September 15, 2000

I can't believe that Napster is still in the news. Now they are making a claim that the Napster application itself should be considered the same as a VCR, because it allows users to 'time-shift' recordings. That means they are claiming that the Napster application is just another recording mechanism for content that allows the user to listen in a different way.
What I hope the judge can see is that Napster is NOT an MP3 ripper application. It is a file sharing application. An application that made no beefs about being able to share copyrighted music, an application that was developed without contacting the RIAA or anyone else to develop any form of copy protection (such as VCRs have built into them), and that the recordings they are 'time-shifting' is not live content at all. Isn't a CD already adequately time-shifted?
Sorry, just have to say it again. Napster was a short-sighted enterprise. It got the technology out there to promote a use of the Internet that will eventually re-invent the Internet. But trying to make a company out of it, and trying to convince the US Judicial system that they are in the right....that's just plain wrong.

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