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MP3: Sharing or Stealing? The copyright battle has been waging now for quite a while. It goes all the way back from the ability to dub from audiotape to a blank tape; the battle is much the same, just with a different media. Now shaking the world of the recording industry is a new way of distributing music, through the Internet. With the invention of the Internet, millions of people now have access to download an infinite amount of music. One of the most popular ways of locating songs on the net was through the infamous program called Napster.
Because of Napster's popularity, the Recording Industry Association of America, or its acronym RIAA, saw Napster as a threat to their business and sued them. Napster says that they are not a threat and says that they actually help boost the sales of music. In Napster's eyes, they are doing nothing but building a community in which those who participate are able to "share" their music with others. Those who support Napster say that what people do with their program is no different than letting someone borrow a CD and making a copy of it on a cassette tape. When someone buys a CD, they have the right to share that music with whomever they want to
This is how supporters of Napster view what they are doing with the program. In surveys conducted by Napster, those that use the program say that by previewing the music first, they are able to make decisions on what they should buy. During the past few years, CD sales have steadily gone up and Napster says that it is because of what their program is enabling its users to do. The RIAA takes all of Napster's disputes and throws it right back at them.
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