Hot Issues

Arts Journal Home Page

PublishingTheatreVisual ArtsArts IssuesPeople
common threadsarts watchletters
issues archive
Arts BeatSearchContact UsNews Service Home`Services
Digest Samples
Headline Samples







Napster Kayoed?

The US Appeals Court ruling [Wired] Feb. 12 against Napster turned out to be as ambiguous as the dispute itself has become. Yes, the file-trading service faces a shutdown [Salon] but it wasn't an immediately lethal sword to the gut.

Sure the recording industry seems to have proved its case that file-traders are breaking copyright laws. And musicians need to be paid for their work. But the recording companies have a difficult time [NYTimes] proving that they have been damaged out on the digital free range. Indeed, there is mounting evidence that digital music downloading may be in part responsible for a strong increase [The Age] in recording sales.

The recording industry itself has not exactly been on the cutting edge [ZDNet] of finding ways to sell music legally online. Currently it's much more difficult to download music legally - paying for it - than do it with any of the "illegal" services. And young people are now hooked on downloading, with one-in-three teens ages 12-17 [Washington Post] copying away. And who trusts the recording companies anyway? They were hit with a price-fixing suit [Variety] last year for colluding to keep CD prices high. In any case, it may be time to stop romanticizing [The Telegraph] the "revolution" represented by Napster - after all, it's about the content, right?

Complete Digital/Napster stories archive.






Click Here!