the public will not pay for something when they can get it for free. Even YOU said that!

So, don’t think I’m the one who’s putting these artists in the poorhouse (like Metallica is really poor!). I am an artists, working a second job, paying for my schooling, and spending all my spare time on writing, recording, promoting, an working hard to make my band successful.

It’s just the way it is. The people have had their taste of free music with Napster. They’re not gonna let it go away. There is no way to stop it. The only way to be successful is to accept it and use it to your advantage, and that’s exactly what I’m doing!

*Originally posted by RealityChuck *

Ummmm nope. If you’ve ever used the program, the first thing you see is a disclaimer, saying that anything downloaded is the user’s responsibility. They did absolutely nothing wrong.

That being said…the users who downloaded the material are the one’s violating the law.

Ok, so who’s gonna go arrest those 50,000,000 folks?? You wanna do it? Be my guest…

I apologize, thedoorsrule1045, but I have to move your thread to the BBQ Pit.

There are no posts in the thread now which are Pitworthy. But there will be as soon as I finish up in GQ.

Excuse me, not to question anyone’s intelligence or motives or anything, and I hasten to add that this is a general rant more than a specific one, but


The fact that someone asks a General Question about a hot-button issue is not an invitation to debate the whole issue! It is a General Question! There is a reason the original poster did not place the thread in Great Debates, you fucking moron.

Why is it completely impossible for you to see a thread with the words “napster,” “George Bush,” “taxes” or “Civil War” without feeling a need to come in with your inappropriate and often worthless political commentary? Is it your intent to prevent the OP from getting a General Answer? Is that your nefarious plot?

I ask this because, as you may or not be aware, WE ALREADY HAVE A FUCKING FORUM FOR POLITICAL ARGUMENTS. In case you are, in fact, too stupid to know this, here is a link.

Thank you. I feel much better now.

points to RealityChuck

He started it…


I had to look on to understand this:




Those greedy, money hungry, inconsiderate bastards need to rot in hell!!! Give the industry back to the artists!!

Ok, now I feel better… :smiley:

Since this has already gone this direction,
Here is what the some of the recoding artists whose music is being traded have to say about it

I have heard several big name artists say that they give permision for thier music to transfered with Napster, and plenty of independant artists as well. Therefore, there are legitimate uses for Naptster.

“I have a mathematics question.”
“Let’s say a record label gives a new artist a six-figure advance against royalties, but that advance doesn’t cover all the cost of making his CD, which he has to pay. Then they give the artist an 8% royalty, which doesn’t allow him to cover the advance, leaving him bankrupt and enslaved to the record label even though they made a profit off his CD.”
“(sigh) Yes?”
“So my question is, how many tons of explosives should we use to blow up the RIAA when they say they’re shutting down Napster to protect the artists’ rights?”
“OK, no more questions from Huey today.”

  • Boondocks, Aaron McGruder

Already there is a song that hit number one on billboard chart because of Napster: Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me”.

Let me be the first to actually answer the OP:


A lot of people imagine a lot of things. As he started to get famous and accepted and even glorified by other thieves, it probably seemed less and less like theft to him.

I have a question. I was under the impression that the only thing illegal about copying music is when you copy a song or whatever and then sell it and make a profit. For example, if my sister likes a band, and I have the album, I can make a copy for her and that’s okay. But if I make several copies and sell them at $5.00 apiece, then that’s illegal. Was I mistaken about that?

Another question relating to my first one: Is there a difference (ethically, morally, and/or legally speaking) between me recording a song for a friend from a CD I own and me “sharing” a file on Napster?

Just curious.


It has long been assumed that you have the right to make back ups of intellectual property for personal use. You can make copies of a CD to use in a tape deck or car, no worries. If, however, you give that CD to your sister you’ve moved into whats considered a ‘distribution’ model and you’re violating copyright and therefore are breaking the law. If your sister lives in the same home with you, though, there is some gray area.

As for your second question I would say there is a difference in degree but not in kind. You’re still violating copyright but sharing with your sister or friend is a violation of ‘one’ if you get my drift. Sharing on Napster has a potential violation of ‘50 million’. But either way it’s against the law.

Now, to send this off on my own little tangent…

Napster-philes. Please answer this question:

**Napster was started for free
Napster was bought out by folks with lotsa bucks
Napster is held up as a paragon of a ‘new’ way of distributing music that won’t cost anything.
Napster has offered to pay one BILLION dollars to get the record companies off their backs.
Napster is a for-profit firm.
Figuring that, when the start to charge a subscription fee, they lose 95% of their users, that will leave them with 2.5 million users.
I think I heard that the owners have already invested 250 million dollars in VC in the firm.
Assuming a three-year profitability scenario (which I consider reasonable given today climate for online firms) each of those Napster users will have to part with at least $400 (just to break even) to access the archives.

How then, as a for-profit firm, is Napster any different from Sony or EMI?

Is there anybody on the thread >>>coughjeanniecough<<< who doesn’t understand what the word “copyright” means? Break it down into its constituent parts: “copy right,” or “the right to copy.” It means, “The copyright holder has the exclusive right, for his lifespan plus 50 years, to make and distribute copies of this creative work.” So, no, it is not, under the letter of the law, OK for you to make copies of a CD and give them to your sister or anyone else.

I’ll never get the “Isn’t it legal as long as I’m not selling them?” question. It seems so obvious to me.

Yikes! Good thing I saw this before hitting the <submit new thread button> on my General Question: "Does George Bush support and tax cut for Napster users, and how is that different from emancipation?"

Boy, I betcha manny woulda been one pissed off dude!! :smiley: