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

“…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

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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