Napster: Information Superhighway Robbery?
Sean Fanning had no Idea of the amount of turmoil that the creation of Anapest would cause. Full-length songs were being exchanged in a matter of minutes, and neither the artists nor the record companies were seeing a cent of it. With the widespread popularity of Internet file sharing the music population was divided. People either saw the program as a Godsend that would save them from wallet gouging CD prices or a new-aged form of robbery.From the money-hungry record company executive to the eleven year-old kid waiting forty minutes to download the attest EBB Mac hit, it seems that almost everyone has a stance on Anapest. The difficulty lies in appeasing all parties affected by the Internet file sharing.
Though the record companies and others Interested In the financial aspect of music are reluctant to adapt, they will inevitably be forced to do so by the evolution of technology. The word “Anapest” originated as creator Sean Fining’s grade school nickname.It was a remark made In regard to Fining’s hairstyle and was meant to jilt his focus on the basketball game at hand. Since then “Anapest” had been his nickname. When Fining’s Internet file sharing program was launched in 1998 it Inherited the title. Fanning was enrolled at Northeastern University and was majoring in computer science when he created the program. He sought a challenge beyond his entry-level classes.
Thus came the Idea for Anapest. Fining’s roommate had been using Internet technology quite frequently to download and play Amps (music files).The problem was that the sites he was using were unreliable and often out of date. After surveying several Internet users Vela chat rooms Fanning had collected enough information to begin work on his masterpiece. His idea was to have a program that searched for other user’s on the “net” that possessed MPH files. It would ask the user which files they wished to share with others and then would make those available for download. The program would survey the available files each time the user logged on, thus eliminating out of date links.
Fanning wanted to see If he could turn his thoughts Into a reality.He left Northeastern with no intention of professionally developing the program, and was only interested in testing his new pilot program for efficiency and popularity. After sending the program to a few friend who continued to send It to other friends the “bugs” were worked out and Fanning was receiving nothing but positive response. With the help of his uncle, Fanning incorporated Anapest in May of 1999. The program took off from there. Office space was obtained for the corporate use, and Fanning moved out to California. Before its lawsuit induced downfall “Anapest” was simultaneously harboring over 800,000 users.
Despite Its popularity, not everyone was thrilled with Anapest and other file sharing communities. Retail stores are not pleased with the introduction of file sharing programs. The music manager at Media Play In Enfield, CT states, ” I was reading in Billboard magazine that the record Industry has lost something Like 6 billion dollars on Internet file sharing already. That works out to like 100,000 dollars for this store alone. ” He also said that Media Play has made no official statement on Anapest and other sharing services. While they they do not own the music and only sell it.The ones who do own the music are the record companies and the artists themselves.
The record companies have been the loudest voice of opposition and yet the most unwillingly to compromise. They say that the program enables users to violate copyright laws, and thus cut into profits. Under the law these companies are Justified. The Copyright Act of 1976 states that owners have five exclusive rights: 1. Only the copyright owner may reproduce or make copies of the work 2. Only the copyright owner may create adaptations of the work. 3.
Only the copyright owner may distribute copies of the work to the public. . The copyright owner has the exclusive right to perform the work in public. 5. Only the copyright owner may display the work in public. Anapest violates all of these. Without exception every right of a copyright holder is infringed upon.
The record companies do hold the legal copyrights to the work and re Justified in their claims, but fail to rouse any sympathy with the public. CD prices are utterly ridiculous. The suggested retail price of a compact disc has not dropped from its $19. 99 suggested retail price since they first came out. It is unbelievable.The devices to play them have declined tremendously over the past ten years, yet CD prices have been constant. Using personal experience as an example, I bought a CD player when I was in sixth grade.
That was six years ago. The player cost me eighty dollars. Whenever we went for a ride in the car and I wanted to listen to my Smashing Pumpkins I had to hold the player in the air to keep it from skipping. The ones that had ESP. to prevent skipping were priced around $200. A few months ago I bought a player for forty dollars that I could elbow drop and it would not skip.The reason that the prices of CDC have not dropped is because of the tremendous greed of the record industry.
When interviewing two experts in the field of music retail they were asked, “Do you believe CD prices are two high? ” The response was an immediate and simultaneous “YES! ” As technology ages the price normally declines due to improvements in production and availability. Consumers are turned off at the lack of cost deflation. The reason that price of CDC have not declined is because of the enormous avarice tax that the record industry puts on each disc.With prices as they are who would not turn to free music instead of highway robbery at the record store? Teenagers are not highly paid to run cash registers or wash dishes, and thus cannot afford to buy music at such a high cost. A person getting paid minimum wage would have to work for three hours in order to be able to buy a single CD, and often times they do not like the entire disc. They are only interested in a few good songs. A user can mix a variety of music onto one disc instead of having to Jockey the “skip” button through a twenty-dollar mistake.
