With many different copyright laws protecting musicians, many artists have been complaining that Napster is violating their rights. Napster's software is making it possible for users to trade and share music for free. To read more about what Napster does, and who runs it visit their company profile site. They are not however hosting the files. While some artists are speaking out against this software, such as Metallica and Dr. Dre, other artists think that it is a sales booster. If one can sample a song and decide they like it, they will be inclined to go out and purchase the whole album.

Fred Durst With the future of online music at stake, it is important that artists and groups such as Fred Durst and Arrested Development continue to support the efforts of Napster to keep it's software running (6). Durst was quoted saying Napster was "an amazing way to market and promote music to a massive audience." (1) Napster is now sponsoring the band's string of free concerts (13). To read more about Fred Durst speaking out in support of Napster, visit an article of him speaking out for Napster.

Madonna Many artists that oppose Napster are commonly featured in the news. There are however many who are in support of it. Many artists think that the Napster service is beneficial to them for publicity, as well as to their music sales. The group, Cracker, "makes certain songs available in MP3 format on their site" (8). This gives people the same opportunity to sample their music that Napster is making possible. It is helpful to music consumers. Other artists that are supporting the Napster software are Dave Matthews, Madonna, and Dexter Holland of Offspring, just to name a few. On a link from the Napster Web site, Madonna said, "Napster could be a great way for people to hear your music who wouldn't have the chance to hear it on the radio" (8).

In the same article, Dave Matthews said, "Napster: It is the future, in my opinion. That's the way music is going to be communicated around the world. The most important thing now is to embrace it" (8).Dave Matthews Band/Crash - ALbum Cover

More artists need to be open-minded and recognize the positive implications of this software. Dexter Holland said, "We're not afraid of the internet. We think it's a cool way to reach our fans. If a band sells 12 million albums, what are we supposed to say? Oh, maybe we could have sold 13 million if we had just been Internet Nazis. Frankly, at a certain point, you have to say. Hey, let the people have the music" (8).

Under the Audio Home Recording Act, "consumers have an absolute right to create and transfer digital music for noncommercial purposes" (9). This is exactly what Napster is doing. They are making it possible for their users to explore music for noncommercial purposes. To read more about other digital music laws click here (10). MAjor labels are afraid of Napster cutting into it's money from sales. In a Napster opposition brief, before the United States District Court, they reported that "over 84 percent of Napster users report downloading music files to see if they want to buy the work." Moreover, the impact of Napster has proven positive, not negative, on Plaintiffs' CD sales, which are up eight percent this year over last" (9). Courtney Love spoke out in support of Napster in an article by saying, "There were one billion downloads last year but music sales are way up, so how is Napster hurting the music industry? It's not" (8).

Five independent studies also show positive effects on music purchases (9). For musicians this online music trading means that by their music being available on Napster, "they are getting a wider listenership that they wouldn't have been able to reach otherwise. They can get more attendance at their concerts, they can sell T-shirts, autographed posters, whatever" (11). Many users not only trade MP3's, they also read about artists and articles about current news events. There is so much research to defend the users and their intentions. Research shows that users of the service are more likely to spend more than non-Napster users. Analyst, Aram Sinnreich, from the Internet Research Firm, Jupiter Communications said, "Because Napster users are music enthusiasts, it's logical to believe that they are more likely to purchase now and increase their spending in the future" (12).

To join the Napster Action Network click here Join the Napster Action Network

Damian Harris, owner of SKINT, Fatboy Slim's label said, "The amount of time companies spend stressing about getting a record on radio, you would think that the idea of some big, global listening post would make perfect sense" (16). It is helpful in the fight to keep Napster alive that they have artists such as Fred Durst and Dave Matthews speaking out. Hopefully the messages that they convey will help Napster through their struggle with Congress and opposing artists and they will be able to keep their software online.

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