I Want My Mp3 I Want My MP3 Music is something that can be listened to almost anywhere due to modern technology. When it comes to listening to music while sitting at a computer, controversy arises. People today want to just be able to click the mouse a few times and be able to listen to thousands of different songs. A web site known as Napster is in the middle of a lawsuit with the Recording Industry Association of America, RIAA for short, over their software. This software lets subscribers download all the MP3s they want and do whatever they want with them.
The controversy arises when these files are then illegally transferred across the Internet. Many different terms are used to describe what is involved in this lawsuit. MP3, standing for MPEG-1, Layer 3, is a code for compressing the size of audio files for digital distribution(www.oreilly.com.) This is usually done by using a computer program that takes songs off of Compact Disks by a method called ripping and then converting them into what are known as MP3s. These files can then be easily sent to other people being that one of these files is on average about one megabyte per minute of song. And this ability is what is the cause of all the hullabaloo is about.
Like personal computers the Internet, MP3s, and Napster have not been around for very long. According to Napster.com Shawn Fanning developed the original Napster application and service in January 1999 while a freshman at Northeastern University. He then founded the company in May of that year. Later in 1999 RIAA started a lawsuit against Napster stating the company is violating federal and state copyright laws. Since then both sides have been in court numerous times arguing over who is right, and whether or not to shut down Napster.
There are basically two different viewpoints to this conflict: the first being Napster defending of themselves. According to the policies listed on their web page they say, Napster enables musicians and music fans to locate bands and music available in the MP3 format Napster respects copyright law and expects our users to do the same (www.napster.com.) A complete list of company policies can be found on their web page, which covers every aspect of copyright infringement. It does later continue on to say, that some MP3 files may have been created or distributed without copyright owner authorization. As with most companies providing a service, Napster does hold the right to terminate a users account at any time. And before being allowed to download the Napster software the user is required to agree with the End User License Agreement, or EULA.
And to agree with this contract it takes no more than a single click. If it is so easy to find download songs, then it must not be illegal is a statement that might be heard from a prospective user. With that statement comes the viewpoint of the RIAA, RIAA, on behalf of its members, sued Napster because it launched a service that enables and facilitates piracy of music on an unprecedented scaleAs for MP3 technology, RIAA and its members have no objection to the format itself. RIAA only has a problem with the illegal uses of the format to distribute copyrighted recordings without the permission of the artist or record company (www.riaa.com). So the RIAA is saying that they are pleased that the consumer is buying musical Compact Disks.
Then if that person wants to pull the songs off of their CDs and put them onto their computer then they can as long as the music stays on their computer only. After ripping the CD of their choice the buyer cannot then legally distribute the music to anyone whether it be parents or friends. Bibliography Napster.com Inc. Napster Copyright Policy January 2000 http://www.napster.com OReilly & Associates, Inc. MP3: The Definitive Guide January 2000 http://www.oreilly.com Recording Industry Association of America RIAA/News January 2000 http://www.riaa.com Computers and Internet.