The Killing of Napster

an opinion by Ralph F. Mariano

Now, that Napster is a mere shell of its former self, the RIAA should be PROUD to have forced their will down the throats of fifty million or more of people around the world.  The US Court System, seemingly bound by oath to uphold the law and the will of the people, has continually flown in the face of the people. From the Supreme Court's giving away of the US Presidential Election to the US District Court yielding to the will of the RIAA. The will of the people has been totally ignored.  Napster is all but dead.  The people, on the other hand, are alive and well.  The backlash from the people will surprise the RIAA, MPAA the Courts and the arch demagogue Jack Valenti like they have never been surprised before.  All protection schemes will be cracked, all efforts at killing peer to peer file sharing ala Gnutella will fail and these two GREEDY organizations will ultimately capitulate to the will of the people.

"It's time to euthanize this sorry, dying excuse for a file-sharing service," wrote a Napster user going by the initials "HTC" on the company's message boards. "I don't blame Shawn Fanning or any of the management trying to keep Napster alive, but it's time to face reality--with the flagrant over blocking currently in place, Napster is useless."

Have the RIAA and its supporters won the battle?  I think so but.... they have yet to win the war.  And therein lies the rub.  The RIAA, in its infinite wisdom, greed and blind pursuit of the almighty buck, has alienated millions of people around the world.  Unless they come up with a miracle, the backlash the recording industry and all its affiliates are to endure will smother and snuff out the ancient "copyright scheme" empowering the RIAA and the MPAA.

Not once in time has either of these organization ever yielded to the will of the people.  They have, at every turn in history, used all the weapons in their arsenals to stifle technology, control international trade and kill new markets. From the Advent of Broadcast Radio offering Music, Video Taping, Audio Taping and now internet peer to peer networking and finally to internet radio broadcasts, these greed oriented PACs, organizations, guilds or whatever you wish to call them today, have done their very best to control all outlets of entertainment.

How wonderful it would have been if I still had the records and tapes I began purchasing as a teenager.. or when I was a young husband and father.... or better yet when I was a middle aged family man... do you get what I'm saying?  Had the RIAA, in the past, used their resources to come up with a stable media or technology that didn't use media that deteriorated in a few years or self destructed, people would not feel as I do.... That I was forced to buy the music I enjoyed over... and over and over again because the media on which the music came died. But then I think it was designed that way... How nice to keep selling the same suckers the same music every three to five years because either the records wear out or the tapes self destruct.

Napster provided a way for me to replace all the music I had purchased from my early teens 'till now.  What's wrong with that?  The RIAA lost a cash cow!  That's what's wrong!  That is their basic fight they are losing cash cows around the world at an alarming rate.

"We have recently enhanced (our) filters in an effort to screen out the wide range of variations in artist name and song title that result in noticed works continuing to appear on the Napster index," Napster said. "That, in turn, has unfortunately caused substantial additional 'over blocking,' the unintentional removal of otherwise authorized works, for which we apologize to our users and artists."

Napster also reminded potential file swappers that intentional use of filter-evading tools such as NapCameBack or Pig-Latin encoders are now a violation of Napster's terms of service. People using these tools will be warned and ejected from the music-swapping network if they keep sharing files this way, the company said.

Napster users began complaining about over blocking this past Thursday, saying that even collections of "obscure, out of print" music were disappearing.

In retrospect, the RIAA, if they really cared, should have devised a system whereby one or two tracks from each album were offered as samples and of course, old, out of print and obscure music should be offered across the boards.  But no, they'd rather spend their millions killing Napster. 

Is the RIAA going to sue the entire world? 

Be advised; RIAA, MPAA and all other greed oriented, horse blindered fool money grubbing "organizations"... You go nowhere without the people.  You will become only an echo in yesterday's news if you continue to jam your ideals down the throats of the people by manipulation of the legal system.

Gnutella will eat you alive!