Mac Happens

MP3 Forever!

June 26, 2000 - Evan Kleiman

The latest craze in the computing/music/real world is Napster, the notorious MP3 sharing program. There is a lot of controversy over this program. Many musical artists, like Dr. Dre and Metallica, are suing Napster. They are doing this because many people are using Napster to distribute MP3s of their music to other computer users. These artists believe that the only solution to this problem is to completely close down Napster. But is this really fair? Not at all.

The main point of these lawsuits is to stop technology from advancing. And the people who will face the brunt of these lawsuits, are none other than us, the Mac users. Of the many Mac ports of the Napster software (the best being Macster), none can share files with users. Thus, Mac users can't break any laws. However, by shutting down Napster servers, we will be treated as if we were distributing the music ourselves!

Artists like Dr. Dre need to realize that Napster isn't breaking the law; users are. Napster is merely a means of sharing music. What music you share depends on the user. It is not Napster's responsibility to police their networks. Many music artists are attempting to stunt technology's growth only because they do not understand it.

Hey, I don't understand Algebra, but I don't go around trying to get my school's math department shut down!

Just because a few people are distributing their music via Napster, doesn't mean these artists need to create such trouble. Dennis Leary's opinion on this issue is a very good one: "You don't sue the people who made your fork just because you have a fat [butt]".

These anti-technology musical artists should give Napster a break. It's not like these people really need the money. In fact. in one of Dr. Dre's Songs he says, "Wondering if it's still in me to produce hits/As if I need to make more/I got a mansion and six cars that are paid for/...I do it because I want to not to stay in the game/...the fame, I'm still stayin the same." These almighty recording artists do not need the money and satisfaction they will get from cutting technology off.

Closing down Napster will save these already rich artists like Metallica some money. However, 5 or 6 years down the line, much new talent which could have been promoted through Napster will never have been discovered. These artists need to make a convincing argument: Would they rather have a little more money now or have new technology, new talent, and new fans 6 years from now?

It's their decision.

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