VNU Net: Record companies risk Napster backlash
Aug 01, 2000, 22:19 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ian Lynch)
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By Ian Lynch, VNU Net
Research company Gartner has warned record companies that they
will hurt only themselves by pursuing Napster, the music sharing
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 for alleged copyright piracy.
Napster executives said that complying with Judge Patel's
injunction would mean that they would have to close the service
down, because 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.
Robert Labatt, research director for Gartner's ebusiness
services, said: "The record industry faces the real threat of
alienating the very audience they are trying to sell to. Napster
technology is all about the shift in power from the recording
industry to the consumer."
Stephen Bradley, another Gartner analyst, said: "There is no
doubt that users are illegally copying music, but the record
companies should be careful about what they ask for."
Bradley said record companies' "short-sighted desire" to shut
down the popular Napster music site will make it nearly impossible
for the industry to control the online trading of music.
With Napster potentially shut down, the record companies have no
one to negotiate with as distributed trading architectures such as
Gnutella have no management team, facilities or place of business,
"The smartest thing the RIAA could do right now would be to
temporarily stay the injunction themselves. They have finally been
given a huge hammer. Now they should hold on to it, but not use it
yet," Bradley added.
"The RIAA will never be in a better position than right now to
drive meaningful negotiations. If they follow through with the
injunction, the music downloading community will immediately move
to far more anarchistic alternatives. The RIAA will have lost its
leverage, but not its fundamental challenge."
At the same time, new research shows that the Napster client
actually generated more data downloads than the Netscape Navigator
web browser between Wednesday and Friday last week.
Users rushed to swap MP3 music files before the site threatened
Research published today by internet home use monitoring firm
Net Value said that Napster was responsible for more data being
downloaded than Netscape Navigator and was only "a little behind"
rival browser Microsoft Internet Explorer.
- osOpinion: Napster Loses and we all lose(Aug 01, 2000)
- VNU Net: Napster ruling creates MP3 frenzy(Aug 01, 2000)
- SiliconValley.internet.com: Napster Supporters Rally; Competition Soars; RIAA: "DOH!"(Aug 01, 2000)
- TLS: The Great Napster Debate! Or, why corporate America has lost the war...(Aug 01, 2000)
- Inter@ctive Week: Cold War In A Digital Age(Jul 31, 2000)
- Eric Raymond: Two Faces and Big Lies(Jul 31, 2000)
- ISP-Planet: Has the RIAA Made the Internet Illegal?(Jul 30, 2000)
- Wired: Napster Gets Stay of Execution(Jul 29, 2000)
- osOpinion: RIAA and Napster: A study in failed strategic thinking(Jul 28, 2000)
- LinuxPlanet: Editor's Note: Why Are We Defending Napster?(Jul 28, 2000)