NAPSTER...The Biggest Can of Worms
OK, audiokid, lets get out the old can opener,
and see what pops out...
I'll be the first one to confess that I use
Napster. I've even suggested to other people
that they go into Napster to hear some songs.
Metallica tried to pull the Napster plug, but
their songs are still on there for all to
download. There are old songs on there that
you may not be able to easily obtain otherwise, if at all. But, I'd have to say that most of the songs are still available by
purchasing the musicians' recordings, mostly
easily attainable. Therefore, comes the debate...
There are many musicians who no longer perform, but still continue to make royalties
off of their old hits. There are many active musicians who are out on the road trying to make a name for themselves, promoting their recordings. It's easy to explain-away downloading songs by the big name bands,"They
make tons of money". But what about the new,
upstart bands, just starting out, trying to make a name for themselves? Are you taking away the very income that may allow the band to continue, or are you simply taking a sample of their music, say a song or two, which you may like so well that it could cause you to buy their full recordings, where
otherwise you may never have done so, had you not sampled their music from
Then, what about the people who go in and download music, only to burn it onto CDs
and sell them for their own profit? This is
not a gray issue. It's downright wrong and illegal, and it is done. To my knowledge,
there's no way to stop it, either.
On the other end of the spectrum are the brand new, unsigned bands, who put their own music on Napster, hoping that it will help them get noticed, more concerned about spreading the word about their music to help them gain popularity, get 'discovered'.
They see it as an investment in themselves.
And what about the retired artists that I previously mentioned? Is Napster actually helping keep their music alive, thus benefitting them?
There are so many ways to view this phenomenon, both good and bad. So, do you take the good with the bad, or put an end to it? CAN it be stopped? SHOULD it be stopped?
Is it just the innevitable future?
How could the Napster phenomenon affect the
coming DAW phenomenon?
We are all musicians, producers, and/or engineers, and this is a major issue that directly affects each and every one of us.
If you have read this, please do not ignore it. YOUR input, opinoins, and point-of-view are very important, and I encourage you to please become part of this debate.
To me it sounds simple. If you want to give people access to copyrighted material fine, as long as you have the permission of the copyright holder.
The difficulty for Napster is that I doubt they would get permission from the more famous copyright holders and their site will lose a large part of it's appeal.
The only alternative I can think of is to do away with copyright law. The long term effect of this though would be a great reduction in the earnings of those people who create music. In my case if copyright law didn't exist I would have to look for employment outside the music industry to maintain the level of income which I require. I personally may not be a great loss to the music world but it would be a huge discouragement to those considering a career in the music business. Long term I believe it would be the most devastating single occurrence in the music world since the Council of Trent in the 16th Century.