Everybody wants a piece of Napster’s pie… Since the federal court’s ruling on monday which could effectively shut the service down, everyone has been trying to get a piece of the estimated 50 million strong user base. The Recording Industry has been celebrating this as a huge win in their battle to “defend the intellectual property rights” of it’s artists (read: defend their profits) … My problem with this whole thing has nothing to do with intellectual property rights – in fact, I agree that artists should be compensated fairly for their work – I am an artist myself, and I would like to make some money off my craft – my problem is with the way the RIAA, Hillary Rosen, et al, have been going about this – “The Big Five” are only interested in staying “The Big Five” – and they use litigation to do it. When less than $1 of every $20 CD sold goes to the artist, I have a hard time believing that the labels are all that concerned about compensating their artists fairly. I also think they’re insane to think that shutting down Napster is going to help their cause in any way. They’re only going to succeed in pissing off about 50 million music lovers – music lovers who have been buying more CD’s, not less, in the time that Napster has existed. People will find other ways to share music – there is no doubt about it – if the RIAA had worked with napster to develop a paid legitimate file sharing program, at least they would have had a chance to reach at least some of the 50 million – instead, they chose to alienate them.