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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
MandolinPaul Napster (72* d) RE: Napster 28 Jul 00

I think that the record companies went after Napster because it was an easy target. But strictly speaking, I'm not convinced that Napster was breaking the law.

Back in the seventies and early eighties, a lot of records had a little logo in the bottom right corner, of a skull and crossbones, with the slogan "Home-taping is killing music and it's illegal". Now, maybe I'm not old enough to remember, but the whole lawsuit against Napster seems equivalent to having the record companies sue BASF, and other companies that make blank tapes, for providing the means by which we, the lawbreakers, tape albums. I don't think there was ever any such lawsuit.

Napster was just providing the means by which people could exchange music. A lot of the users were breaking the law by exchanging copyrighted material. It is just easier, however to sue Napster than to come after each of us (oops, I mean "those criminals") who misuse Napster.

Now admittedly, it would be naive to think that the purpose of Napster, and blank tapes for that matter, is strictly intended to be the legal exchange of music. But to take it to an extreme, when somebody gets shot in a bank holdup, nobody sues Smith&Wesson.


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