As I sat in front of my computer downloading my favorite song from Napster, I started to think about how hard it must have been to write a song so sublime with the way the words flow from one another, and how talented one must be to do so. I started to think how hard people work on their music for themselves and their fans, and how their fans dont realize what they are doing every time they download a song off the internet. What they dont realize is that it is messing over the people who worked so hard pouring out their heart and soul into their music for everyone to enjoy. They are the people who are responsible for the music, not the people who work at Napster, or any of the other shafting music networks, who are embezzling from the people we all admire for the way they can flow out those heartwarming words. These words move us to the point that we want to cry, and sometimes do. These words we listen to when we want to go off into our own little world, and think about an extraordinary moment we once had that makes our sorrows disappear. These words remind us of a passed loved one who was once forgotten, and never to be again. They are the people who put their heart and soul into their music; these are people we use so selfishly and dont even realize how much blood sweat and tears they shed just to put out quality words. They are the people we take for granted, and they are the people who sometimes take us, their fans, for granted as well, they are the artists themselves. File sharing is what it is thought as, but I dont see it that way. I see it as theft, music theft; most commonly know as shafting. Every day people use shafting and think nothing of it. People sit in front of their computers and go to their favorite website and download file after file with out thinking how or where it comes from. They think it is just there for the taking and it is. Shafting is a trend that has just begun, but only time will tell how far it will go.
Shafting has gone further then anyone would have ever imagined, one man and his website Napster are responsible for all of this; Napster has not only changed the music industry forever; it has also changed American culture forever. No more will anyone have to get up and go to a music store and over pay for a compact disc that only has a few songs you want on the disk. Since Napster was founded there have been many more websites that you can receive music from. These new websites not only have shafting for music, they now have movies on digital versatile disc (DVD), and video games you can download by shafting. Napster was the company that started it all and is solely responsible for all the problems it has caused. This trend of shafting has caused problems for all of the artists. Such as seeing the sales numbers drop through the floor, and seeing someone else making millions of their property by putting ads on the web sites that display their music (Napster how far 3a) a reporter stated. They decided to slap a lawsuit on Napster. There were two main artists that stepped forward to say no more free shafting. They were hard rocker and co- founder of Metallica Lars Ulrich and rap artist Dr. Dre. Dr. Dre was quoted in the March issue of Ebony magazine that this trend must stop before it goes on to long and we all go broke (56).
As a result of being in a lawsuit, Napster was partially shut down. After months of being in court against National Music publishers Association (NMPA), they came to a final agreement that was posted on the front page of Napsters web site. The agreement stated
(We recently reached a preliminary agreement with the (NMPA) which means songwriters will get paid when their works are shared. Along with the other deals were making or have already made with labels and artists, this preliminary agreement with the publishers will help return to Napster the breadth and depth of content youve come to expect xnapster.com).
In a statement made by Ulrich in the June issue of Rollingstone magazine stated I think weve resolved this in a way that works for fans, recording artists and songwriters alike. (48-51) The agreement also gives the artists final say over which songs files can be traded over the Napster system. In the August issue of Billboard magazine Ulrich was quoted as saying, Our beef hasnt been with the concept of sharing music, (81-82) Ulrich said. The problem we had with Napster was that they never asked us or other artists if we wanted to participate in their business. The settlements came one day after U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel delivered what some industry analysts say could be a final, fatal blow to Napster ordering it not to resume service until its new system for filtering out copyrighted material is one hundred percent effective. Patel in March issued a preliminary injunction against Napster, Requiring it to block song files that are covered by music industry (Xnapster.com). On June 2 Napster voluntarily suspended Shafting as it battled technical glitches related to it latest upgrade, intended to help it comply with Patels order.
When this trend is all said and done shafting will be acceptable for everyone involved. People all around the world will be able to download their favorite artists and will be able to make their own compact disk with whoever they chose to put on the disk without having to listen to songs that they dont want to hear. This trend is here to stay, and I feel is going to work out for the best for the fans and the artists alike.
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