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mp3 Sharing and CD burning

Fri, Mar 23rd, 2001
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Is it a Crime?By Andy CarlsonMonday, March 26, 2001

Mp3 websites, such as the well publisized Napster, has revolutionized the way that music reaches the ears of millions of music fans. Mp3 file sharing is an easy and free way to download all of your favorite songs and burn them onto a rewritable CD. So instead of going out and buying a CD for about $15 dollars and getting maybe three or four good songs, you can burn a CD full of your favorite songs for a fraction of the price.

Music fans, such as myself, have found this to be a cheaper and easier way to receive music. An average mp3 song on Napster takes about 10 to 20 minutes to download on a standard modem and then can be shared by music lovers around the world. People have been known to have 1000 even 2000 files downloaded in their Napster music libraries, which would have cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars. But the fact that no matter how many songs you downloaded on Napster, they were all free. That was the main reason that recording artists and record companies began to call for a ban on Napster and other file sharing websites.

I can see where theyre coming from, for every song downloaded and burnt onto a CD takes money away from that band or singer. Then when the bands or singers records dont sell, the record producer and distributor also lose money. But personally I think that all the bands and record execs should just shut their mouths. So what if they miss out on a couple of million dollars. God forbid theyd be seen driving a Mercedes-Benz from last year or wearing the same dress or suit twice. A good example of what Im talking about is the show MTV Cribs. MTV Cribs is a show where celebrities tour you around their homes, and the rappers and bands complaining that Napster and CD burning is taking money away from them have $500,000 Bentleys, dozens upon dozens of $500 bottles of Cristal champagne, and upwards of $10 million dollar homes. Im thinking they can spare a few dollars here and there.

CD burning, however, is not limited to just music CDs. CD-ROM discs for computers also can be burnt and DVD discs can also be burnt. That makes it simple, one person can buy a CD, CD-ROM disc, or a DVD and can copy them at a small cost to distribute amongst all of his or her friends. Its a good system that works very well for most people.

However, a Federal Court recently sided with the recording artists in the highly anticipated court battle with Napster. Napster has since been instructed to remove all copy-righted material from the Napster server. This seems to be a compromise for both sides. The recording artists wanted Napster to be shut down, while Napster wanted to stay open with all material. But now Napster is just a shell of what it once was.

This whole Napster and CD burning drama is circulated around one thing, money. People who are losing it are mad and the people who are saving it are happy. Its not just about the music anymore.

Andy Carlson is a sophomore at Rushford-Peterson High School and is one of six area high school students who regularly contribute a personal column to the Journal.

By Andy Carlson

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