VNU Net: Napster ruling creates MP3 frenzy
Jul 31, 2000, 21:37 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ian Lynch)
Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers
By Ian Lynch, VNU Net
News that Napster was to be shut down sparked a stampede among
MP3 music users looking to stock-up before the threatened
injunction's deadline - and has cast the spotlight on other
peer-to-peer file-swapping systems.
San Francisco-based District Judge Marilyn Patel last Wednesday
issued a preliminary injunction against Napster and in favour of
the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which sued
Napster earlier this year, alleging copyright piracy.
This would have prevented the Napster site from using MP3 files;
helping people use the files; and copying the files to which the
plaintiffs hold rights. Napster executives said they would have had
to close the service down as it cannot filter copyrighted material
from that in the public domain.
However, late on Friday, a panel of two appeal judges granted
Napster a stay of execution, allowing it to remain in business at
least until its appeal is heard, probably in September.
Between Wednesday's decision and Friday's deadline, traffic to
the Napster site in the US increased by 71 per cent from 443,000 to
758,000 unique visitors, according to statistics compiled by
Nielsen Net Ratings.
Another internet audience-monitoring firm, NetValue, said four
times as many files than usual had been downloaded using Napster
during this period.
Scour.com, which boasts a Napster-like file exchange feature and
is also facing a lawsuit, reported an 80 per cent surge in
Napster-clone File Navigator reported a tenfold increase in
traffic, and Gnutella, an open-source file-sharing system, said it
is beefing up to handle hugely increased volumes of traffic.
The increased traffic mirrors reaction to the decision by
vnunet.com readers, who support Napster but say its users will
simply turn to comparably lesser known alternatives and continue as
Some readers expressed fears that Judge Patel's decision would
set a precedent banning similar programs that swap material in the
public domain, such as shareware.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that major US record labels had
considered buying Napster. A report in the New York Times cited an
unnamed record industry insider as saying talks failed because the
labels could not come up with a viable business model while
permitting the wide exchange of content that has made Napster so
popular. Some 20 million users are claimed to have downloaded its
free file-sharing software.
Music publishers, both in the US and UK, say they have
aggressively pursued strategies for distributing music online, and
are exploring new business models and working to develop secure
However, they say the need to have secure encryption technology
that will prevent their music from being freely exchanged makes the
task very difficult, and say that Napster makes online music
distribution look easier than it is.
- SiliconValley.internet.com: Napster Supporters Rally; Competition Soars; RIAA: "DOH!"(Jul 31, 2000)
- TLS: The Great Napster Debate! Or, why corporate America has lost the war...(Jul 31, 2000)
- Inter@ctive Week: Cold War In A Digital Age(Jul 31, 2000)
- SJ Mercury/Reuters: Napster legal scrap could backfire on record Industry(Jul 30, 2000)
- Eric Raymond: Two Faces and Big Lies(Jul 30, 2000)
- ISP-Planet: Has the RIAA Made the Internet Illegal?(Jul 30, 2000)
- Wired: Napster Gets Stay of Execution(Jul 28, 2000)
- osOpinion: RIAA and Napster: A study in failed strategic thinking(Jul 28, 2000)
- Linux Magazine: From MP3s to Bottled Water: It's All Open Source(Jul 27, 2000)
- LinuxPlanet: Editor's Note: Why Are We Defending Napster?(Jul 27, 2000)
- CNET News.com: Study: Fans will find new ways to download music(Jul 27, 2000)
- CNET News.com: Judge issues injunction against Napster(Jul 27, 2000)
- Salon: Court to Napster: You're going down(Jul 27, 2000)
- Wired: Napster Ordered to Shut Down(Jul 27, 2000)