Napster to block songs today: A court has ordered that 135,000 songs be blocked.
It's the end of Napster as we know it.
Today, by the order of a U.S. district judge, Napster must have 135,000 copyrighted songs blocked from its server.
U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel issued an injunction last week that said that once the recording industry gave notice of what songs they didn't want downloaded, Napster would have three business days to stop those songs from being traded.
Members of the recording industry spent last week compiling the list of
135,000 songs. They e-mailed the list to Napster on Friday night.
A statement from CEO Hank Barry on Napster's Web site said that despite the absence of the copyrighted material, Napster won't be shutting down: "We will continue to seek a settlement with the record companies and to prepare our new membership-based service that will make payments to artists, songwriters and other rights holders."
Executives from Napster are hammering out a new business plan, in which members would pay for using the service. Newsweek reported that the "plan asks members to pay up to $4.95 a month for about 50 downloads, or up to $9.95 for unlimited downloads."
While Napster works through the details of the plan, users can still trade live songs and other uncopyrighted material for free.
Since its beginning in 1999, Napster and its base of users grew rapidly, and the service found its way into many student's daily routines.
As time runs out today for Napster, many students reflect on the reasons they started using Napster. Many said they would miss the convenience of the service.
"It's a nice way for college students to get music for free because, we're all broke," said letters sophomore Jessica Harper.
Anthony Clay, University College freshman, said he heard about Napster about two years ago through word of mouth.
Before he came to college, he and his sister sometimes spent three to six hours a night, finding music and downloading it.
Clay said that at first, he downloaded rap and R&B from his favorite artists, such as Master P and Macy Gray. But eventually, he discovered music by types of artists he never considered listening to in the past, such as Insane Clown Posse.
"It's changed the diversity of music I listened to," Gray said. "I know enough about that group now to go out and buy one of their CDs."
Clay said he would be upset if Napster shut down.
"It's a piece of software that I use fairly often," Clay said.
Mike Bendorf, University College freshman, said he used Napster to download about 10 or 15 songs a day, and that he has over 1,000 songs on his computer. He downloaded music by punk-rock and hardcore bands, such as the Ataris and MxPx. Then, he would listen to them and try to figure out the bass parts on his bass.
"Usually, I'd have to spend a lot of money to get all the CDs that I need," Bendorf said.
Bendorf discovered Skinny Puppy, Gravity Kills and "just a whole bunch of no-name punk bands that have their stuff on there" through Napster.
But Kurt Mackey, management information systems junior, said he's not that disappointed with the fate of Napster.
"I got tired of Napster," Mackey said. "Partly because I have a ton of CDs anyway, and I couldn't find any songs I wanted on there, and they're pretty crappy sound quality."
Although Mackey had some qualms with the quality of the service, Mackey said in the three or four months that he used Napster, he downloaded 2,000 to 3,000 songs, which were mostly classical music and songs from CDs he owned.
"It's a disappointment because as far as Napster is concerned, it's so fast and efficient," Mackey said.
But many students won't stop trading music even though copyrighted material is being removed from Napster. Many said they would pay for the service or turn to other file-sharing programs, like Gnutella.
Marshall Gray, letters sophomore, said he would pay the $5 a month for 50 songs, since he already has downloaded most of the songs that he wants for free.
"I wouldn't be downloading a huge amount of songs anymore," Gray said.
Gray said his roommate tried Gnutella, but that many of the files wouldn't transfer properly.
"But if Gnutella is easy as Napster, I would definitely check out Gnutella before paying for Napster," Gray said.
Clay said that as of yet, he doesn't see Gnutella as being in the same league as Napster. He too has had problems connecting to the service.
"Probably, it will get better in the future," Clay said.
Mike Bendorf said he wouldn't pay for Napster.
"Just because, as it is right now, with the bands and their web sites and mp3.com, I can find songs that I like."
Some students said that music sharing could live on through OU's network.
Kurt Mackey said that if users on OU's network have their settings set to share files, MP3 files could be traded through students on the network.
People are even finding ways to still download copyrighted music through Napster's servers by intentionally misspelling the names of songs and artists, making it harder for Napster to block copyrighted material. But Napster has called on the help of Gracenote, a company which has a database that can recognize more than nine million songs and 850,000 albums.
But the consensus from students is that despite Napster's hardships, music will still be traded through the Internet.
"It's not like it's the end of the world when it comes to transferring music files," Mackey said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
To learn more about Napster visit www.napster.com.
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