Napster Internal External Factors

Essay by Evan SwanUniversity, Bachelor's June 2004

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Napster has extensive content agreements with the five major record labels, as well as hundreds of independents. Napster delivers access to the largest catalog of online music, with more than 700,000 tracks spanning all genres from Eminem to Miles Davis. Napster is a division of Roxio, Inc., (Nasdaq: ROXI), the Digital Media Company, and provider of the best selling digital media software in the world. Napster has offices in London, Los Angeles, San Diego, and New York.


Napster is, and has been, the biggest controversy of business ethics in Internet history. Developed in a student's college dorm room to share songs with friends, Napster went on to become the record industries worst nightmare, and a huge topic of ethical activity. We have all been familiarized with the circumstances and ethical issues involving Napster.

        Many external forces such as record executives and government officials have threatened Napster's fate. Copyright, like most privacy issues, raises tough issues in the "e-Age."

Like privacy, too, it turns on questions of scale: What's okay for my lawyer or accountant to know is not okay for the whole world to know. The fact that 65 million fans loved Napster simply proves an age-old adage -- Given the choice between paying for something and getting it free, consumers always vote for the latter. Some of them probably thought it was too good to be true. And so it was.

        The rebirth of the file-sharing giant has called for a complete restructuring of the company's business plan and management style. As part of the re-alignment, Brad Duea, Roxio's Head of Worldwide Business Development, is Napster's new President. He has already implemented the biggest internal force within the company by introducing new business relationships within the industry, thus clearing Napster's bad reputation.

Napster's code of business conduct provides...