Feeds

Napster enabled 1.4bn song swaps in September

That's a lot of potential copyright theft

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

If the Recording Industry Association of America's contributory copyright violation case goes against Napster, the MP3 sharing software company would be in real trouble when damages are assessed.

According to Net market researcher Webnoize, in September alone, there were 1.39 billion downloads made via Napster.

Webnoize says it used packet sniffing software to track songs shared using Napster's 114 servers over an "extended period of days... including weekdays and weekends". In other words, it didn't monitor the service day in, day out, but averaged the usage stats out over the whole month.

The total number of downloads comes from the total number of Napster users and the number of files available, so Webnoize didn't uncover the 1.39 billion downloads statistic directly. Even so, with an average of 640,000 Napster users online at any given time, a significant number of songs will have been downloaded.

Now, as MP3.com found to its cost, US copyright law imposes anything up to $25,000 per illegally copied song. That could leave Napster facing a bill of up to $4170 trillion - and that's for September alone.

Of course, not all the traded songs will have been from music whose copyright have not given permission, and Napster would probably argue that Webnoize's figure is way too high. And since that kind of fine would bankrupt countries, let alone companies, it's unlikely to ever be imposed.

Webnoize's numbers come on the back of recent research from Forrester that claims Napster and similar services will cost the music industry $3.1 billion in lost revenue, "regardless of whether Napster is right or wrong".

For its part Webnoize notes that "the significance of our findings is that, regardless of whether the legal system decides that Napster operates illegally, demand for its service is staggering". ®

Related Stories

No verdict in Napster trial - yet
Napster-style sites to cost music biz $3.1bn by 2005
Universal routs MP3.com in court for $118m

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.