Sharing Music Legally Spawns Sharing Innovation

Published: 2004-07-29
As the battle for the rights of sharing music files over the internet freely was on, some commercial online services and artists are allowing subscribers to legally share the music that they have bought. Music subscriber service Napster and Music Match have added a feature in their latest software versions that allow subscribers the opportunity to share music that they have bought with others.

Napster only allows sharing of a complete song between fellow subscribers; otherwise it's only a 30 second sample of the song.

In their newest software version Music Match allows subscribers to share a song in its entirety with subscribers and non-subscribers alike. In the case of a non-subscriber the song can only be played three times before it locks up and then only the 30 second sample can be heard.

The music industry has no problem with people actually sharing music. After all that's how they stay in business. The problem the music industry has is with the free part of the sharing. Services like Mercora allow sharing through listening similar to radio but do not allow actual downloading so they avoid the legal issue of copyright infringement.

Music Match hopes that the latest addition to their software will help them to compete with the other services like Apple iTunes who currently does not allow music sharing.

Writer: Sherrill Fulghum



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