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Stop Stealing Songs Essay, Research Paper

Have you dreamed that you could get your favorite artist fs songs such as Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones, and Beatles without any payment? The dream has come true: Napster, an online music sharing soft. It enables its users to download music files through the Internet, which means that as long as one music lover has a computer and connection to the Internet, the music lover can get popular songs, classical music, and even national anthems. One CD costs about fifteen dollars, but Napster does not require its users to pay because the users are just borrowing and lending their music files with each other. This is just like a dream. I do not even know how much money I have spent to listen to my favorite musicians.

The dream, Napster, has attracted over eighty millions of music fans all over the world since it was made in 1999, according to USA Today. Unfortunately it has also caught music companies f attention and Napster was sued. The battle between the music companies and Napster, which pretends to be a messiah for music fans who complain about CD prices or just want songs free, were likely to be the lose of Napster and, in fact, it was. The Supreme Court ordered Napster to limit its service and the limitation of the service has been performed; however, this is not enough. Napster should completely stop its service because it is, in reality, violating the copyrights, users are not paying artists, and it can spoil the future of online music and movies distribution.

Napster is certainly violating the copyrights. An excuse that is often generated by the music stealing users is that they do not distribute music files that they have, but they just borrow and lend the files among the users, so they are not violating the copyrights. Even though personal music trading, which has been frequently done among music consumers since the invention of tapes and CD fs, may not offend against the law and, as a result, the users may not be violators of the copyrights, Napster is not the same case. It offers a place to trade music files for over eighty millions of the users. Is it possible for a person to know over eighty millions of users to justify the use of Napster, saying gThis is just a personal trading h? If it is possible, they may not be stealing songs and their excuse does work, but in fact it is not. Trading songs among over eighty millions of the users cannot be regarded as a personal trading because they do not know from who they are borrowing music files and who is lending the music files to them. The scale of Napster is too large to justify the excuse. Also, another reason is present. If the trading songs among over eighty millions of the users were just personal trades, Napster itself could violate the copyrights. The problem is this question, gIs the trade that has an agency regarded as a personal one? h Of course, in this case the agency is Napster, which offers the place to trade the users f music files. The answer is not because obviously the trading is done with a third party. Without Napster, the users cannot get any songs through the Internet.

The second problem that Napster has is that it does not pay musicians. Making music and selling it is the way to make a living of the musicians, so if all the music funs did not purchase CD fs, how the musicians can feed themselves? It is not only the case of the musicians. It is applied for all jobs, shopkeepers, factory workers, and engineers. Paying for those who worked to make something or serve customers is an essential part of the economy, including the workers f lives and even others f life. If making something and working did not let workers earn, not only the workers would not be able to make a living, but also the society would be almost dead. The users do not think about the fact. They just complain that CD prices are too expensive and the music companies are cheating the users, then they regard themselves as fighters for the evil music companies not to ruin the future of music and musicians. Ironically, one funny thing here is that who are ruining the future of music and musicians are the users of Napster. As I already mentioned, paying for the service, including everything related with making money, is an essential part of the society, so what is going to happen to their favorite musicians, if the users do not pay? gA rate of fifteen cents a song would be equal to or greater than what most artists receive from every CD sold h(Cracker-Sound off!). This is one web site that opposes to Napster says. Let me calculate how much money the artists are losing. Suppose half of the users, about forty millions of the users, use Napster and download only one song a day. The estimated amount of money the users are stealing is six hundred thousand dollars per day. These calculations have no concrete information and the amount may be lower or even higher, but the important thing is that, at least, the damage for the music companies and artists is not little, but huge.

The final reason that Napster should stop its service is that they can destroy the future of the online distribution of music and movies. The Internet is so convenient that it enables customers to purchase books, clothes, and even cars while they are in their home. The only one problem that the online shopping has is that it is basically not so different from catalog shopping, offering many kinds of products such as clothes, furniture, and electrical appliances, which means it requires some way of delivery. On the contrary, online music and movies distribution does not. I am one of those who want life to be more convenient. I am one of those who like music and think it is better to get songs through the Internet for the matter of time spent to go to shops to purchase CDs. However, the way to get songs should not be Napster. The reason has been stated. It is violating the copyrights. If Napster is not banned, who wants to sell songs or movies through Internet? If they sell music and movies on Internet, the result will be obvious: piracy. Consequently, no one will be ready to distribute music and movies online, which will be possibly a new way of selling those kinds of entertainment contents. The users of Napster and Napster itself do not care about it. They are stealing songs and destroying the future of the online entertainment thorough their selfish desire.

Even though there are some ways to allow Napster be alive such as controlling the amount of songs downloaded, it will not work because gThat kind of centralized control is anathema to Napster users, who have flocked there largely because of the vast and growing array of music available for copying. h(Mercury News) One good thing Napster has brought is that it has awakened the music companies and musicians to the importance of security accompanied by the online music distribution. Now, the time to become aware of it has been over. It is the time to say good-by to Napster, which has contributed to the music industry in some way. I like music. I respect the musicians. Even if I feel CD prices are too expensive, I will pay the musicians and the companies as long as I want to listen to music. That is the responsibility of music fans. Now, it is the time to give up Napster.

The List of Citations

Graham, Jefferson. gDespite Troubles, There fs Still Hopes for Napster. h USA Today. May 23, 2001.

Healey, Jon. gNapster Must Stop Music. h San Jose Mercury News. July 27, 2000.

gNapster fs Musical History h. The Standard. Feb 12, 2001. May 24, 2001.

gNapster thoughts c h Cracker – Sound off! May 21, 2001.

Rivenburg, Roy. gWhose Art Is It, Anyway? h Los Angeles Times. Sept 29, 2000

Vogelstein, Fred. gIs It Sharing or Stealing? h U.S. News & World Report. June 2, 2000


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