Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Master's August 2001

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Napster, A Modern Day Robin Hood My favorite crime has to be copyright infringement. Specifically, I mean downloading music of the net. In my mind this sort of crime really has no downside. First of all, the record companies for years have been pushing prices for music higher by illegal practices. I suppose it can be said that two wrongs do not make a right, but I think in this case an exception can be made.

Record companies frequently charge fifteen to twenty dollars for a CD even though the equipment cost of each CD is less than a dime. These companies claim that the prices are so high because of royalty fees and production costs. This is pretty much a lie. The music industry overprices their products because they can get away with it. Music is a special commodity, which people have an emotional attachment with. The industry knows this and has taken advantage of this situation by unfairly overcharging consumers.

Therefore, I make my case for Napster and music downloads through the net. Even though it is technically illegal, it is the only way for consumers to retaliate against unfair practices by the recording industry. What Napster does is technically steal from the people who make and produce the music. These people though have stolen from the public for years. The judicial committee has fined the music industry many times for crimes such as price fixing. The industry pays these fines and then does not change its ways. Therefore people would still have to face unfair pricing by the industry. Napster has changed this, and at the very least has given the people a voice to fight against the unfair practices of the industry. I believe that these practices by the industry are the main reasons why programs like Napster have become so popular. If the record companies were fair to begin with then there would be no need for these types of programs.

I understand that using Napster is stealing, but if the music industry does not change it's methods, why should we. The music industry can take Napster to court by saying that it allows people to steal their property, but the average fan cannot take the record companies to court. Therefore Napster is the only tool available to make our voices heard, and make the recording industry change its ways.