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LinuxPlanet: Editor's Note: Why Are We Defending Napster?

Jul 27, 2000, 17:18 (52 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kevin Reichard)

[ Thanks to Kevin Reichard for this link. ]

"Why are we in the Open Source community so passionate about defending Napster against the Recording Industry Association of America? Let's see: it's not because Napster is an Open Source company. Quite the opposite: the owners of Napster have discouraged Open Source versions of the Napster software and have sent threatening notes to those who would try and create Open Source alternatives to Napster like OpenNAP."

"Let's face it: Napster is nothing more than a commercialized attempt to leach off the music industry, to provide the fruits of someone else's labor while skimming a little off the top. Napster is a well-financed commercial enterprise that exists for no other reason but to make money off of peer-to-peer file sharing. ... Napster attempts to supercede the rights of artists by providing the means to illegally trade copyrighted materials."

"In my mind, this goes directly against the spirit of Open Source, which is why the whole-hearted support of Napster in the Open Source community boggles my mind. One purpose behind Open Source is to give power to users through the inclusion of source code; another purpose is to encourage people to shift from proprietary code to Open Source code. But the notion of enriching oneself at the expense of those creating Open Source code--while contributing nothing to Open Source in the process--is anathema to those truly serious about Open Source. And certainly no one tries to hide behind Open Source while simultaneously advocating massive software piracy."

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