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CNN Today

Napster Dispute Continues to Divide Music Industry and Music Listeners

Aired August 7, 2000 - 2:55 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, both sides in the Napster dispute have been asked to file briefs this week with a federal appeals court hearing the case. But what about the ethical issues? Is Napster fair? And is it any different than lending a friend music to record?

Anne McDermott has a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNE MCDERMOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Remember how folks would hook together a couple of VCRs and make copies of rented videotapes? Well, that was nothing compared to Napster's estimated audience of 20 million, many of whom use the Web site to download free music. Many of the downloaders say they're simply sharing songs. They don't believe they're doing anything wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wouldn't call it stealing. I mean, if it's on the Internet -- I mean, I pay my $20 a month for the Internet service. I think I deserve the right to download whatever I want.

MCDERMOTT: Well, a professor of music says they're violating copyright laws.

PROF. RICHARD MCILVERY, MUSIC INDUSTRY DEPT., UNIV. OF S. CALIFORNIA: It's stealing, but if you listen to people who are doing it, they don't view it that way, and I think it's largely rationalization or ignorance that they are breaking the law.

MCDERMOTT: Well, go to a record store, you'll find people there who say Napster is simply a way to sample sounds to see what they like.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, I use it all the time and I still come here all the time.

MCDERMOTT: But what about the artists? Well, they're divided, too. Lars Ulrich of Metallica calls it theft.

LARS ULRICH, METALLICA: It's morally wrong and it's illegal.

MCDERMOTT: But Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit says the anti-Napsters are greedy. FRED DURST, LIMP BIZKIT: We don't make music for our record companies.

MCDERMOTT: Of course, record companies are more than suits. They are secretaries and songwriters who depend on copyright laws, but...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wouldn't call it stealing. But it would be called -- diminished returns?

MCDERMOTT: Whatever you call it, it isn't just for music anymore. Investigations have now been launched into sites offering copyrighted needlepoint patterns that grandmas are swapping for free.

Anne McDermott, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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