How the Internet has changed the face of the pop industry?

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How the Internet has changed the face of the pop industry

The pop industry is an ever-changing world of fame, glamour and money. Nevertheless, does it go too far? While searching the Internet this quote was found from Eminem, "When I worked 9 to 5, I expected to get a pay check every week. It's the same with music," said controversial rapper Eminem. "If I'm putting my heart and all my time into my music, I expect to get rewarded for that. And if you can afford to have a computer, you can afford to pay $16 for my ... CD." This shows that he has become too greedy.

The Napster software, launched early in 1999, allows Internet users to share and download MP3 files directly from any computer connected to the Napster network. The software is used by downloading a client program from the Napster site and then connecting to the network through this software, which allows sharing (uploading and downloading) of MP3 files between all users connected to the network. While Napster does not condone copyright infringement, there is no opportunity in the software to stop this, or for paying royalties to artists whose songs are being duplicated free. Unlike similar file-sharing applications, like Gnutella and Kazaa, Napster limits users to uploading/downloading of MP3 files only. These files are compressed wave (.wav) files. The advantage of MP3 files is that they are approximately one-tenth the size of the corresponding wave file and can be close-to-CD-quality. It is for this reason that many artists, record labels and other music industry stakeholders are concerned by the MP3 file format and applications like Napster that simplify the sharing of copyrighted material.

The reaction from recording artists, record labels and other music industry players has been varied, but primarily anti-Napster. The first action taken against Napster was by the band Metallica. In April 2000, they sued Napster Inc for copyright infringement. The case was settled out of court when Napster agreed to ban some 300,000 users who had allegedly downloaded Metallica songs. Again in June 2000, the Recording Industry Association of America, a trade group representing the US recording industry, alleging "Napster is enabling and encouraging the illegal copying and distribution of copyrighted music", sued Napster for copyright infringement. Napster claims that Audio Home Recording Act that permits copying of material for personal use allows its users to swap MP3s. Napster further claims immunity by defining the company as an ISP under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The RIAA unsuccessfully applied to have an injunction to stop Napster's operations until after the court case in September 2000.
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Other artists and record labels have responded to the advent of Napster and similar applications in a more positive way, embracing the new technology rather than rejecting it. On their website, the Offspring say, "MP3 technology and programs such as Napster are a vital and necessary means to promote music and foster better relationships with our fans." Interestingly enough, the Offspring's last album, Americana, was made available online illegally before commercially released, yet it is the band's best-selling album to date. Furthermore, a number of surveys have proven that Napster users actually buy more CDs, after 'sampling' the ...

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