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A year ago, Shawn Fanning was sitting in his dorm room at Boston's Northeastern University. He was challenged by his roommate to figure out an easier way to download music from the Internet. Who knew a freshman's creation would become so controversial that 200 universities would ban it from their computer systems, and 18 record labels, plus rock band Metallica and rapper Dr. Dre would file lawsuits to abolish the Napster and their program. (www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/tech/review/crh138.htm). Napster is among the most popular of many programs that permit file sharing and has therefore become a target for copyright holders. Their goal is to put Napster out of business because they feel, "Napster exists only to pirate music." Elton John, Sean "Puffy" Combs and Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes have spoken out against Napster. Rapper Chuck D and rock band Limp Bizkit have lent their voices to the company in support. (www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/tech/review/crh138.htm).
For rapper Chuck D, the Internet poses an opportunity for musicians to market their talent and make money without the interference of big music companies. He is arguing for direct-to-consumer marketing, because it lacks the hassle of record company contracts and the various fees that go into marketing an artist's music. Chuck D says that he sees Napster as a new way of exposure. He says the fans have found a new technology, and a lot of artists, includin
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- Napster argues that it merely provides a "conduit" to this music, and has done nothing illegal. According to Lee Gomes of The Wall Street Journal, Napster lets users obtain MP3 files of popular music, something the record industry calls "copyright infringement".
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