Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate May 2001

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Mp3s and the file sharing programs need to be kept free because of its availability, ease to get, use, play, put on a cd, and for the wonderful price of nothing once gotten off of Napster. In the beginning a couple of college kids worked on a science experiment on an idea that hadn't been tried completely before. Like Henry Ford, they put together the ability to make an amazing resource readily available, but unlike Henry Ford, they didn't profit. Although they didn't even profit, big companies accuse the mp3 sharing programs of stealing money and breaking down musical artists careers in just a couple months, and now people must fight to keep the dream of free unlimited music alive.

Companies believe that the sales of cds and other forms of music will decrease rapidly and mp3s will destroy the record industry with free music. Instead the opposite happened, and in most places, nothing really changed.

The sales of cds and music increased in some places because mp3s made artists more popular and in most areas the sales stayed the same. Napster connects millions of people with trillions of songs. The search engine lets the person find the best place to download the song, and then just as easily, one can download it. Artists and local bands get more popular by having theirs sites post the mp3s and a revolution began.

Mp3s and programs such as Napster should not have a price because it would be impossible to catch all of the Napster like programs, work out deals with other countries on how their internet should run, and too many questions arise, i.e. how much will mp3s cost and who will get the money. Banning mp3s and making the public pay for it will make other programs like Napster go underground, then people will download and share mp3s just as before.

Mp3s rule the music world, while still keeping it revolving and active. Artists made CD albums so that the position of the songs complimented each other in a set package, but whoever bought the cd has to live with the other songs surrounding the only song they actually wanted to buy. Mp3s help the person create their own compilation of their favorite songs with the same quality or sometimes even better than cds. People could get songs that could not be bought on a cd including the live versions and remixes and different versions of the same song other people make.

Mp3s spread like wildfire throughout the country and even out of the country. Mp3s give music lovers so much more freedom to pick what songs they want to hear. With mp3s and Napster someone can find imports from other countries of music introducing themselves to a different culture of music. The same goes for the other countries that enjoy American music, but may not be able to get it from there. Music and communication is a way of life, mp3s further spread the joy and the diversity in the music selections.

The war on Mp3s has gotten out of hand and the music industry acts as the innocent victim, but tries to make mp3s look evil. Posters and propaganda have been going around, some have the picture of the devil looking over a boy's shoulder telling him to get more mp3s, another picture has Hitler telling the kid to download more mp3s because he likes it. Mp3s do not promote anarchy or communism, and are not in any shape or form evil. Mp3s were just another form of music like cds and vinyl; the Internet shot them from place to place.

Mp3s never caused any harm other than clogging up the college Internet line. Many colleges banned mp3s and there should have come up with a better way to solve the problem. If people in their dorms wanted to get mp3s they should have their own server, which they could make and pay for themselves and thus leaving the school internet strictly for the school. Many say that mp3s are too out of control and cannot be censored. This may take away the purpose of the parental guidance system, but people can download songs with censors in them and parents can control what the child downloads.

Mp3s compete the best against the music industry and the music industry should not try to shut down their competition, but try to beat it by lowering prices for overpriced cds and other merchandise. Offspring tried having their cd for free over the Internet, but Sony said they'd sue the band, which proves that big businesses truly try to control everything. We must keep mp3s free from them and free from ever going commercial. Consumers have to pay a lot for many things and it's really nice to see some things in life still free.

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