WHAT IS NAPSTER?


While we are moving fast into the age of ever-changing technology, we look to computers in place of where we once looked to humans. Computers have become our means of communication, dealing with everything from people to on-line shopping. It is no wonder that in this quickly growing digital world, that music would be incorporated in this computer craze too.

NAPSTER, the world's leading file community enables users to locate and share media files. This software allows users to share their MP3 libraries with each other. Napster does not actually host the files; rather it provides access to music files on others' computers. The site also includes


"Napster offers net users access to virtually any piece of music at any hour of the day." If a user wants a particular tune, the service connects you to another subscriber's computer. This allows the user to download a track (11). This is legal because of the U.S. copyright law that includes a "doctrine of fair use." This allows, "copies to be made and used without permission if the copying is for a nonprofit purpose (14).

While logged on to the Napster site, online searching is made easy. Users can specify an artist or song title and the software enables the user to see the MP3 collections of other users. "All searches are in real time, so the list of available songs you receive is consistently reliable" (15).

Shawn Fanning: Founder of the original Napster application and service in January 1999 while a freshman at Northeastern University. He is currently active in the development and growth of the Napster technology and business (7). Napster is currently in the middle of a legal battle as their teams of lawyers fight hard to show that Napster is not infringing on copyright laws. A final ruling is still pending and in the meantime the service is still operating the site.

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ARTISTS SHARING SOURCES