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Napster I’m sure you have heard something about the music issues pertaining to Napster. Right now million dollar lawsuits are being filed on Napster by the famous rock band Metallica. You can hear about the complaints Napster is facing on television, radio, Internet, or magazines. The issues regarding Napster is a very arguable topic in entertainment today. I am going to discuss the main arguments presented by record labels, and also display some possible solutions being negotiated with at this time.

Two guys who are both 18 years of age introduced the Napster service. Napster is a music site on the Internet in which online participants can pass songs back and forth to each other for free. Just about any song is available to download. It is a very simple process to begin downloading music from the Napster system. Some information about yourself such as your e-mail address and name is required. After this simple step one is ready to begin downloading songs.

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To download a particular song the title and artist has to be entered and the process begins. The downloading procedure takes anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes per song depending on the users modem speed and the length of the song requested. Although Napster seems harmless and great, there has been great controversy in the music and entertainment world regarding it. There are many arguments facing the two gentlemen that started this music crisis. Some oppose Napster simply because it is a multi-million dollar corporation that wants to make money by distributing other people’s music.

Is this alternative way of listening to music fair, or does it violate artists’ rights? Napster claims that their service offers the world the chance to listen to and promote the artists’ music, in turn helping them out. Critics and corporations claim that this is a lie simply because the music artists and record labels are taking huge cutbacks in record sales due to Napster. It is not hard to understand. If you have the choice of buying a $15 dollar CD or getting the same songs downloaded for free what would you do? Opposition by the major record labels has been a significant obstacle. Most of the corporations’ view is that there needs to be a compromise met by the two sides. Both sides are now discussing some ideas in which both can benefit.

One idea is that the artists would get to choose which of their works, if any was to be available on the service, and what kind of compensation they would receive from the service. The artists would have the option of contacting the users to inform them of new releases, concert dates, etc. Another thoughtful idea is for there to be a blanket license with a standard rate for downloads. That is, a system that would pay the artists a small fee whenever their song is downloaded. This idea is preferred by many of the artists around the country. The fee per track would be a very small fee.

A rate of 15 cents a song would be equal to or greater than what most artists receive from every CD sold. Without some kind of agreement like this, a service like Napster, despite their claim, does very little to help the artists. Napster users complain that CD’s are to expensive when only one or two songs are listened to anyway. Critics say the problem with this statement is that those who scream the loudest for free music are most able to pay, so studies show. A lot of Napster users have high-speed modems and Internet access, making it easy to download the songs quickly.

I have discussed a few of the most talked about arguments facing Napster, and perhaps some possible solutions. With all the arguments still up in the air, it is hard to tell what the outcome may be. Whatever happens, Napster has made the music industry address the problem of high priced music. Who knows, perhaps Napster is the wake-up call that the music industry needed. Music Essays.


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