Napster Unethical or Ethical




Napster: Unethical or Ethical?

In the music industry various artists work hard in order to make music that many people enjoy listening to. They then sell their music to record companies such as Arista, RCA, Warner Brothers, and Jive, just to name a few. These record companies make multi million-dollar deals with these artists with the intentions that once they distribute the artists’ music to the record stores they will be selling a favorable amount of albums. In today’s ever advancing technology, music is basically being stolen off of the internet through mp3 databases such as Napster and Imesh. People are able to sign onto the internet, and are able to type in the name of the song, and then are able to download that particular song usually within five minutes. Now the problem becomes; how are the record companies, and most importantly the artists going to make money if their work is basically being given away on the internet? These people who download music do not even have to leave their homes, and they can listen to the hottest, and latest music in the industry. The defense stated by Napster is that they are basically advertising the music for the artist for free over the Internet. The consumer is in a sense able to sample the music before they go out, and buy it. There are 200 million multimedia personal computers in the world that are able to download music. The fact is the record companies, and artists are losing money because of databases such as Napster and Imesh. The main reason for this is because once the person has downloaded the song onto their computer they then can burn the song onto a compact disk, and they can listen to the free music in any CD player. So, if they have the song on CD already: why would they go out and buy it? This is one of the biggest crimes going on today these record companies, and hardworking artists are losing money because of the unethical databases distributing music that was not paid for. (Gurley, 268)
Many people feel that when they download the “free” MP3’s that it is not stealing because they are not receiving a tangible object. Who are we kidding anyway, I myself use these free MP3 sources, and I have not bought an album in about two years. What college student in their right mind is going to go out, pay twenty-dollars for an album? Especially if they usually only like two songs from the whole album. I don’t have to waste miles on my car, pay for gas to get to the actual store, and I don’t have to wait in line. I can have that song in five minutes for free without even leaving my house. I believe it is unethical because obviously someone out there is making it possible for poor college students like myself to download music for free. Someone should be taking action to put a stoppage to the free downloading of music. Nothing in this world is for free.(Dvorak,185)
According to the Information and Communications Technology Law journal, it states that there are three rules that the database owners should be following. These rules are as follows: (1) To permit authorized persons to use the database fully, (2) To prevent unauthorized persons from using the database,(3) Lastly, to prevent competitors from copying it in order to create a competitive product. This makes perfect sense, because since Napster and other databases are technically legal they should be regulated. In other words the databases should be controlled by the government somehow, otherwise we won’t have any musical artists music produced because they won’t have any money to keep themselves going. (Conley, 7)
Another point concerning Napster is that it is not all bad. For instance Napster has agreed to sponsor the popular punk band Limp Biskit’s upcoming summer tour. So, Napster has found a way to work with the artist. The deal works as follows: Napster will distribute their music for free, and the way that the artists make the money is by marketing their posters, shirts, and any other kind of memorabilia that is associated with the band Limp Biskit. The one problem with that deal is such artists as Metallica