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MSNBC/WSJ: Linux gurus, followers differ on Napster use

May 22, 2000, 11:02 (20 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Lee Gomes)

"...For example, an essayist on Slashdot, a Web site popular with younger Linux buffs, suggested recently that Napster users have been "influenced by the open-source ethic." A programmer working on a Napster-like product said in an interview that in the future, copyright will be viewed the same way witch burning is today. And ever since Metallica filed its lawsuit, which fingered more than 300,000 Napster users as copyright violators, Metallica-bashing has been a favorite sport in many open-source circles. One satirical animation making the rounds on the Internet portrays a Metallica band member as a grunting Neanderthal capable only of simple phrases like, "Money good. Napster bad."

"But if the "Napster good" crowd is expecting support for its position from open-source movement leaders, it's going to be disappointed."

"Piracy is bad," says Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, when asked about the matter. "Of course you should be able to sue over copyrights. The one good lawsuit in the whole Napster case is the one by Metallica: a suit by the actual authors. While it's probably motivated mostly by money, I can still at least hope that there is a strong feeling of morals there, too."

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