By Pricilla Koop: Box Elder AP English student
Here at Box Elder High School, students and teachers have been using Napster throughout the past two school years. Napster is a file sharing service that allows people to download music from any computer that is connected to the internet. Napster has been in the news lately because artists have been complaining about their songs being shared through Napster without being paid for them. The music industry has taken Napster to court to prevent them from providing a service that allows people to download music without paying for it.
A recent decision by District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel placed an injunction on Napster that requires them to block copyrighted material from being shared on their service. Her decision also stated that the recording industry must provide Napster with a list of songs that they want blocked. Napster is attempting to comply with the order, but users have figured out that there are ways to get around the blocks. One way is to misspell the artist's name or the song title.
The use of Napster at Box Elder Schools has also been an issue recently. A new school policy states that students are not supposed to download from Napster using the school's computers during school hours. Our AP English class, however, discovered that students were still using Napster quite often. At this point, we decided to conduct a survey that show exactly how many people were using Napster on school computers, during school hours.
What our survey showed us was that more than half of the 70 people we surveyed were still downloading music files during school hours. Of those that responded, 86 percent felt that Napster should be allowed in school during school hours. The number one reason why the respondents wanted Napster during school hours was so they could listen to music while they were working. Others simply wanted it for the reason that Napster is in so much trouble right now n FREE MUSIC!
With Napster's new restrictions, though, it appears that the problem of students downloading music at Box Elder Schools may be solved, because students will find that the songs that they want are no longer available through Napster. Even though around 60 percent of the people we surveyed felt that Napster would survive the legal challenges they face, what they are discovering is that it is not the same Napster they were using even just a few weeks ago.