Ethical Dilemma of Napster

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Ethical Dilemma of Napster

The ethical dilemma of computer downloads, namely music downloads, has been under great scrutiny in the last few years. Napster, if any one symbolizes the new technology, was the front runner in developing the new digital trading. The ethical issues seem to revolve around the all mighty dollar. Some particular musicians, namely Lars Ulrich from Metallica and Dr. Dre (rap star), have had some serious issues with Napster. Their claims have merit, but so do the claims of the creator and users of Napster.

Napster was created in 1999 by a college dropout named Sean Fanning. Napster allows users to swap digital song files over the internet easily and most of all free. Millions of people used Napster to retrieve almost any song a person could think of, for example, songs that are current number one hits to the other songs from the "one-hit-wonders." Napster created a way for people world wide to exchange or share music files quickly and easily. This causes the ethical dilemma on whether trademark rights are being infringed or is "sharing" the music files legal and ethical.

In 1984, the Supreme Court allowed the public to use the VCR to record televisions shows as long as it was not intended for commercial use. In 1992, "the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 made it clear that you can use a digital audio tape player or other similar gadgets to record digital music for personal, noncommercial use. So there's plenty of precedent for song swapping." This is a major part in the creation and use of Napster. These acts state everything the Mr. Fanning needs to know he thought. The musicians thought otherwise.

The previously mentioned artists are highly upset about the sharing software. Lars Ulrich is the drummer for the band Metallica. He seems to be the spokesman for the pending law suits. Ulrich says,"With each project, we go through a grueling creative process to achieve music that we feel is representative of Metallica at...
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