Survey: Consumers Back Napster

Only 16 percent of those polled agree with the RIAA, the leading recording industry trade association, and its stance that Napster's popular online music sharing service should be shut down, according to poll results released Thursday. By contrast, 45 percent of those surveyed disagree with the RIAA's position. Another 39 percent have no opinion on the issue.

The survey's results come on the heels of Wednesday's court order that Napster must halt its practices of helping consumers share copyrighted music that they have not paid for. U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, ruling in the Northern District of California, ordered Napster to shut down its Web site by midnight Friday.

Napster has already appealed the decision. The company is asking for a stay of the judge's order pending the outcome of the case.

Is Online Copyright Unachievable?

Interestingly, the majority of home users--nearly 60 percent--think the record industry's attempt to defend its copyrights is admirable, but consider it an unrealistic stance in a digital world. In fact, fully half believe free exchange of music on the Internet should be legal, according to PC Data's data.

Napster's service provides a central directory of MP3 files, which are compressed digital music files that are not quite CD-quality but which have garnered wild acceptance among younger Web denizens such as teenagers and college students. Through Napster, users can locate and download the songs they want that are located on other users' computers.

However, because recording companies and artists are not paid for those downloads, companies providing a means for obtaining MP3 files have found themselves embroiled in lawsuits filed by the RIAA and musical groups. Besides Napster, MP3.com and MP3Board face legal sanctions. MP3 is changing its practices and cutting deals with the various record companies.

Ironically, almost 60 percent of those polled believe that Napster's activities actually help the music industry by exposing consumers to music they are likely to buy. This is one of Napster's key arguments in its defence. And, while downloading of music for listening is on the rise, only 29 percent say they typically listen to music downloaded on their PCs; 84 percent say they still buy music in stores on CDs.

PC Data's survey sample is drawn from the firm's panel of more than 120,000 home Internet users.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?