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73% in College Student Survey Use Napster

May 16, 2000|From Reuters

Seventy-three percent of college students surveyed by research firm Webnoize Inc. said they used Napster Inc.'s controversial song-swap software at least once a month, Webnoize said Monday.

Although the survey of 4,294 students at 10 New England colleges painted a grim picture for record companies, which have sued Napster for allegedly encouraging piracy on the Internet, the poll had positive data for record labels as well.

Webnoize, which will release the full report next month, said 58.5% of those polled who used Napster said they would be willing to pay $15 a month to use the service.

"The more often they used it, the more willing they were to pay to use it, which suggests there are probably ways for the music companies to make money in this way," said Webnoize analyst Ric Dube, referring to Napster's file-sharing system.

Dube also noted that the survey asked people how much they spend monthly on music, with 31.9% of all those polled saying they spent less than $10 a month.

Last week, a recording industry trade group claimed an initial victory in its copyright battle against Napster after U.S. District Judge Marilyn Patel in San Francisco rejected Napster's claim that it is a "mere conduit" and denied its motion for summary judgment.

Napster has claimed it is not liable for the actions of its users. Napster's software works like a co-op, allowing users to trade MP3 files, a compression format used to convert music on CDs into computer files.

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