Advantages A site where you can get free music; Convenience of music online
Disadvantages New contract with BMG may scare fans away
The Napster's revolution is under way. Who can stop it now that fans all over the world embrace it? Is it the RIAA?For a few years now, Napster has been facilitating the exchange of person-to-person music files on the Internet. It has managed to cultivate a large community of fans and users who become more and more thirsty for more music files. A lot of observers in the music industry think what Napster has created does not fall short of a revolution in the whole industry. I will agree with this view. Napster has caught off-guard the old guard as evidenced by the immediate actions taken by the major recording labels. For the longest time, the recording industry sat on their laurels. They thought everything was going well until a Northeastern University dropout, Shawn Fanning, started concentrating on writing music file-sharing software which he called Napster. Then, the rest is just part of music archives. It's a costly type of history too.
In April, 2000, Metallica filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Napster. The band claimed the company's community is violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Then, in July, 2000, The Recording Industry Association of America wanted to get into the action by dragging the music file-sharing company to court. The trial against Napster started on October, 2000. In the meantime, lawsuits were filed by RIAA against other companies such as Scour and MP3. Napster continued to provide a forum to its users to swap their own music online thanks a reprieve by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Still, the prospects look bleak, very bleak for the company. The combined economic power of the major records comapanies started taking a toll on the startup. Something curious occurred in October, 2000.BMG pulls out, drops its lawsuit and forms an alliance with Napster
Napster received a much needed loan to keep going while continuing to fight lawsuits by the remaining record companies. BMG must have seen something bright in Napster for showering it with this loan. With this alliance, BMG joins Napster's file-sharing music service. It's up to Shawn to develop the technology and set a royalty system which can pay the artists, the recording industries and individuals.Will its community be as vibrant as before? Has Napster been forced to sell out?
This is one of the questions all community and service users have been asking. They have been using Napster's services for free for a long time now. Now, they have to pay some fees. Some of the services will remain free while users will have to pay a subscription fee. There is no doubt that the time has arrived for music file-sharing. If the RIAA does not jump on the bandwagon and meet the customers where they are at, they will left out.
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