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Wall Street Journal: Napster Lays Claim to New Frontier, But It Doesn't Want Any Company

Jul 26, 2000, 21:38 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Lee Gomes)

"If there's one thing that Napster seems to believe in, it's sharing. The fast-growing service lets users obtain free MP3 files of popular music, something the record industry calls "copyright infringement" but which Napster describes as fans "sharing" their favorite songs over the Internet."

"When Hank Barry, Napster Inc.'s president, testified before Congress earlier this month, he mentioned sharing seven times in his opening statement. Among Mr. Barry's sharing-friendly remarks: "Napster ... is a return to the original information-sharing approach of the Internet...."

"But while Napster is eager to help its users share music, there is one kind of sharing it won't tolerate. That's the sharing of anything that belongs to Napster itself. The company may, through its rap anthem, appear to encourage a disdain for "trade laws" where music is concerned, but it readily invokes those same laws when its own property is at stake."

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