By escaping the unreasonable CD prices Internet file sharing is replenishing the emaciated bank accounts of music lovers across the country. Those who really suffer from Anapest and other file-sharing programs are newer bands. When a new band hits the airwaves it is uncertain whether they will have the appeal necessary to hold the fleeting attention span of the out of every CD. The first album an artist releases is not intended to make money, but to solidify their status as a legitimate entertainer. They are depending on people to buy their CD. Poor record sales are interpreted as a lack of popularity.With the introduction of Internet file sharing a variable has been created in the assessment process.
A band could have huge popularity, yet their label would not know it because file exchanges are not reported. These new artists are the ones that need the sales the most, and often times do not produce them because their one good song can be downloaded from the Internet. Some musicians struggling to start feel that Anapest and other such programs are beneficial to their cause. The Internet is a fertile source of publicity. Many bands that have not been signed too major record label have difficulty in distributing their work.As a result of this bands such as Dispatch encourage their fans to use Internet file sharing. It assists in spreading the band’s sound across the nation.
This is one band that I found as a result of Anapest, and would not have otherwise. This is the beauty of the Internet. It is free publicity. Instead of having to spend thousands on promotion tapes countless hours posting flyers a website can go up and be much more effective. The young bands that are frustrated because their song is being downloaded instead of bought have a right to e mad.Their rise came before the MPH age and they most likely had to fight tooth and nail to get signed. There was no way to produce evidence that people were listening to their music as their track spun for three minutes in front of a big time record executive.
If they had had a figure of how many people had downloaded the song off of the Internet, then they would have been able to present themselves more convincingly. The Internet can serve as a sounding board for young musicians. They can put a song out and monitor its success, and with that information make revisions or run to the record company.Aside from the small bands that have been newly introduced to the music industry, there are those bands that have already “made it. ” They have been established in the music industry and are in solid contracts with their record labels. This gives them power that the small bands do not have. They can negotiate.
Larger bands have the ability to demand more profit return off of each CD. If they have already had two platinum albums the companies know that the third will definitely sell, and therefore can afford to shell out more money because the risk of loss is not present. Being more popular band means more options in general.They have endorsement opportunities, the chance to play bigger venues, and endless merchandising options. All of these give bands such as Metallic and Limp Biz the edge over all of the smaller bands. The fact that Metallic and Limp Biz are both big name bands is virtually the only thing they have in common. Their views on Anapest are at opposite ends of the spectrum.
One of the bands has embraced the new technology and resorted to the old cliche of “if you can’t beat Deem Join Mom”, while the other has bitterly attacked the Internet companies and even more so the fans themselves.Lars Lurch, drummer of Metallic, has angrily denounced the Internet music exchange and all those associated with it. He has spear-headed whole anti-Anapest campaign and has received a great deal of negative exposure as a result. Lurch has towards the consumers of Internet music have turned many people off to the band. When interviewing the disc Jockey/salesperson at Media Play he testified to this. “He has attacked the fans for downloading the music. I mean I have every Metallic CD and I’ve downloaded their stuff too.
It makes me mad when he points the finger at me.He has lost a lot of fans. I’ve had people come in here and say they hate Metallic now and forget them them and that they’ll Just burn all of their stuff,” vents Steve. Stave’s opinion towards Lurch seems to be widespread. Websites such as “Intellectualism. Com” have sprung up all over the Internet. He has attacked Internet users and thus turned the web against himself.
It is proof that artists will have to conform to the download age. One artist who has conformed and has found success is Limp Bassist’s Fred Durst. As lead singer of the band Durst has embraced Anapest. We believe that the Internet and Anapest should not be ignored by the music industry as tools to remote awareness for bands and [to] market music,” states Durst. Anapest sponsored a free tour in which Limp Biz and other bands would be playing venues with no admission charge. The fans loved it, and as a result Limp Bassist’s record sales have been phenomenal. The band clearly did not lose any sales due to Anapest.
They turned the situation into a way they could appeal to their fans even more. It was an extremely saw business maneuver.In regard to other artist opposition to Anapest durst says, “We could care less about the older generation’s need to keep doing business as usual, we care more about what our fans want and our fans want USIA on the Internet. ” As a businessman it is more beneficial for an artist to support its listeners in downloading, but what about as an artist? On the Internet anything is available. That means if Springiness ever sat in the kitchen at age four banging on pots singing an early version of “Baby We Were Born To Run” it can be found in MPH format on the Internet. Fans love this while artists hate it.Unauthorized versions of songs are easily available to millions.
