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In 1998 a university dropout, Shawn Fenning, nicknamed napster, spent days without sleep in his uncle?s office producing a new music-swapping programme now known as napster. Napster is an MP3 file sharing programme that lets you connect to millions of other users world-wide and swap music with them for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, even Napster itself as a programme is FREE and is available to ANYONE with a PC and the Internet.

Napster spreads all types of music ranging from unknown and up and coming bands to famous names like Craig David and Artful Dodger this is all at absolutely NO COST. So as you can imagine as Napster grew more popular than ever its total users topped 50MILLION in November 2000.

Nearly 75 percent of college students have downloaded music from the Net, according to a recent study by Greenfield Online, an international research firm. Nearly two-thirds of the 1,135 college students surveyed say they download music as a way to sample music before buying it. So does this prove that the artists are actually benefiting out of Napster as people will hear there songs and possibly go and buy there singles. Many people believe music labels should have been donating money to Napster users, not threatening to sue them. And so the much-libelled Napster users are dedicated music buyers, quick to reach for their wallets. Greenfield research says it found that 45 per cent of online music fans are more likely to have increased their music purchases than online fans who don’t use Napster. The study of Napster users found that 71 percent of users say they’re willing to pay to download an entire album.

A maker of MP3 portable players said “The year 2000 is a fantastic year for digital music,we had this earthquake called Napster who?s aftershocks are still happening?. Napster gives publicity to unsigned groups and gives people a chance to listen to their music and so possibly they may get a record deal form the record companies.

But in the shops people are paying ?3.99 for these singles and to some they simply can?t afford it, so why not use Napster and get it fo nothing???

After all would you pay for something you could get for free?

Using napster gives everyone a chance to get all their favourite music for nothing, all new bands singles are featured on the programme but not forgetting many, many old songs for the older users of the site. So you ask, ?What could be the problem with such a useful and friendly site?

And my answer is GREEDY record companies who want every penny than can get out of people like you and me. Under the pretence that the money is going to the cost of making the CD?s and paying the artists royalties. Actually only a tiny fraction of the cost per CD is spent on the making of the CD and the paying of the royalties the rest is swallowed by the greedy record companies for them and their share holders.

So as you can imagine when Napster became famous the record companies weren?t happy, so they took Napster to court suing them for breech of copyright laws. When actually Napster weren?t in breach of any laws as they were not distributing any copyrighted material themselves, actually it is the users of Napster that are swapping music, and all Napster are doing is providing like minded people the tool to transfer and trade music between themselves. But still they are trying to ?kill Napster? and stop people using the site. Even though the record companies are making MILLIONS of pounds.

In total Napster has been taken to court several times so far and the battles between Napster, Dr Dre and Metallica?s drummer are still going on. One judge, senate Longbridge said, ?Both parties to should come to a settlement that benefits both artists and the Napster community, the music industry and suppliers of online song-swapping technology should keep open the pathways for distributing music over the Internet, otherwise a unique opportunity will be lost by music makers and their fans. The Internet holds the potential for many artists to make money, and that opportunity should not be lost. Napster has created powerful new opportunities for music marketers?.

Napster agrees.

On a posative side these actions have given Napster even more publicity and as a result of this are now being sponsored by a large German record company called Bertelsmann. The sponsorship was a signal of how the record companies are realising Napster is the future record industry.So by mid year 2000 the record companies were announcing plans to test Napster and so a new version of Napster,?Napzon? is to be launched in early 2001. Hopefully with the backing of other major record companies. The future Napster, offers the opportunity to reach music fans in different and as yet unimagined ways. It is high time that the industry welcomes a service that the public has made so clear they want.

So by what you have read I hope you share the same conclusion as I and many other people do which simply is:-

?Most music downloaders aren’t thieves or pirates but music lovers willing to pay for music.

?Artists have made more money from this new generation of music lovers than they would have without them.

To voice your support visit the napster website at

www.napster.co.uk


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