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Napster Rides Again

Fresh from his victory at the Microsoft antitrust trial, attorney David Boies has ridden to the defense of embattled Napster, saying its users are not breaking the law. Is the song-swapping service a model for a new breed of Net application? A roundtable discussion with's John Borland and Steve Pizzo of Forbes ASAP.

Listen to this discussion (10:11 mins, 1.8 MB):   Download the MP3 file    Listen in Real Audio

Steve Pizzo
Reporter for O'Reilly Network and Forbes ASAP

"The core issue here has nothing to do with copyright ... The issue is: is Napster a reaction to an outdated business model? The record companies have a business model that has worked financially for them for decades. And they ignored this technology as it bubbled up and decided to dig their heels in, and stick with what's making money for them, which is to sell you a CD with 10 to 15 songs on it, when all you wanted was one."

Steven Pizzo

John Borland

John Borland
Senior Reporter,

"There is this huge demand for music online that just simply wasn't being filled by the music companies. And Napster came in and fed that demand, and immediately got tens of millions of users ... and the record companies have reacted against it, because they're desperate to hold onto the distribution channels. This peer-to-peer model which allows everybody with a PC and an Internet connection to become a distribution model -- that scares them."

Dave Sims
Editorial Director, O'Reilly Network

"Napster's become the poster child for a whole new area of computing and business plans called peer-to-peer computing."

Dave Sims

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