Artists may feel that this is not a fair representation of their work, and do not want it out there. Will Healy of the Internet music retail site Arrestor. Com states, ” It’s not so much the stealing of music, but the posting of music that was never supposed to reach human ears. Some artists will do demo’s, recordings, etc. That they later decide they don’t like or feel it doesn’t represent themselves and scrap it. Somehow, somebody will get a copy of this and then post it on a “Anapest” type-site.The artist doesn’t know how it posted and may not want people to hear those tracks for whatever reason.
” The third exclusive right of a copyright holder is that only the holder has the right to distribute the work to the public. This right is violated when a song is made available without the permission of its creator. The fans love these rare versions. They pay for the CDC, the concert tickets, and the T-shirts, so they deserve a little something extra. There are extreme music fanatics in existence that want to get a hold of anything with their favorite group’s name on it.There is no harm in allowing that fan forty-five seconds of a demo song that was Just thrown out anyway. Bands such as Dave Matthews Band are well known for their acceptance of this.
They allow taping at concerts, and are one of the largest “bootleg” bands around. Dave Matthews’ album sales are not Hartford, CT they are sold out. Bands such as this appreciate a die-hard fan’s desire greater feeling of allegiance by owning rare versions of their work. With the outrage over Anapest came tremendous lawsuits. The Recording Industry Association of America filed suit against the company for copyright violation.Artists such as Metallic have filed on their own, and individual record companies as Nell. The Anapest service has been crippled by the legal action.
They have been forced to block all songs that are from artists who are filing suit or whose labels are filing suit. The amount of files available dropped so much that the service was practically useless. As of February a three-judge panel overturned a lower court decision to shut down Anapest entirely, but maintained the stipulation that they Mould be forced to block songs. This is not a solution.Anapest could be driven to bankruptcy and Additionally, Scour, Breathers, Mister, Kava, ‘Mesh, Limier, Babe’s MPH finder, Notable, Win, ripostes, Swapper, Efferent, Medicare, Young, Aha, Smirk, and several other file sharing programs would keep the pulse of sharing community beating. Anapest is trying to work out a solution with the record companies. They have signed a deal Ninth the German company “Bertelsmann Inc.
” who owns the BMW music company. Already a link off of the Anapest program has been added which brings the user directly to the Bertelsmann owned “CD Now” website.A potential Anapest version Inhere the user pays a monthly rate is in the works, but the outlook for this is not very DOD. Why pay a monthly rate for music that is free at one of the many other sites? Also, certain companies or artist still may not comply, and those songs would still have to be blocked. This would limit the amount of music available making the service inferior to others. As for now the MPH craze is running wild. Soon more and more companies will come under fire and the Internet music industry will evolve into a pay service.
With the way things are going now no one will be completely satisfied until all free music libraries are eradicated. Ideally users will have to pay in some way to obtain the music even if it’s in the form of demographic information. Questionnaires completed before downloading will hold valuable information that can be sold to record companies and other business for research and marketing purposes. The reason that record companies will be interested in consumer information is hat people are still buying music. With the focus on the Internet everyone has forgotten the record store.Media Plays music department salesperson in Enfield, CT has seen that people come into the store all of the time looking for music that they have found on the Internet. The feeling of ownership when one purchases a disc is more fulfilling for many consumers.
It is these people that will continue to buy CDC despite the Internet downloading frenzy. These are the people that the record companies and retail stores need to focus on, and use the “net” to get them to buy more. No matter what they decide to do the Internet file sharing age cannot be stopped as of the present, and they will be much better off trying to conform.The record companies need to work with the musicians and the MPH sites themselves. The whole problem with copyright violation and unauthorized music trade is the lack of permission. If in the beginning a system had been established to compromise is very difficult. Record Companies are being extremely stubborn on the negotiation attempts.
Since they do not truly need profit from the Internet they are reluctant to give in. Inevitably they will have to come together. File sharing cannot e stopped, but it can be controlled if they all work together.This can become a great economical advancement once all parties are satisfied. A plethora of opportunities for expansion of the music industry has been opened with the World Node Web. The media as we know it can achieve a higher level of greatness only if all factions can collaborate to make it that way. With the introduction of mainstream Internet file sharing in 1998 came the introduction of a new conflict: the issue of intellectual property.
Anapest was the program that brought attention to the whole underground MPH swapping, but it is hardly the only program in existence.Several others are in place, therefore destruction of the Anapest Corporation will not end the problem. Musicians are not getting paid for the millions of files that have been swapped between various users over the past three years. The act of downloading music has even been referred to as theft. People have been downloading music as an alternative to outrageous CD prices and the convenience of “burning” their own CD mixes. Users will not willingly let this go. Artists and record companies are going to have to work with the fans’ demands and the music services themselves to develop some sort of compromise.