Those in opposition to Napster-like file sharing favor secure digital content over easy-access. While digital file exchange may have ushered in much-needed progress for 21st-century technology, the competition between digital and traditional worlds is growing. Not only are record executives worried about how much online portals have cut into bottom-line record sales, but sites like Napster eliminate the middlemen, a prospect shaking the foundation on which commercialization has been long-staked.
In publishing specifically, parties affected by this scaling down range from content creators, servers, printers and publishers to marketers and even consumers. If a consumer can choose between paying for a product or not, the likelihood of payment diminishes. At the same time, because digital exchange online is not nearly as popular as traditional acquisition, the Napster decision, like other digitally inspired debates, anticipates future ramifications more than current market threats.
Dritsas admits, "What is really problematic here is the RIAA's claim that their member companies are losing money." He claims there's little proof showing that digital exchange somehow cuts into the market and is suspicious of industry speculation so early in the game. "I'm not satisfied with their claim," he adds.
Reciprocal's General Manager, Matthew Moynahan, says, "Unprotected file swapping isn't legitimate." As a result, Reciprocal develops applications to protect digital content with encryption technology that controls royalty and file exchange. "Subscription's where it's at because of the discreet nature of the product," he explains. "Everything will eventually be about having access to online catalogs to subscribe to content. Over time, digital rights will be negotiated differently. The notion of global rights will be increasingly important." Moynahan also believes that Napster was a positive prototype for difital file exchange, but would be more successful as a pay service. "Peer-to-peer sharing may be more common," he adds, "but control is still an issue. Napster proved it."