in the music industry has surfaced! In 1999, Shawn Fanning, a Northeastern
University undergraduate, wrote a small MP3-sharing software application
known as Napster. Originally designed for the exchange of Fanning and
friends' own recordings, Napster quickly became a conduit for mainstream
MP3s, and an MP3-sharing
community was built overnight as the beta version of the shareware program
quickly caught on. New songs could be found and downloaded at the touch
of a button. Entire albums could be exchanged in minutes for free. In
addition, the natal Sagittarian Sun (self) in the company’s chart
sextiles Mars (action) conjunct Neptune (illusion, lack of boundaries), producing
the ability to do it all anywhere with complete anonymity.
The Recording Industry
Association of America contends that the service Napster provides is just a high-tech shortcut
to music piracy. But in recent “friends of the court” briefs, the Computer
and Communications Industry Association, which represents tech giants
like AT&T, Yahoo and Oracle, said the courts need to reinterpret
and revise some of the “overprotective” models for guarding intellectual
on a Media Moon
Napster’s incorporation chart (a chart drawn for the date the company was incorporated) reflects
the issues surrounding it at the time of the company's "birth." Born on a Gemini Full
Moon, communication and idea-sharing are where
Napster shines! This chart reveals the Gemini infleunce of information,
media, distribution and marketing to the general public. The Moon (the
public) trines Neptune and widely trines Mars, suggesting the public’s vision of the
company is inflated or bigger than what was initially intended. Never
was this more obvious than when Napster test-drove the beta software,
and the next thing you know twenty million people were using it—all within
Sun, at the profound 0 degree, sextiles musical Neptune in the technology
sign of Aquarius, and action-planet Mars in the business sign of Capricorn.
It’s not all about software. Finally, garage bands around the world have
an easy way to distribute their songs to previously untapped audiences.
This is about the new generation of the “digital media distribution market.”
Challenges Come Too Fast
driving force is the t-square signature in the chart between Saturn,
Mercury and Uranus. Saturn in Taurus (the thorn in Napster’s side) represents
the traditional way the music business has operated. It is opposed the
remotely cryptic Mercury in Scorpio, which further shows Napster’s ability
to facilitate anonymous communication. Uranus in Aquarius squares them
both, adding a new awareness formed in the way music is distributed to
millions. The concept of file sharing among millions through a simple
software application is cutting-edge and can be used in many other industries.
Natal Saturn separating from (moving away from the exact square angle)
Uranus suggests Napster’s creation may not continue in the same form as
it is known today.
hassles continue from the trial outcome on August 18, 2000 that almost
closed Napster’s doors. Opening arguments in the trial pitting Napster,
Inc. against some of the giants of the recording industry will start on
October 2, 2000. This continues to be a landmark battle over copyright
protection in cyberspace that can eventually touch books, movies, television
and other forms of media.
September 6, in a separate case with music Internet startup, MP3.com,
a federal judge ruled that MP3.com “engaged in thousands of acts of copyright
infringement when it created an 80,000-album digital database, allowing
users to stream music from its servers.” The judge fined MP3.com $118
million in damages. This case set a precedent that could have a profound
impact on the upcoming Napster trial.
October, near the time of the trial, transiting Saturn at station (0 degree
of Gemini) will oppose Napster’s Sun, bringing traditional law to the
forefront as Napster’s legal team claims “the recording industry has tried
to use its stranglehold on music copyrights to force technology companies
to acquiesce to its demands.” Napster’s challenge will be to appear to
produce a win-win between the public and industry. Transiting Jupiter
(expansion) in Gemini (communication) opposed natal Pluto (power)
suggests the opponent may be strong, and Napster must proceed with caution,
making a special effort to placate them. They may need to enlarge (Jupiter)
their personal goals to encompass the industry’s goals, or the court could
close their doors.
Playing Field Has Changed
and publishing executives stay awake at night with the thought that what
happened to the music industry could happen to them. Napster represents
the collective consciousness of change in the digital media distribution
market, whether it is music, film or publishing. The way we access these
is about to change! Regardless of the ongoing litigation, Napster has
forever changed the concept of music distribution, and perhaps signaled
the end of the music industry as we know it.
MP3 is a
compression computer music file format that uses about one-tenth of the
space used by the regular wave files you play on your stereo. It can turn
music on compact disks into small computer files.