Napster No Match for 'Establishment,' Yet ; This Week's Ruling May Force the Internet Firm to Find a Way to Pay for Music-Trading

By Paul Van Slambrouck writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, February 14, 2001 | Go to article overview

Napster No Match for 'Establishment,' Yet ; This Week's Ruling May Force the Internet Firm to Find a Way to Pay for Music-Trading


Paul Van Slambrouck writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Clobbered by the courts, the power team of Napster - the popular, free online music service - filed into a press conference once again this week.

Youthful founder and college dropout Shawn Fanning stood further back from the podium, and more stiffly, than the firm's dark- suited CEO and lawyer. The picture seemed a perfect representation of how the Internet Age has sought, however uncomfortably, a cohabitation with the Old World establishment.

That may be working within Napster, where Mr. Fanning's bright idea has drawn investors from the venture capital and entertainment industries. But outside the firm, the conventional business world remains largely hostile to Napster's upset-the-teacart model.

A ruling this week by the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the Napster service aids copyright infringement. While online, a user who wants to swap music with another simply types in the artist or song desired and receives a directory of matches, any of which can be downloaded for free.

The service has become a pop-culture icon, trailblazing a technology path that alarmed the entertainment establishment by making a hash of its commercial underpinnings. Why buy a CD when you can get music for free?

Even if Napster as we know it disappears, the form of digital distribution it pioneered will likely be a lasting legacy - one to which the music industry itself is increasingly drawn.

Napster now boasts more than 50 million members and claims it doesn't violate copyright laws since it does not house or trade any music itself. It simply provides a directory of what members have available and the software to connect willing parties.

The court this week found otherwise, saying Napster knowingly encourages and assists its users to infringe, and could be liable for that activity when it does not stop the infringement.

For supporters and critics alike, the case goes beyond the issue of free music. Fans say Napster represents the promise of the Internet, a technology that can shift power from big business to consumers. For opponents, Napster is revolutionary all right, but in the wrong direction, undermining copyright protection.

Is compromise possible?

The question is whether there is a middle ground.

A number of legal analysts have suggested that the best resolution would be for the entertainment industry and Napster to find a workable compromise.

There is an ongoing attempt to do just that. Bertelsmann AG, a German media giant whose record-label subsidiary was originally one of the parties to the suit against Napster, switched gears last year and bought a $50 million stake in Napster. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Napster No Match for 'Establishment,' Yet ; This Week's Ruling May Force the Internet Firm to Find a Way to Pay for Music-Trading
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.